Could you tell us why you decided to study at Vatel?
Vatel Switzerland was a great match for me – it perfectly combined both – the Swiss well reputed hospitality education + an international environment, being part of a larger group of hotel schools. I believe what was of most interest to me was the fact that you can do another semester abroad in any other Vatel school while still maintaining the same syllabus or standards. The syllabus itself was also one of the decision factors that influenced me.
So, you would say that Vatel lived up to your expectations?
It definitely did! Looking back now, I realise how valuable and helpful was combining both worlds of hospitality – theory and practice.
Where did you do your practical application work and internships?
I have started with an internship in F&B during my first year in a Relais & Chateaux Hotel – Grand Hotel du Lac - and chose to experience a guest relations role during my second year in Le Royal Monceau Raffles, one of the few “Palace” hotels in Paris.
Can you tell us in detail what you do then?
During my time in F&B I had experienced the long shifts and hectic working hours in service, while combining all F&B outlets – from service in a Michelin / Gault-Millau awarded restaurants, bar management, room service and maybe one of my favorites – banquet functions/ weddings. It was everything from polishing glasses and cutleries, ironing table cloths or being a runner/Commis to learning how to do craft cocktails as well as the proper service etiquette and sequence in a fine dining environment.
The second year was a bit more “glamorous” as I was working into a department that had to ensure that all VIP and guests in general are well-looked after. I was overly excited most days as we always had big name celebrities and I got to prepare their arrival/room or experience based on their personal preferences and even meet them in person!
What do you think of Vatel opening in Bahrain?
Given that the Middle East in general is a place that is on the map now more than never before (especially in terms of hospitality) I think it is a perfect match. We are waiting for an opening in Dubai now. J
How will you qualify the Hospitality & Tourism sector in the Middle East?
A rollercoaster of experiences. With so many different hotels (from resorts on man-made islands or in Burj Khalifa itself up to the one and only “7 star” hotel in the world) you get unlimited options as a traveler. That’s when we come into place in order to make sure the experiences offered are unique. Taking Dubai as an example, where we have more than 115,000 hotel keys, I would say this is one of the best places you develop yourself and grow in the industry - by learning how to differentiate in a very competitive environment and constantly coming up with out-of-the-box or new ideas.