What did you do before attending Vatel?
I did general economic and social studies when I was in high school. Then after that, a two year university degree in Applied Foreign Languages in English and Spanish. And then I enrolled in Vatel in Paris.
Because of their “R & D”! Reputation and Discipline! Those are the two main reasons why I chose Vatel. After that, it was for the right balance of 50% of theory and 50% of practical work. And we need those practical applications in our field if we want to manage a team one day.
What do you remember the most about when you attended Vatel? A story to tell?
What is really strong at Vatel is this feeling of belonging. And this feeling is strengthened by our teachers and the administrative personnel - here I’m particularly referring to Mrs. Pouzet who was so kind - and how they are always available to listen to any issues students might be having.
My two best friends are from my days at Vatel. We regularly keep in touch. We talk about how things were back at school, especially the kitchen rush, and when we were waitresses in the Paris Application Restaurant.
Could you tell us about something that was done or said while you were attending Vatel (either in your theoretical and practical courses or during an internship) that still influences you today in your professional life?
I particularly remember five tips that Vatel teachers gave me before I left to do my first internship:
Before the internship:
1- Always remember that you’re working in hospitality: making other people happy and helping them out.
2- Being nice, a good person and professional are key qualities you need to succeed in this field.
During your internship:
3- Never forget that you start building your resume as soon as you start doing your first internship.
After your internship:
4- Don’t leave without any new references.
5- Stay in touch with your managers / internship mentors.
What have you done since you graduated? What opportunities have you had?
First of all I spent two years in the Worldwide Hilton Group in London in the framework of an “International Hotel Management Program” which allowed be to become Reservations Manager of this 500 room hotel, the Hilton Gatwick Airport.
Then in 2001, I started my career at 1,850 meters above sea level, at Courchevel. I was the Sales and Reservations Manager of the five-star hotel, Le Lana. Then I got my first job as a Hotel Manager at the New Solarium Hotel which is a part of the Lodges & Mountain Hotels Group. I managed it for four years before being appointed Sales and Marketing Manager of the Lodges & Mountain Hotels and the Hotels & Altitude Group. Since 2012, I have been the General Manager of both of these groups.
Could you describe your job today?
The “Lodges & Mountain Hotels” and “Hotels & Altitude” include 380 employees who work in eight three and four-star hotels in seven ski resorts in the French Alps and in Austria.
My missions as General Manager consist of determining strategic choices and axes of development for these hotels by leading the steering committee:
- Customer Satisfaction
- Monthly Operational Reporting,
Administration and Finances:
- Monthly Financial Reporting,
Sales and Marketing:
- Defining our sales strategy: pricing, yield, sales conditions, networks and methods of distribution, market choice, publicity and promotion budgets;
- Defining our marketing strategy: rolling out new productions, adapting or abandoning existing ones, and implementing all of this.
It’s a very complete “global” job, which uses a host of different skills. It requires multi-skilled working as well as a lot of flexibility. Here I am thinking of how we manage our seasonal employees. This is the type of challenge that interests me.