People of Alabama: Daniela Yunker of Spanish Fort

People of Alabama: Daniela Yunker of Spanish Fort
Daniela Yunker came to Mobile to work in the hospitality industry and is staying to become a teacher. (Tamika Moore / People of Alabama)

What brought you to Alabama?

“When I was about to finish hospitality management college in Germany, I went to a job fair. There were a bunch of Marriott properties, and they were all doing presentations about their hotels. I did an interview with PCH Hotels and Resorts, and they offered me the job. I went into hospitality management because I wanted to travel the world. I figured that was the perfect job to have to travel because once you work in a hotel, you can work anywhere. I lived in Spain for a little bit, then in Switzerland, then I came here. I decided to go to an English-speaking country. A lot of my friends were like, “Why don’t you go to New York, or a really cool city,” but I just always thought that the South was cool. I’m from the south of Germany, so I figured it was similar – you know, people just being a little more laid back, a little bit more relaxed. I really think that the people are just so friendly, and I really love that. You’ve made me feel right at home. That Southern hospitality, that’s a real thing and I love it.” – Daniela Yunker, of Spanish Fort, at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel.

Yunker is originally from Ulsenheim, Germany. Although she has loved working in hospitality, she is leaving the industry to teach German at the Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies in Mobile.

“I’m really excited about starting my teaching career. It’s exactly the school that I wanted to go to with all the history and the beautiful building and it being a magnet school for advanced world studies. I’m a little bit nervous because I’ll be a new teacher, so I don’t have a lot of materials I can look back on. It will be stressful I’m sure, but also rewarding,” she said.

Daniela Yunker moved to Alabama from Germany and is preparing to change careers in the Port City. (Tamika Moore / People of Alabama)

One lesson she’ll take with her from her years in hospitality is kindness.

“Be kind. Be kind to people because even if someone is being mean or grumpy to you, a lot of times they have a reason for that. They are not just being mean and grumpy just because. Kindness is refreshing for a lot of people. When you treat them with kindness, even if they are being mean and grumpy, it always comes back around,” she said. She also feels it’s important to “don’t quit on yourself and never give up.”

These are the faces and stories of people from all walks of life who call Alabama home. People of Alabama is a Red Clay Media and Alabama NewsCenter partnership.

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