It's nine years since I started at Freshfields - and in a way it's my Labrador I have to thank.
I'd spent 23 years working in hospitality. I started off organising banquets for Hilton, the American hotel network, then gradually moved into public relations. I learnt lots, and got to know my way around the hospitality industry. In time, I moved to Portugal to run my own operation.
When I came back to Brussels I started looking for work. I saw that Freshfields was looking for a part-time receptionist to work in the evenings. The late shifts were perfect, because I could take care of my dog in the mornings and still work.
The job turned out to be perfect - multilingual, multicultural - and they soon took me on full-time. A lot of my experience transferred very well, like being flexible and using my communication skills. You've got to be able to anticipate any problems, and make light work of all the details, from flight arrangements and car bookings to catering arrangements, secretarial work and admin work. It's always interesting, though, because you never know what's coming next.
I also understand the importance of making people feel welcome, whether it's on the phone or face-to-face. We're here to give our clients a service, which you can't forget, and when I'm on reception I'm the first contact they have with us. As receptionists, it's up to us to set the tone for the whole working relationship.