In our series of ‘meet the team’ interviews, we chat with Sara Young, Sales Executive.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Sara - although I’m known to also answer to both Sarah and Zara ;-)
I love meeting new people so I naturally found myself leaving home at 18 and then enjoying a variety of roles within hospitality including a few years as a windsurfing instructor in Greece, some time as a ski fitter in New Zealand as well as various stints travelling the world working in F&B.
After quite a few years of travelling, I studied International Business Management at Manchester Business School, where I made sure to engage in a whole range of hospitality options as a student (well, it’s important to try out all of the local bars and clubs, right!?). When I graduated I joined Rolls-Royce on their Commercial Programme where I spent 3 years managing contracts in the EMEA region for their airline engines customers.
I ended up being drawn back to the land of hospitality and into the world of spa where I have spent the last 10 years. I have been lucky enough to work for some great brands including Chewton Glen, Cunard, and more recently The Spa at South Lodge where I was the Spa Director. At South Lodge as a spa team, we won several awards including Best Spa 2019 and Best Spa for Sustainability 2020.
At the end of last year, I welcomed my son Cameron and have spent the last 12 months enjoying watching him grow in character into a very determined little man (he definitely takes after his mama in that department!). I am excited to be working at Alliants part-time as a Sales Executive.
What attracted you to join Alliants?
When I decided to leave spa management I wanted to try something completely different. I started to look locally and Alliants came up, so I had a few calls with them and they invited me in to see the Alliants Experience Platform. I was blown away by how great it was that and I decided I wanted to be a part of the action. Alliants are a very dynamic business, constantly evolving not only product and services wise but also in the way that they support their team which really makes you want to work for them.
What are some of your passions?
I’m very social and I love to spend time with my family and friends, whether that’s a meal at ours, going for dog walks, or spending time out at a music festival (Cameron managed 3 festivals this summer!).
I also love trying new things - whether that’s travelling to a new country, trying a new sport, or eating unusual new food. My boyfriend is a professional sailor so with his work I get the opportunity to visit him in some pretty spectacular places which give us lots of chances to try new things.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
My parents. They’ve always supported me in what I’ve wanted to do career-wise - for my 18th birthday they bought me my windsurf instructor course so that I could get the qualification to use it to work and travel the world. When I was younger they were both very hard working and this has given me a strong work ethic that has given me the confidence to be able to try new positions career-wise.
What is a great day off for you?
Having fun with family and friends - I enjoy getting out with our dog for a walk and combining it in with a drink at a local pub. Where we live we are fortunate enough to have some beautiful walks to enjoy without having to travel too far.
What’s been your best travel experience?
A few years ago my boyfriend and I spent 3 weeks backpacking around Sri Lanka and it was amazing as there was just so much to see and do. For a small country, it packs a punch on the activities front, we did so much such as hiking up mountains to see the sunrise, cycling between ancient ruins, ziplining above a jungle, surfing, kitesurfing, snorkelling, going on safari to see elephants and leopards as well as going to a cookery school. Little did we know at the time that I was pregnant with Cameron…
Your best travel tip?
Go local! I’ve always found that you get a more authentic experience if you “go local” such as staying in homestays to meet families, taking the bus rather than a taxi, eating street food, and trying to support local community activities and initiatives. One of my first true authentic experiences at 18 years old was taking the train from Mumbai to Goa and a local family started to cook on their gas stove and began offering us their food to join them.