It feels great to be offered the opportunity to write on this blog, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading my future posts and anecdotes about the Hospitality Industry and the properties I have worked in.
Who am I? Well, most of us “Les Rochians” all had various backgrounds and mine is as follows.
I was born near Paris and when I reached the age of 4 my parents and I moved to live in Hong Kong. Being in such a busy and diverse city was exciting as there were people from all over the world living there. Having a German father and a mother from Thailand, travelling was always part of my life. And little by little came the curiosity of taking photos and being an avid photographer.
First step into medical studies
When I was 13, we had to move back to France and to live in Normandy where my parents had a vacation home. This is where I finished high school and then did my first year of medical studies.
Although medicine is an interest of mine, the way selection is done in France to access second year of that field is incredibly tough. We were a thousand students applying for 1 spot out of 150. And don’t forget all the students that failed their first year and were attempting it once more. That wasn’t for me in the end.
Looking for my real passion
I then took some time to reflect on what career path I should choose, and decided to work for the summer on a French ferry cruising between Normandy-Brittany-England.
Crossing the Channel every 6 hours with almost 2,000 passengers on board was a great way to try something intensive and interesting. Meeting people all the time and assisting them in their journey to and from their vacation was something that felt natural to me.
So I was thinking that working in the Hospitality Industry would be something to try out.
Having visited close to a dozen hotel schools in Switzerland, my first visit to Les Roches was where I felt most at ease with the students, teachers as well as the surrounding.
And after my first semester there, I felt confidence settling in me in both my grades and moral. My high school days were fun, but my grades and success of passing courses with comfort were low. Being in the Hospitality Industry felt natural, comfortable and like the start of a new life.
I chose the Entrepreneurship stream of the Bachelor of Business Administration in Hotel Management. I graduated in June 2010 with Honors and Merit.
I made the most of my internships to travel even more across the globe and go for dream destinations: Provence in southern France (Receptionist, Concierge and Guest Services Agent at the Four Seasons), Bora Bora in French Polynesia (Assistant Guest Services Manager at the Four Seasons) and Damascus in Syria (Rooms Division MIT at the Four Seasons).
Ready to travel the world
After my internships and the start of the Arab Spring in Damascus, it was time to choose a new destination and continue my career. As it happens, the only options available were to go to Singapore or to the Maldives. I was thinking that I have missed the islands, the sun and the beach, and that I could do Singapore in the future. But the Maldives? Now is the time to take the opportunity and go to another Paradise with Four Seasons as an Assistant Housekeeping Manager.
After being there for a year, and having transferred as an Assistant Front Office Manager as well during my time there, I wanted to take a drastic change and see how other hotel groups make it in the industry.
I found an interesting opportunity in Bangkok with a Thai group where they owned and managed 4 properties. I was posted to be in their corporate offices in charge for Guest Services and Reception creating policies and procedures. However I found out quickly where I wanted to be and it was definitely not in an office.
So I decided to change my path and head back to the operational side of a hotel because meeting and interacting with guests is where I feel most comfortable.
I took the opportunity to work with Mandarin Oriental in Geneva as an Assistant Front Office Manager. I was back in Switzerland and it felt like being back home in a way, even if it were a few hours away from Bluche. So many memories just came back.
However I didn’t stay long as I had a calling for the islands.
I’m now back in a renowned hotel group: Assistant Executive Housekeeper at the Banyan Tree Seychelles. That’s another paradise added to my experience and I can further expand my knowledge of Resort operations.
But whatever life throws at you, we all need to live with it, and find ways to go around the obstacles. Please enjoy reading my anecdotes and parts of my experience in the blog entries later on
In the meantime, please enjoy the following quote. I try my best to live by it…