• Motel One Storys – reports of personal experience: Manager Human Relations

    Katrin: Manager Human Relations

    Motel One Stories – reports of personal experience

Reaching your destination by an indirect route

Not what she planned, but still found her dream job.

‘The idea that I would one day be manager of human resources at an international hotel chain is something I would never have dreamed of!’ Katrin found her dream job in the head office at Motel One. How it happened, what she did before that and how she found her way to Motel One, she can tell us herself:

Apprenticeship in a law firm

‘The professional path I originally set out on also didn’t at all give the impression that I would ever work in the human resources department of a hotel chain.  After my professional training in a solicitor’s office, I worked for a couple of years as a secretary. After that, though, I decided I wanted to work more with people in future, with their skills, cultures and stories.

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New countries and cultures

I decided to go through ‘second-chance’ education to take my university entrance exams and, before starting my studies, I packed my bag and went travelling through several countries – because ultimately I wanted to work with people from different cultural backgrounds in the future. My journey took me to Australia, New Zealand, Asia on the Fiji Islands and the USA, among other places. An exciting and hugely enriching trip. 

To Munich to study tourism

After my long backpacking trip I then started my degree in tourism in Munich. In the very first lecture, Motel One was mentioned as an example of best practice. During my degree, I specialised in HR and hospitality and I wanted to gain practical experience in a personnel department at all costs – and then right on cue, the internship in the HR department at Motel One was advertised. Where else would I come across so many exciting stories, interesting people and different cultures in one place than in the headquarters of an expanding company?

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Work in the stylish office rooms at the Motel One Head Office

Internship at Motel One

My six-month internship would bring me many exciting insights and tasks. Among other things, these included:

  • Developing recruitment strategies
  • Supporting the introduction of a recruiting tool for the hotels
  • Optimising the onboarding process
  • Taking part in launch events
  • Designing staff development measures
  • Attending training courses 

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Working at the One Campus

One highlight of my internship was definitely the official opening of the One Campus. For me, the One Campus is a very special place. Employees from all locations, students, hotel guests, head office employees, management and business partners all meet each other here. The One Campus is at the heart of Motel One. Not only does the company develop, but the employees do too. Time and again, I enjoy meeting colleagues who are here to attend training in Munich. Soon it became clear to me: This is where I want to stay and start my career! 

After my internship, there was no way I could consider leaving Motel One. I was therefore all the more delighted to have the opportunity of staying on as a working student.

Sometimes it was challenging trying to juggle lectures, seminar papers and the job. But it was absolutely worth it! It allowed me to continue working on great HR projects.

After I had completed my final exams, I was then given a permanent position at Motel One as Assistant Manager of Human Relations. And right away I was given an unbelievably cool project: the integration project.

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Integration project

In 2015, hundreds of thousands of people fled to Germany in the hope of making a new start here in peace. In order for this new start to be successful, employment is vitally important. The executive management at Motel One recognised this and decided to take on social responsibility. In spring 2016, the pilot project for refugee integration therefore began in the Munich location. I was able to supervise and support this project from the start. 


In four Motel One in Munich, eight refugees began an internship which was accompanied by an intensive German course. The aim was to prepare the interns for an apprenticeship to become a specialist in hospitality. One of the interns, who is now working for Motel One as an apprentice, was Abdu [link here to Abdu’s story]. The project was extended to the Berlin location in March 2017 and is expected to reach as many Motel One locations as possible in Germany and Austria in the next few years.

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Assistance and support for the professional and personal integration of the refugees

Passion project and challenge at the same time

The integration project combines the exact reasons why I left my original job in the solicitor’s office: working more with people and foreign cultures, helping them to integrate, to develop, supporting and challenging them. Nonetheless, it was still no easy task to learn the ropes of this new area of work. There were many bureaucratic and organisational obstacles. But it was worth it! Every day I am filled with pride and joy when I see how wonderfully our international interns and apprentices like Abdu are integrating and developing.

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Manager Human Relations

Besides the integration project, in the last few months I have also overseen other projects, been able to gain new experiences, and have learnt a lot. Among other things I have recruited the third Motel One study class, I continue to be the contact person for all three dual study programme year groups, I’ve developed training concepts and helped organise the Future Development Days.

In spring 2017 I was promoted to Manager of Human Relations. 


I have an exciting, stimulating 2.5 years at Motel One behind me. I would never have dreamed that I would one day work in this position, nor did I ever specifically plan it. But I am very happy it worked out this way!

I look forward to many more projects with Motel One. With us, you definitely don’t get bored quickly.

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Would you like to start your career at Motel One like Katrin?

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