Rina Teoh is the Executive Director of the Edison George Town, an award-winning luxury hotel on the Pearl of the Orient. Since opening its doors in July 2016, The Edison George Town has continued to redefine the boutique hotel experience.
It is Rina’s first flagship hotel under the ET Group but she knows not to take things for granted since stepping up to the role. A true blue Penangite, Rina and her husband have spent their careers in the hospitality industry, boasting more than five decades of experience together. They now focus on management, hospitality consultancy and development under the ET Group umbrella.
How have you adapted to life in the new normal?
As we all know, a lot has changed and will continue to change in all aspects of life. By accepting the reality with a positive attitude, I believe I can adapt to changes quite well. It’s all in the mindset; once we stop lamenting about the inconvenience brought upon by the pandemic, we learn to be more versatile. There’s a Chinese proverb that I truly believe in: “When all means are exhausted, changes are therefore necessary; once changes have been made, solution emerges”. Hence, change should be seen as an opportunity for growth and dealing with changes is a theme we should embrace throughout life.
What has been the biggest lesson learnt during the pandemic?
I have stepped up my efforts in adopting technology – any apps and tools that are essential for times like these. I have come to recognise the importance of appreciating what’s around us – the idea of “stop and smell the roses!” In terms of work, I am constantly reviewing the current business model, seeing if there are ways to be more innovative to withstand challenging times like this.
How do you achieve a work-life balance?
I think work-life balance is a myth, but it is also an aspiration that everyone is working towards. Again, I think it is all in one’s mindset and attitude. There’s no definition of a perfect work-life balance; all I can say is if you love what you do, then it doesn’t feel like work.
Honestly, you can’t have it all; trying to squeeze both work and life into the overpacked container that is your day is just not realistic. However, if you can utilise today’s technology, then it definitely offers a potential solution. With proper planning, you would be able to set yourself up for an easier workday.
What advice would you give to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
The hospitality industry is where you have a chance to grow personally and professionally. For me, it renders me dynamic possibilities to grow within the industry. It may sound cliché but it is a career that involves diligence and patience, but also delivers a lot of fun from socialising and networking.
The excitement about working in hospitality is when the work you do for others is appreciated; it is a great feeling knowing that you’ve just made someone’s day. To me, the greatest job satisfaction comes from providing happy and memorable experiences for my guests.
What is your beauty routine like?
Cleansing is key; I always ensure thorough cleaning before I moisturise in the morning and evening. Hydration by drinking lots of fluid throughout the day is absolutely critical for me – I try to keep to a schedule of drinking water every two hours.
What are your must-have products?
I am usually skewed toward organic and natural products. For skincare, I use Aesop Parsley Seed Serum and REN Vitamin C Gel Cream. I also like NARS concealer (which hides every imperfection), Chanel Stylo Yeux Eyeliner and LeLabo Santal 33 fragrance.
Away from work, what forms of wellness do you indulge in?
Getting more rest, music, massage, a healthy diet and occasionally binge-watching shows helps to take the stress away from my daily work and being a working mother of two. I tried to pick up a hobby to ‘take my mind off work’ – but that took up even more time that I don’t have! Perhaps I will give that a try again later in time.
What are your goals for the rest of 2021?
This will be a year to rebuild. As we ease into the new normal, it is time for picking up the pieces, rebuilding something better and being more connected with the new way of life. It is also time for reinvention to test out new, brave and innovative ideas.
Myeppo Talks To… is a new weekly series in which we profile dynamic personalities. It will be out every Monday. For more on Rina, follow her @rteoh10 on Instagram.