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Michaela Smith

Area Director of Sales and Marketing
InterContinental Osaka

Date of birth: Oct. 30, 1974

Hometown: Nova Dubnica, Slovakia

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 1.5 (as of June 2018)

Michaela Smith
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I don’t believe in coincidences. In 2014, my husband and I visited Japan on holiday and we stayed at the InterContinental Osaka where my husband gave me a ring for my 40th birthday during breakfast at Noka. Three years later, I came back, this time as a member of the team. There was clearly some sense of destiny for me with Japan and this hotel.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

I don’t have one single motto in life, as things keep changing and evolving. I believe it is our duty to give back, to leave a legacy and to contribute. That is what I am trying to achieve through my work and in my personal life.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

Without a single second of hesitation, it’s seeing my teams grow. I love watching young people take initiative, think for themselves, come out of their shells, develop creative ideas and express their points of view. That has always been my biggest thrill and has given me a sense of satisfaction and achievement. When the team thrives, results will always follow.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

I have fallen in love with Japan. Its energy is unbelievably strong, yet soothing, and I am keen to absorb as much as I can. I feel extremely at home and realize every single day how lucky I am to have the opportunity to experience this great country and its people. At this point in my life, I want to enjoy every day as it comes and stay present.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Every person is different. We all have different ways of adapting, but I recommend to observe and listen first — don’t jump into any actions or conclusions before you understand the culture at least a little bit. Listen to your intuition, take your time, go with the flow, but be yourself at the same time.

Last updated: Sep 7, 2018