Ingabire has bagged about 25 years of wealthy experience, having started working at a tender age of 18.
The mother of three is the current Director of Human Resources at Kigali Marriott Hotel; previously she was occupying the position of Human Resources Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel & Kigali Convention Centre. This makes her one of the few Rwandan women to have been trusted with such an important position in two distinguished hotels in Rwanda.
Ingabire was born in the city of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, from where she pursued her primary and secondary education in Literature, with focus in philosophy and Latin.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Universite Libre de Kigali (ULK), and she will soon be completing her Master’s program in Business Administration with focus in Human Resources at the Adventists University of Central Africa.
Growing up, Ingabire was very passionate about reading and writing and she always pressed her parents to tell her bedtime stories; this passion turned into her becoming an author of two books that are now on the market.
In the past 25 years, she has worked with nine employers. She joined Kigali Marriott Hotel on the 10th, December 2018 after a stint of two years with Radisson Blu.
Ingabire told IGIHE that she has not yet fully explored the depths of Human Resources Management but she is steadily walking the path towards the same.
She shares the journey of her career, giving insights and advice to those interested in working in the hospitality industry.
IGIHE: could you share with us your journey as a professional in this field?
Ingabire: I got my first permanent job in the Ocir Thé where I worked as a secretary in the Human Resources Department, after my temporary job with WFP. After six months, I relocated to what was then the Electrogaz working in the stores of Electrical and Plumber Equipment.
I was later appointed to different positions at Eletrogaz in Finance department, Human resources, Archives, and credit department among others.
Nine years later I was introduced to Global Fund, then left and joined UNICEF for a temporary contract as a Junior consultant working with a team that was studying the most effective way of removing children from the streets, and the Management of Excellence.
When did you start Human Resources Management as a career?
It was in 2005 when I joined Rwandamotor, which was my first time working as a Head of Human Resources. I worked there for eight years and a half; I learned a great deal as it gave me time to get familiar with all Human Resources Functions.
I left Rwandamotor when I joined Plan International, then Radisson Blu & Kigali Convention Centre in 2016. That is when I was introduced to the hospitality Industry.
How did you join Kigali Marriott Hotel?
I joined Marriott as the Senior Human Resources Manager and after five months I was fortunate enough to be promoted to the Director of the Human Resources Department. I have 25-years working experience, 15 of which are in human resources management.
I do not shy away from change. I have worked in many places and in a way I think that you can’t grow if you are not curious about how other places operate.
What benefits have you got working for two of the best hotels in Rwanda?
Working in five-star hotels opens many doors, and also teaches you a great deal. It is not easy but I have gained a lot of experience, from work ethics to dealing will all sorts of people. It is indeed a great experience!
How does it feel being the link between employers and employees?
The person in charge of Human Resources has to look at industrial relations from two perspectives in the process of making two parties work mutually for optimal results. You have to remain impartial at all cost; delivering great service to both parties. Understanding employee’s feelings, putting yourself in their shoes so as to solve their problems better; and also thinking as the business owner and finding the best solution even though there are times you cannot please everyone.
This is no easy task, but that is our responsibility. When you have executed well your work it makes your decision making easier.
After working hours what else do you love to spend time doing?
After I have taken care of my family, I enjoy writing. I have already published two books; the first was published in 2012 it is called ‘Le Bonheur Retrouvé’.
I first thought that writing was reserved to a certain kind of people, until I wrote something and shared it with my brother and he was impressed. Six months later my book was placed in the Multicom Publishing House and was accepted there and published. In 2018, AfricAvenir Editions in Cameroun read the book and decided to buy it as well made its second publication.
My second book was for children with the title ‘Urukwavu Rwanjye Rwiza’ meaning my beautiful bunny; it was published on the market by School Books Distributors (SBD) in 2016.
What is your advice for those that are interested in working in the hospitality Industry?
Working in the hospitality sector is good; you find great satisfaction even as you welcome a guest, and of course the thrill of meeting new people every day. It is an industry full of opportunities, growth and not limited to one country but global.
What are your plans for the future in this area?
I see far beyond where I am right now; I still have so many things to do. I want to progress so much so that as I retire I will have gotten experiences not only from here at Kigali Marriott Hotel but elsewhere around the world as well. Also would like the opportunity to share my experience and inspire the youth as something I do before retirement.
Patience and teamwork are the foundation of all that I have achieved so far and I believe that anyone can do it if they work with commitment.