Alumni Interview: Seraina Stadelmann on Why Great Healthcare Needs Hospitality

on June 1 | in Alumni Hospitality Industry | by Les Roches | with No Comments

Name: Seraina Stadelmann
Nationality: Swiss/French
Campus: Les Roches Bluche, BBA in International Hotel Management and BSc in Hospitality Management with specialization in Entrepreneurship, Design and Project Management, with distinctions, 2014
Current job: Training Manager at Swiss Medical Network

At age 26, hospitality management graduate Seraina is already a training manager for almost 3,000 employees. The Swiss-French dual national isn’t working at a five-star hotel, though. Instead, she has taken on this important responsibility at Swiss Medical Network — the second largest network of private clinics in Switzerland.

So what does healthcare have to do with hospitality? We asked Seraina to tell us more about her career in the health and wellness industry.

Landing a Job in the Health Sector

Seraina first came to know of Swiss Medical Network during a career fair held at Les Roches. It was the last semester of her bachelor degree, and she decided to go to the company’s presentation on campus. “I was chosen to do an interview, which went very well. They offered me a job as an HR project manager, so I joined the company in August 2014.”

Fresh out of her undergraduate degree, Seraina thrived in her new job. “My position had just been created, and the company was growing fast. I was in a dynamic environment with lots of projects to handle. Every day was different, and I learned a lot personally and professionally.”

Soon, Seraina was promoted to the role of training manager.

After 11 months, I had the opportunity to create a new department: Swiss Medical Network Academy. Since then, I’ve been running trainings and expanding the team.”

A Dynamic, Interdisciplinary Career

As a training manager, Seraina works with many departments, including areas as diverse as healthcare and food and beverage. Swiss Medical Network has 16 clinics across the country, so Seraina’s language skills, including French and Swiss German, are vital to the job. “I coordinate trainings depending on each department’s needs. In a typical training session, we bring two or three people from each of our clinics together for a one-day workshop, given in French and Italian or German.”

Many of these trainings involve e-learning and digital technology. “Being able to work with digital tech is becoming increasingly important. We’re going paperless as much as possible and adopting the ‘plug and work’ mentality. At work, we don’t have fixed desks — so every day you meet someone new.”

In addition, Seraina also organizes recruitment visits at career fairs and hospitality schools across Switzerland. Finding fresh talent is key to filling the approximately 150 internship and apprenticeship positions available at the company.

Why Healthcare Needs Hospitality

“Whenever my family members come back from the hospital, I always ask them: ‘How was it?’” Today, Seraina sees healthcare through the lens of hospitality. “Healthcare will always be here. But how can you differentiate one clinic from another? Of course, patients expect the best medical services. But besides that, you have hospitality, just like in every hotel, which is equally as important.”

In Seraina’s view, patients should feel satisfied not only with the medical treatment they receive, but with their overall experience.

It is evident that most patients are stressed by their disease, by the uncertainty of the medical results and by the change of professional and private life during their stay in a clinic. With tasty, natural and healthy food, kindness and caring words at the right time, a bright smile of our nurses and first class hospitality services in a nice environment, we try to bring a little sunshine into the lives of our patients. Just like in a good hotel. Our goal is to have patients leave and remember an exclusively comfortable stay. Those are the experiences that can make the difference.

Working to Help Others

Seraina credits her education at Les Roches with preparing her for her current career. “At Les Roches, you really learn how to manage projects, and those project management skills come in handy every day. You also learn how to lead a team, in service or in the kitchen, and that has definitely helped me today.”

Meanwhile, a sense of high standards has also guided Seraina in her mission to combine hospitality and healthcare. “With my experience, I see every detail. If I need to prepare an F&B training, for example, I can spot problems early on.” She adds, “At 15, I knew I wanted to study at Les Roches. I enjoy helping people. For me, healthcare and hospitality is a natural combination — the two share a common goal of customer care.”

To succeed in the health and wellness industry, Seraina believes that it’s important to be “flexible, hardworking, open-minded, pragmatic and ambitious.” At Swiss Medical Network, Seraina says, “You have many opportunities to grow. You shouldn’t hesitate to bring your ideas and put them into action.” The company is often on the lookout for graduates who can speak the national languages of Switzerland — so if your language skills fit, check out their job offers!

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