Shirmeen Ibrahim – Hotel Manager at Maagiri Hotel

Shirmeen Ibrahim is the Hotel Manager at Maagiri Hotel, a leading city hotel located conveniently in the heart of Male’. Our team had a chat with Shirmeen to find out more about her initial foray into hospitality, the challenges she’s faced along the way, and her outlook on life as a successful working mother.

Could you tell us a bit about your career thus far?

I started my career at Food Safety Asia back in 2005 as a Health and Safety Consultant and Trainer, during the start of the company. I liked my work, especially the many journeys back and forth to various resort islands with beautiful environments and concepts, helmed by different teams. The local staff members were from varying atolls, so it was an experience in itself to interact with the staff as well as the guests from all over the world with distinct spoken languages, from all walks of life.

I got inspired with a creative impulse of optimism to develop a viable business and be independent rather than interdependent, which paved the way to open and manage a guest house as well as a restaurant. At the beginning of 2017, I joined the Maagiri project unhesitatingly when I got the opportunity, during the preopening stage as well as after the opening as Operations Manager. Due to the assumed results, at present, my title is Hotel Manager.

What drew you to hospitality? Did you face any challenges initially?

I enjoy meeting people from various cultures and mannerisms, who are willing to impart different stories of life and work related to their particular designation. With its endless opportunities, where better can one meet and greet other than in the hospitality industry?

As a working mother, how do you maintain a work-life balance?

There is never an easy way to maintain a balance for a working mother. One has to be very focused and pay particular attention, as all chores of work and life are priorities. Thus, we have to shuffle and commute, and just do what one has got to do at the relevant time and situation. However, if one knows how to preplan the day ahead meticulously, barring an unexpected incident, one can achieve a fulfilling day. I am able to maintain open communication with my employer and am therefore blessed to have the flexibility to attend to my family’s needs too.

What do you consider to be your greatest personal achievement?

Considering personal achievements, during my time at Food Safety Asia I trained many staff members from various resorts with remarkable and outstanding results, which is a noteworthy achievement. Moreover, the input and effort from my team members at Maagiri Hotel have been recognized and awarded in the industry within a few years of operation. Now, Maagiri is among the best hotels, if not the best, and that is a big source of pride.

In your opinion, what can we do to encourage higher participation of women in this field?

In this prevailing time and age, when women are in the line to become prime ministers, presidents and chancellors, let alone women who are travelling to the moon as astronauts, remember there is no field that women cannot compete Whether it’s hospitality, education, caring and humanity, business, or any hive of industry and profession, there’s simply nothing women cannot do. And remarkably, we are better at multitasking too.

Do you have any words of advice for those who want to succeed in hospitality?

Living as your authentic self will help you find more meaning and live a fuller life. If you refuse to follow your dreams in fear of what others may think, you are far more likely to regret what they did not do than what they did. Visualize your future, acknowledge your past, use your inner support system and manage your time. It is essential to remember that it is all about you and push yourself to the end even if you encounter failures to reach your goal without an ultimatum. Never give up on your dreams — put your best foot forward, be courageous and be worthy of yourself.