Peter St Lawrence
Current Employer/Organisation Name
Old Amersham Hotels
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
Career in hotels – first with Intercontinental Hotels in London for 7+ years, then Hilton International in Turkey and Indonesia for another 7+ years, ending as general manager. Came back to the UK in 1998 and went into smaller regional hotels. Started my own business in 2003. Since 2012 am shareholder and director in 2 small hotel companies, with 4 hotels and one wedding venue across the Chilterns and Cotswolds.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
Having done milk round interviews I could not get excited about making widgets or counting pennies. Hospitality is very people focused and I enjoy enabling people to have a good time.
Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?
Played hockey for the University up to UAU 2nd team – the year we won; can’t remember what if any societies I joined. Possibly Plonk Soc.
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
Had a great 3rd year in the French West Indies! Probably enjoyed the French philosophy module the most.
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
Great campus and town to be in. The sports facilities were also good. I made long term friendships there.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
Pretty random to be honest – it was a top 5 university – I applied after A levels as failed Oxbridge, like so many at Exeter in those days! Very glad I went there.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
Interpersonal relations, numeracy, competitiveness.
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
It may not be the most financially rewarding especially early on, but rapid promotion is possible and it offers daily variety – meeting all sorts of people, good and bad. But the chance to put a smile on someone’s face and make their day, or fix their problem – that is a challenge worth taking up.
What are your plans for the future?
Retirement! However, there will be some investment opportunities post Covid so will be a non exec director on the board and see if we can expand our company.