Country of Origin: Kazakhstan
Les Roches Jin Jiang International School of Hotel Management, Class of 2013
Current role: Account Manager, Procter & Gamble, Moscow
When Nargiz Sagitova accepted her current job at Procter and Gamble (P&G) in Moscow, she did not expect to stay for much longer than a year. As a native of Kazakhstan and a graduate of Les Roches Jin Jiang, she had held internships in Shanghai and Doha (Qatar) and was, she admits, “addicted to travel and adventure.”
“I thought it would be a temporary situation, but I was surprised by how much I loved it,” she says. “I’d been looking for a dynamic international place and Moscow is very progressive.” Nargiz’s trajectory to Moscow began when she accepted a job with the company of a relative in the fashion business. She soon felt a need to expand her scope and learned of an internship at P&G.
“It was unlike a typical situation in that the interns were given a lot of responsibility,” she recalls. “It was a better outlet for my experience and qualifications: I was able to learn a different field from scratch while starting a new job.”
Nargiz’s previous roles were more traditional hospitality positions: one as a finance and rooms trainee at the Ritz Carlton Doha, where she was quickly promoted to front desk concierge for clients in the Club Lounge. She also had the remarkable experience of getting her very first job – a food and beverage internship — at the World’s Fair: in Shangai during Expo 2010. Both these positions were internships she performed while earning her degree at Les Roches.
“That is what I like most about Les Roches,” she says.
At graduation you already have serious work experience on your resume. You are prepared to take a professional role, which gives you an advantage over other students.
In her current job, she has numerous responsibilities — joint business planning, ads, promo plans and client prospecting, to name a few. But her main focus in everything she does is maintaining good relationships with customers and colleagues.
In this and every previous role, she finds daily reasons to thank Les Roches for the skills that she learned there.
Les Roches gave me the experience and the ability to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures, she observes. “The communication skills that I built there have helped me to understand the needs of my clients at P&G.”
In fact, Nargiz believes that communication is the thing that defines her own diverse career – as well as the hospitality industry in general. “In all the jobs I have had, communication has been at the center,” she says. “And that is true of the jobs that most of my classmates have, whether they’re in banking, consumer goods, hotels, restaurants or real estate. All of these jobs involve dealing with people.
What makes Les Roches unique is that you don’t just get a degree in business; you get the chance to develop excellent communication skills.”
What’s next for Nargiz? Possibly a return to travel and adventure, thanks to a pending promotion at P&G. “In my next role, I could potentially continue my career at P&G in Europe or in Switzerland,” she says. In the long run, she dreams of partnering with her sister, a gifted chef, to open a family-run restaurant in Moscow or Shanghai. But whatever her career takes her, it will always bring her back to Les Roches. “If I had the same decision to make today that I made seven years ago – to enroll at Les Roches – I would do it all over again”
she says. “Without question.”