Kids’ Club Manager at Emerald Maldives Resort and Spa
Hotel Insider visits Raa Atoll to meet with Mushla Ahmed, a young, up-and-coming kids’ club manager at Emerald Maldives Resort and Spa since the resort opened in December 2019.
Mushla is a middle child and reserved but she loves being around children regardless of age and nationality. Initially, she joined as an attendant but her talent was recognised by the resort and she was soon promoted to assistant manager. She doesn’t believe you need to master languages to keep children entertained. Enjoy the read.
Hotel Insider: Thank you for this opportunity, Mushla. Can we talk a bit about your background, what you wanted to do when you finished school?
Mushla Ahmed: Thank you. I studied science actually, you know how we had to choose a ‘stream’ after finishing grade seven, right? At first, I wanted to be a nurse. I had planned on doing nursing school after I did my O’Levels, but it didn’t happen. And I was at loss as to what I wanted to do.
Hotel Insider: What made you decide on a career in hospitality?
Mushla Ahmed: It happened quite by chance. I got an opportunity to work at the kids’ club at Niyama through a friend of mine. It was a temporary job and it was very close to my island Kudahuvadhoo. My friend asked me to come help her out and I thought ‘why not’. I had absolutely no idea what went on at a resort, nothing. I remember my roommate saying that first day, ‘let’s go get some food’ and I said ‘oh but I don’t have any money!’ [laughs]
Hotel Insider: [laughs] Sounds pretty fun.
Mushla Ahmed: It was a life changing experience for me.
Hotel Insider: How would you describe the work-environment there?
Mushla Ahmed: It was good, everybody was very nice and we had great teamwork. It was also a huge change in what I was accustomed to back home. I am not an extrovert, at least I wasn’t, I would usually just go to school, attend tuition classes and come stay at home. But it was so different here. Back home, I would try to see myself doing something, like as a career, and it was very difficult to visualise. The time at Niyama really sharpened my focus and I could finally see myself doing this.
Hotel Insider: What was the most significant change you noticed in yourself?
Mushla Ahmed: I used to be pretty introverted but I think it made me less anxious in social settings and helped me a lot in dealing with different kinds of people. Parents were entrusting their kids to me. It was a massive responsibility, they had to be looked after very well and it takes a lot of care and attention.
Hotel Insider: How long were you at Niyama?
Mushla Ahmed: Around a month. I came back to Kudahuvadhoo in January, I was really too young to get a job because I was only 17 years old. I worked as a cashier at a shop and I started meeting a lot of people. Like I met people who’d come to open Kandima and that was the first time I’d heard of it [laughs]. Then I got an opportunity to work at Kihaa Maldives in Baa atoll but my family wasn’t so happy with the idea of me going and working so far away from them.
Hotel Insider: But they were OK with you working at a resort?
Mushla Ahmed: At first, they were not because they didn’t have a good understanding of the resort environment. So, I had to say no to Kihaa’s offer. Then, my family sort of became OK with the idea and wanted me to look for something in Dhaalu Atoll. No one else in my family works at a resort. I think there are only three girls on my island who are resort workers. Guys work at resorts but the rules are different for us, you know. Anyway, I got a job in Kandima, at their kids’ club and I had a good manager, so things were looking up for me.
Hotel Insider: What surprised you most about working in an environment like this?
Mushla Ahmed: I think it’s the fact that there are so many opportunities at a resort, so much more than people have ever let on. Like in our society, you’re judged by the grades you get at school. You’d be completely marginalised if you didn’t get good grades. What resorts have taught me is that academic qualifications aren’t necessarily the only path to success. There are so many skills out there to be learnt and mastered that will definitely help you become successful.
Hotel Insider: We also wanted to ask you what it’s like working with kids of so many different nationalities.
Mushla Ahmed: It’s not as difficult as you might think. You’d be surprised at how much non-verbal communication can help you out. In general, it’s pretty fun and activity filled – we have so many things lined up for each day, from cooking classes to painting with henna, which parents also love.
Hotel Insider: That’s great. So, what do you think you’ll do a few years from now
Mushla Ahmed: I see myself in this department, growing and learning. There’s always new research in this area, new things happening. Some people might think it’s a bit strange, sticking to this when there are all these other, bigger departments like F&B or housekeeping or front office. But I love this job and my work is greatly appreciated, especially by our GM. So, yes, this is where I’ll be.