(function(w,d,s,l,i){w[l]=w[l]||[];w[l].push({'gtm.start': new Date().getTime(),event:'gtm.js'});var f=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], j=d.createElement(s),dl=l!='dataLayer'?'&l='+l:'';j.async=true;j.src= 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtm.js?id='+i+dl;f.parentNode.insertBefore(j,f); })(window,document,'script','dataLayer','GTM-NVDHXNLP');

Portico Spotlight: Natasha Draper West, Operations Manager at Portico

To celebrate National Careers Week, we recently sat down with Natasha Draper West, Operations Manager at Portico, to explore her journey so far and her experience at Portico. From her start as a Front of House Manager at PwC to her current role overseeing multiple locations, Natasha's career path exemplifies her dedication to guest services and the space for professional growth within the industry.

Tell us about yourself and your journey leading up to joining Portico.

First, I am a mother. I have a teenage son and a daughter who is 10 years old. They keep me very busy as they are both very active with sports and activities. When my husband and I moved to England the plan was to study at university and head back home….25 years later we are still here! During University and after my studies I worked for Hilton Hotels.

I started in corporate hospitality about 18 years ago at PwC as Front of House Manager. From there my team and I transferred to Portico. I really loved being on-site and looking after the service and my team, but the chance to move around and support multiple locations really attracted me to the role of Operations Manager. I love my job and the opportunities that working for Portico gives. All of this contributes to fostering a wonderful work/life balance that allows me to be the best mother I can be whilst having a fulfilling career.

How did it feel moving from a small Caribbean Island and settling in England?

Actually, the only daunting part was navigating the underground/tube system. Trinidad and Tobago have a very cosmopolitan culture. The islands were colonised by the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, so our culture is flavoured with varying ethnic groups. Our industry and culture at Portico are similar concerning our diverse teams. I am happy with how our Senior Leaders have invested in ensuring that our work environment is aware of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

What advice would you give to someone joining Portico?

As an Operations Manager, my best advice for someone joining Portico would be to grab every opportunity to enhance and build on your skills and knowledge. Our fantastic L&D department offers courses and learning opportunities for all levels and most importantly abilities! Don’t be afraid to share your ideas, meet other Portico families outside of your own on-site family and just be the best you!

How has your role evolved since you joined the company? Have there been any significant changes or growth opportunities?

I started my journey with Portico being an onsite manager, I was encouraged to broaden my skills by joining the operations management team, I worked regionally and also had London-based sites. Alongside being an Operations Manager I was very interested in Coaching and Mentoring, and I was offered the opportunity to study for a Level 5 Accreditation in Coaching by my line manager Hanna Barrett, Director, Operations. I am now using my coaching and mentoring skills and I am grateful for this opportunity.

What is one thing few people know about you? 

I was once a Lifeguard.

What’s your favourite spot in London and why? 

Needless to say, Notting Hill is the home of Notting Hill Carnival, the smell of food….not just from the Caribbean but all over the world, all races living together to enjoy music, dance and have a great time…. just like home!