Siberian native Ekaterina Zentcova has always been drawn to China, so when she had the opportunity to study at Les Roches Jing Jang’s Shanghai campus, she couldn’t wait. Now undertaking an internship with the Ritz-Carlton in Kyoto, she’s also been nominated for the Rising Star Award at the Hotelier Awards Asia.
Ekaterina originally focused on economics, before finding her passion for hospitality through travelling. “Spending time with people from different backgrounds and nationalities was something I became very curious in,” she said. “Shortly after graduating from high school, I was looking at options where I could connect my passion for travel with promising career prospects.”
After conducting some research, Ekaterina decided Hospitality Management at Les Roches seemed a great fit. “Les Roches is a prestigious name for hospitality,” she said. “It really was an asset to be able to study at multiple locations in different countries. It seemed like the ideal option to combine academic study with travelling.”
China had always intrigued Ekaterina, so before transferring to Switzerland next year to complete her Bachelor’s degree, she studied at our Shanghai campus. She then explored more of Asia during her two internships, working in both Thailand and Kyoto. “My first internship was at a hotel owned by Banyan Tree in Phuket. It was a great learning experience and it showed me to be reflective and critical while maintaining composure,” she said. “My second internship at the Ritz-Carlton in Kyoto was much more focused on training and applying the knowledge afterwards.
Ekaterina’s hard work has resulted in her being nominated for the Rising Star Award at the Hotelier Awards Asia. The award is a new category to reward young hospitality talents who have excelled in both academic study and during their internships. “When I found out I was nominated, it was a very joyful moment and I was very happy,” she said. “I think I am most proud of my dedication. My peers say I listen closely and thoughtfully, and my friends and colleagues can always trust me.”
As Ekaterina’s career continues to develop, what does she think makes the perfect hotelier? “I think you need to be honest and proud of your work,” she said.
Hospitality is about giving people a great experience and making every second full of memories. I believe that people will always be interested in personal service – the personal touch will remain a constant in the industry.
For Ekaterina, she has her own ambitions for the future. “In five years’ time I would like to still be in hospitality,” she said. “I’m curious about becoming an entrepreneur – opening my own boutique hotel would certainly be an amazing feat.”