When he was little, David Bulcke wanted to be a pilot and fly all over the world. But the teenager wasn’t ready to spend hours on end listening to lectures in an amphitheater for years during his college education.
Nonetheless, he finished his five years at Vatel in 2013 with a "Directeur d'Hôtellerie Internationale" degree. Just a few months later, he was hired as the Floor Manager at the Brasserie in the five-star Hotel du Louvre. A quick promotion, and David is not going to stop there!
So how did the Vatel teaching method convince this “anti-school” student to study for five years? Why did he finally choose Hospitality and why does he love his job so much? David gives us a trio of answers for these questions.
The three aspects of the international hospitality industry that convinced you?
- Working in a cross-cultural environment.
- Helping others in their well-being.
- The outlook to travel and find a job any place in the world.
The three reasons why you decided to attend Vatel?
- Throughout the entire world, Vatel’s courses are recognized by everyone. They open many a door for you, as soon as you have graduated.
- Its unique concept to mix theoretical courses with concrete examples and practical application of what you’ve just studied. The younger generations don’t want to be spending 100% of their time listening to lecturers. They want to be on the front line right away, even before our first internship.
- Its networks: the thousands of Vateliens and other people working in this field who host students doing internships in some of the most beautiful hotels on earth. With them, you’ll be writing yourself a resume that will stand out from the others for recruitment officers.
Your three favorite memories of when you were at school?
- My class and everything we did together, bringing us together for our entire professional lives.
- My internship in Ireland in the F&B department of the Rosleague Manor Hotel, which freed me from my fear of speaking English.
- My practical applications courses in the Vatel Hotel & Spa in Nimes’ Brasserie which convinced me to continue my studies in F&B. I’m still in contact with my former professors who taught me, supported me and helped me become more mature.
The three things you learned at Vatel that, in your opinion, helped make you the professional person you are today?
- Team spirit: in our theoretical courses for group projects, in our practical courses when we had to manage other students and be managed by them and during the Vatel International Business Game where we competed with all the other Vatel Campuses throughout the world.
- The hands-on part of our education where a week of theoretical courses were followed by a week of practical application.
- The family spirit you feel at Vatel. Thanks to it, we build sustainable relationships with our classmates and faculty members. When we graduate, we’ve got bonds that are almost like a family, that we’ve built and that give us a natural propensity to have solid relationships with our future employees.
Your three key missions?
Located between the Louvre Museum, the Garnier Opera and the Palais Royal, the Hotel du Louvre is right in the heart of Paris. That’s where I work, in a typically Parisian Brasserie, nestled under the arches and across from the Comedie Francaise. The one hundred year old Brasserie du Louvre has a very international client base.
I started working there when I graduated, and in six months I was promoted from the Assistant Floor Manager job to Floor Manager, as my management and teams trusted and considered me. So every day:
- I manage a team of 15 to 18 Captains and make sure that everything is going seamlessly and that my customers are completely satisfied.
- I make sure that the hotel’s standards, and thus group standards, are respected.
- I work on putting in place new ideas in a continuous improvement approach for both my hotel guests and my team members: I listen, I take notes, I analyze, I sort and the I defend each proposal while trying to meet the expectations of my hierarchy to the best of my ability, to change things quickly.
The three aspects of your job you prefer?
- The diversity of our guests through whom I gain knowledge each and every day, with different cultures who all have different expectations.
- The many different challenges I have to meet. Each day, when I go to work, I’m happy, because I never know what to expect so I’m never bogged down in routine work.
- All the different jobs surrounding me in hotel management: administration, front-desk, accommodations, sales, special events, and so on.
Your three project deadlines: short, mid and long term?
- In a group like Hyatt, when you get promoted after only six months, like I did, it’s really fast. So in the short-term, I’d like to continue what I’m doing with the hope of being given additional responsibilities in the next six months.
- And in the mid-term, I’d like to continue my career evolution abroad, with Hyatt, because they can propose great opportunities, as they are present in 48 different countries.
- And in the long-term, I’d like to come back to the French Var region, for a personal project that I’ve always wanted to do.