Alumni interview: The fast track to success

on February 23 | in Alumni Hospitality Industry | by Les Roches | with No Comments

Stefan Schreier Les Roches International School of Hotel Management alumnusStefan Schreier’s passion for hospitality came really from his roots – his dual nationality (Guatemalan/Swiss) which saw him often travelling to and from his home base in Guatemala to visit family in Switzerland and the U.S. The glitz and glamour of the hotel world fascinated and inspired him to make it a vocational calling.

When talking to Stefan about why he chose to study at Les Roches he evokes the impression of community spirit and a sense of a strong family bond that reassured him and his parents in their decision that this was the best place to optimise his learning. That and the cultural diversity that Les Roches offered by way of its student body, faculty and career opportunities.

“I still appreciate this decision today. I am truly grateful to Les Roches for giving me a great preparation for the industry”. The most valuable and relevant lesson that Stefan learnt at Les Roches and that has remained with him through his career in the industry is the importance of practical experience

to be a manager of people you need to have a sound understanding of their job. This only comes from experience

Thus he places considerable importance on the need for a hospitality education in order to success in the hotel industry.

After graduating in 2004, Stefan joined the Starwood Management Training Program “Vita Futura” providing him with a platform to explore and confirm his passion for marketing. Once his training completed he rapidly progressed in his career with Starwood building a solid and varied expertise in Marketing, starting as Online Marketing Manager in the Arabella Golf and Spa Resort, progressing to Marketing Manager and subsequently Director of Marketing at the W Barcelona.

Stefan’s aim was to secure a position in the corporate office within 10 years from the start of his international career. A goal which he has clearly realized, with his current position as Associate Director of Digital Brand Strategy for Le Méridien and Westin, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Throughout his career he has made sure that every role he applied for and accepted has lead him to where he is now. Hard work, dedication and networking are what he accredits his achievement to. His advice to graduates looking to follow in his footsteps and achieve his success,

Make sure to be consistent in your approach and career goal. Always look for a role thinking two steps ahead. Ask yourself how will this job help you prepare for the next and ultimately your dream job

 The most challenging task of his current job? Making sure that all stakeholders have an understanding of and are in line with the corporate strategies and objectives. Everyone has different priorities and agendas; this teamed with cultural differences make coordination and communication vital skills to his work.

His next step? “My dream job is to become a CMO. However I also understand the importance of upgrading my education to remain competitive in the industry so I would say an MBA is definitely on the cards as some point in the not to distance future”.

Stefan believes that working with different cultures and getting to understand them through an international career in Europe and the US has been a defining theme in both his personal and professional development. His thoughts on Les Roches branching out to the US,

Switzerland is the founder of hospitality dating back to the times of Cesar Ritz but many of the biggest hospitality companies nowadays are in North America or Asia. Les Roches is clearly identifying this trend and making sure its branching out to these important markets. Les Roches Chicago will be a great option for North, Central and South American students wanting to receive world-class education closer to home

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