Alumni Interview: Caroline Lebourg on Taking Initiative and the Power of Networking

on July 14 | in Alumni Hospitality Industry | by Les Roches | with No Comments

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management alumna Caroline LebourgCaroline Lebourg
Country of origin: France
Les Roches Bluche, Diploma in Hotel Management
Class of 2010
Current role: Yield Executive at ME London

Learning to stay cool under pressure has proven to be a valuable skill for Les Roches Bluche alumna Caroline Lebourg. By the age of 24 — and just a couple years after graduating from Les Roches — Caroline was already working as Deputy Director at Hotel Odyssey (formerly Hotel O), a design boutique hotel in Paris. Now, Caroline is Yield Executive at ME London. Today, she tells us how Les Roches shaped her career.

The beginnings 

In 2011, Caroline began to work at Hotel Odyssey (then Hotel O) as the Renovation Manager and then Opening Receptionist. Ready to tackle challenges head-on, Caroline was soon promoted to the position of Deputy Director, where she oversaw multiple areas of hotel management. With so much responsibility, one of Caroline’s main challenges at the beginning was to be taken seriously for her age, but she quickly overcame that hurdle. In Caroline’s words: “Soon people saw that my age was not a problem — they saw that I delivered good results. In some cases, the lack of experience was an issue, but I just kept going and learning.” Her excellent performance and positive attitude showed that she was ready to handle anything.

Caroline’s hands-on training at Les Roches provided a strong foundation for her career. From on-campus operations to internships and the IP Project, Caroline says, “Les Roches helped me learn how to stay organized and calm while handling stressful situations. The school has made me the person I am today — hard working, open-minded and attentive to details — all those little things make a big difference in this very competitive world.” Through her experiences at Les Roches, Caroline also developed her sense of confidence and can-do attitude: “The Les Roches experience as a whole taught me to be adventurous and not be scared of trying new experiences, and this is something that really helps when working in stressful environments.”

New horizons

Looking for a new challenge, Caroline changed Paris for London and worked as the Opening Manager at The Exhibitionist Hotel before landing her current job as Yield Executive at ME London.

Caroline’s Les Roches connections helped her make the jump — in fact, it was Caroline’s ex-roommate at Les Roches, Nicole Neves, who introduced her to the manager. Working in the field of revenue, the role was an opportunity for Caroline to grow professionally in an area that she already enjoyed. Caroline says, “In my previous positions, I was working in a lot of areas at the same time. After seeing different departments, I was able to find the one that interests me the most — revenue. Now, I am narrowing it down and choosing depending on the opportunities to grow in this field.”

For Caroline, the highlight of her career so far has been the opening of two hotels. She fondly remembers “the thrill of preparing everything, creating the strategy, the design, the concept and making sure everything will be ready on time for the first guest to arrive — but also the stress of seeing the reaction, to know if everything is going to work properly.” Managing a hotel opening isn’t for everyone, though. As Caroline says, it’s a job that requires giving 100%:

It is such a demanding challenge. You need to be able to do everything, from changing a door lock to ordering the cheese for breakfast, to managing your housekeeping staff and yielding.

Wherever Caroline decides to go next, she knows that she can count on her Les Roches family. A very active alumna, Caroline frequently hosts alumni reunions now that she is based in London. She says, “I cannot stress enough the importance of networking with other alumni. I am in charge with Nicole of the Les Roches Alumni group here in London, and we try to organize an event every three to four months to encourage alumni to meet up and help each other. The Les Roches network can really open doors, and this is true all over the world.”

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