“You’re the 2014 postgraduate Valedictorian.” This is the good news that Vatel Lyon gave Cassandre Milliere when they got the results for their students.
“I was just hired as the Operations Assistant Manager at the Ermitage de Corton, a four-star boutique hotel in the French Burgundy region.” Here’s what Cassandre has to say. This student, now a Vatelien, winds up her Vatel years on a fine note!
How and why did you choose Vatel Lyon?
I started with the Foundation year after having studied in prep school for two years to enroll in an Ivy League Business School. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to work in hospitality. I could have decided to go to a general business management school, but the hospitality industry was my true love as well as my vocation. In addition to that, I was aware that attending Vatel would make me more bankable by specializing in a thriving sector.
In your opinion, what quality is indispensable to succeed at Vatel?
You have to be very strict. In Vatel, continuous assessment doesn’t count for your final grades, even though it’s truly a springboard for success. I’ve always thought that continuous assessment was a type of psychological obligation forcing you to keep reviewing regularly. That makes final exams less stressful and tiring, and it helped me improve my performance.
And to succeed in an internship? Tell us a bit about your professional experience.
Well, for an internship, I’d say you have to be really curious. An internship can take two different turns: either students just do what is asked of them, or else they are proactive, take initiatives and discover and give a helping hand to other departments. For example that’s what I did in my first internship in Brussels. I was a Front Desk intern in a 100 room hotel. All I had to do was take care of check ins and check outs. After two months, when I had assimilated all of this, I asked if I could also work in the Reservations department. This was an initiative management really appreciated and they even trained me in the hotel’s Yield Management strategies. So my curiosity allowed me to go back to Vatel with extra knowledge and experience.
How did Vatel courses respond to your needs and expectations?
I’d always wanted to work in a small luxury hotel where staff members have to be multi-skilled. So what I really liked about Vatel’s curriculum was the complementarity between subjects. Plus their practical education courses now have allowed me to become much more legitimate for those whom I train and manage. In addition to that, internships represent an extra experience, a reality check of what really goes on in the workplace, but most of all, an opportunity to land a job. This is why I think it is important to strategically choose your internships.
How were you hired for the job you hold today?
It was thanks to my fourth year internship. I was directly hired by the hotel where I was doing it. It is a little four-star luxury hotel with 12 rooms, located on the Burgundy Vintage Wine Route, which allows tourists to visit our famous Burgundy vineyards. I also was born in this region. I was hired as the Operations Assistant. In a nutshell, my job is to make sure that everything is running seamlessly in the hotel on a daily basis. I like the many tasks I’m in charge of: check in and check out, reception, reservations, quality, auditing results, and so on. But what I do most of the time is marketing. I’m in charge of everything concerning Yield Management and distribution for our hotel (choosing our advertising, opening and closing dates, bulk packages, etc.).
Today I’m really happy to work in such a diversified job with managers who trust me and give me responsibilities. So right now, I’m planning on making the most of this opportunity to learn all I can about how to manage a hotel like this, and maybe, sometime down the road, have my own little hotel.