This week I signed my internship contract to work with The Orient Express Hotel La Residence d’Angkor, a 5 star hotel in Cambodia! So I thought it would be a good time to talk a little bit more about the Career Development and Internship Placement Office.
My internship process was not a complicated one and I benefitted from the presentations and interviews with different hotels organized at school.
Three members of staff and one Intern work in the CDIP office and assist everyone with gaining that vital experience or with planning their path after leaving Les Roches. I sat with Matthieu Mioche, Career and Placement Manager to ask him a few questions about the CDIP office. His team includes Joanne Norris-Smith and Raymonde Tapparel.
What would you say is the main purpose of the CDIP Office?
The main aim of CDIP is to be the link between students and the hospitality industry, supporting students with job or internship opportunities. We give advice on how to access these opportunities and about international recruitment and work eligibility.
What does or should an internship entail?
An internship is really practice in relation to what you have learnt in theory for that semester. But it is also about identifying with a company’s values and aims and wanting to work towards upholding those. It is also about the personal experiences and relationships that a student can build with their manager who is a leader, sets an example and can become a mentor for life.
Where in the world can a student go for internship?
This is unpredictable. Each day visa regulations are changing and a student’s eligibility to work will differ from country to country (e.g. the US J1 visa). The main things to think about when trying to decide where to go are visa regulations, language (some countries require a specific language and it can therefore become a barrier to working there), practice and ability (some enjoy luxury hotels or others may be more suited to working in a Brasserie or small boutique hotel).
Please tell us about the relationship that Les Roches has with a number of Hotels and Chains.
We try to invite a range of hotels to visit Les Roches each semester, catering to many types of markets. For example luxury to middle range, boutique to large resorts and also luxury retail brands. It is important to us that we try to gain exclusivity with some of the hotels that come here and if not that, a special guest (e.g. the C.O.O. of Orient Express), Les Roches Alumni also come into play. This semester we have had visits from Orient Express, Ritz Carlton International, The Landmark London, Louis Vitton (exclusive to Les Roches), Disneyland Paris, Rezidor Group, Hyatt, Four Seasons and Cultural Homestay International. These companies provide a variety of positions from first internships to permanent contracts.
How easy or difficult do you think it is for a student to gain an internship?
In this respect, you will find success in relation to how much effort you put in. You must be aware of the opportunities available and act swiftly and professionally in response to them. It is important to go to the presentations from the companies and have knowledge of them to see if they match you and your values or personality. Ideally, you should confirm an internship by the end of April as May can be very busy with exams and final grading. Some people are very quick in securing an internship and go all around the world while some find their first taste of the working world in a strange place very daunting and decide to go home for their internship. The most important thing is that you are happy in your choice and gain the best experience possible.
The CDIP is always trying new ways of reaching students and being more accessible, they are now on Facebook and subscribe to other forms of social media, working towards being more electronic and using less paper work, allowing for better interfacing between hotels and students. There is a section on the Les Roches website dedicated to CDIP Les Roches Website- Career & Placement.
Mr. Mioche’s responses have been paraphrased.