• Maria Jose Velez Arango

Change: the One Constant

As part of a new series of reflections on working in hospitality, we hear from Maria Jose Velez Arango, who is about to move to Whistler, BC for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Maria Jose Velez Arango

The hotel industry is an extremely immersive and challenging field in which being genuine, caring, passionate, and emotionally intelligent are basically the keys to success, but what most of us don't realize is it requires a very unique trait, maybe you don't even notice as you utilize it daily, and that is adaptability. Not only do we find our way through understanding and quickly feeling comfortable with building relationships with a vast quantity of guests, but we are able to immerse, explore and master different cities, countries, cultures, and job titles every couple of years. It seems one reason why we are able to make our guests feel at home when they visit is because we are able to make ourselves feel that we belong wherever we go.

Every move is a new opportunity to see life through different eyes, see yourself how you had never seen yourself before, meet people you never thought you would, and find inspiration in the most unexpected situations.

Many would feel that those who work in the hotel industry live a very nomadic lifestyle, but only when you are in it do you understand how lucky you are. Not only do you have unforgettable stories and life experiences to tell in every place you worked but you also have a borrowed family that will always remain. Every move is a new opportunity to see life through different eyes, see yourself how you had never seen yourself before, meet people you never thought you would, and find inspiration in the most unexpected situations.


I believe that there is a unique beauty to everything we do, but the hotel industry truly stands out for showing us all how incredible things can turn out to be when there is constant change. In the end, even when we fear change or feel uncomfortable with it, we learn to embrace it and get surprised by how much we were missing.


Maria Jose Velez Arango is a recent Master's graduate of the FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. She has been working for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in Surfside Florida as a management trainee and is moving to Whistler, BC with the company.