Growing up, Victoria Peterson was set on becoming a journalist. However, while she was studying at university, she found PR and marketing far more appealing, prompting her to change paths. After graduating, Peterson worked in a number of marketing roles and was fortunate to be exposed to a few different industries, from super yachts, to finance and behavioural strategy.
Eventually, she scored a role working in her dream industry – hotels and travel. For Peterson, travel has always been in her blood as she moved countries frequently in her childhood. Some of Peterson’s earliest memories were spent in the U.K hotel her parents owned. She remembers fondly sitting by the hotel bar with her father teaching her how to throw and catch peanuts in her mouth, helping fold napkins in the restaurant and helping the chambermaids make up the rooms.
Securing her first hotel role with InterContinental Hotels Group, Peterson has now worked in the hotel industry for nearly a decade. Currently, she is the director of marketing communications at The Langham, Gold Coast.
“Hotels are addictive – the fun, the challenges, the perks, the intricacies, the clientele we are home to. If I stop to think, sometimes it blows my mind with what we get to do,” said Peterson.
Women leaders, regardless of their background or discipline, who have the time for others are huge inspirations for Peterson.
“But also, women leaders who have a marketing background. They are really inspiring as there aren’t as many pathways for women marketers past a certain point, or the roles are less at a senior leadership level.”
She cites Karin Sheppard from IHG as someone she admires greatly, as well as her current boss, Nick Clarke.
“He is someone I hold great admiration for as he is such a supporter and advocate for women in business. He is also a leader that is progressive and understands the importance and impact of marketing communications.”
If Peterson could give a piece of advice to her younger self, it would be to stand strong on her career vision, while remaining open-minded to new skills and gaining exposure in other areas.
“Say yes to opportunities and figure the rest out later. You can never have too many skills. Sometimes long-term loyalty doesn’t pay off and you have to move out to progress up, but in the same breath, don’t move around too much.”
Her words of wisdom for other marketers and women leaders is to be authentic.
“You don’t have to be a ‘hard-arse’ to be a leader. Make sure you’re kind to everyone, from cleaners to CEOs.”