IMHI Class of 2016-2017

IMHI Class of 2016-2017
Class of 2016-2017

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Truly International Analyst Internship at HTI Consulting

By Pierre-Alexandre Kaouza, MBA in Hospitality Management, France, 2012-2014 2nd Year

I entered the MBA in Hospitality Management program having mainly worked in operations and, more specifically, in Food & Beverage.  I learned about development during my first months at ESSEC and chose do to an internship in this field.  I managed to find an analyst position at HTI Consulting, a consulting company specialized in Hospitality and Tourism based in Cape Town, South Africa, and operating all across Africa and the Middle East.  I joined this company with another IMHI student, Pierre-Antoine Erny.

HTI’s core business is feasibility studies.  The company has a tailor-made approach to a project and therefore every report is different.  For most projects, an HTI employee travelled to the destination for a week or more.  His or her tasks were to understand the market, and its supply and demand, by meeting with hotel companies (both local and international), NGOs, governments, and tour operators.

As interns, we remained at the office in charge of completing the first two sections of the report with an overview of the country’s social, economic, and political context, as well as a tourism overview.  I worked on two feasibility studies from Day 1 till their submission to the client, one in the Seychelles and one in The Gambia.  In both cases, Dario, the company’s vice president and an IMHI alumnus, travelled there.  Since it was such a small company, only six people including the two of us, he did most of travelling and I collected the data from him after, which was not always easy since he was based in Barcelona.  Once we received the data, we needed to review it, identify the gaps, and complete the information with additional research or phone calls.  When we had all the information, I produced relevant graphs and summary tables with the critical goal of identifying correlation between events and facts, which I highlighted in the graph, bearing in mind the message we wanted to deliver.  We then had to work on a supply and demand model and financial models.  Our role was to play with the data and send what we thought were the best projections created by the existing models.  In addition to these feasibility studies, I restructured an existing database and helped create a new one, made a report on the 3 and 4 star market in Cape Town, created, with Dario, a model to compare whether a management contract, a development lease, or a land lease was the best option for a client, and provided support for some parts of other projects.

This internship was really interesting for me.  It was my first experience behind a desk and I was able to work on different tasks in completely different situations.  It helped me understand how the hotel business differs from one country to another, depending on the local context, and that deep analysis is necessary before taking any action in Africa, as companies there cannot simply apply the international standards.  The markets are not very well structured, so getting reliable data is a very tough task.

One challenging aspect of this internship was learning to work in a small and very busy company, where our managers did not always have the time to give lots of feedback.  However, working on projects in many different contexts was very interesting.  The experience helped me to understand that I want to work in development, which will definitely influence my choices when selecting courses in order to strengthen my skills in this area.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Professional & Personal Development at Carlson Rezidor in Dubai

By Alexandra Apaclla Vizcardo, MBA in Hospitality Management, Peru, 2012-2014 2nd Year

Between the first and second year of my MBA in Hospitality Management I had the opportunity to do a 6 month internship at the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in the Development Department of the Dubai regional office.

The experience as a whole was very rewarding in terms of personal and professional development. I not only had the opportunity to gain new professional insight working in the development department, I also discovered a completely new culture in Dubai. I was very lucky to have an excellent mentor who played an important role during my internship. I had the opportunity to work with him on all the new leads and current projects that Carlson Rezidor has in the Middle East. With many new projects to deal with, there was always something new for me to do and to learn, which helped me not only to develop solid strategic-analytical and critical thinking skills, but also offered me the opportunity to put into practice the theory I had learned thus far. In fact, the company gave me the tools to develop and expand my knowledge, which allowed me to fully take advantage of my internship. The work environment was also very friendly, which I think was one of the most reasons I enjoyed my time there.

I view this experience as a box full of surprises; during the 6 months I encountered challenges that I had to learn to overcome by myself in the very different cultural environment of the Middle East, where people’s ways of thinking and acting was very different from what I was used to. I realized that my past experience allowed me to integrate easily into Dubai’s multicultural environment (95% of the population are expats) and to discover different cultures from all around the world.

Finally, the internship helped orient me towards what I want to do in the future and to establish my short-term and long-term goals.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Internship at Le Meurice: Unlocking the power of data analysis in the luxury hotel sector

By Clément Deplanche, MBA in Hospitality Management, France, 2012-2014 2nd Year 

Six months after starting my internship between the first and second year of my MBA, I’m pleased when I reflect on the numerous skills that I had the opportunity to improve. My internship took place at Le Meurice, the oldest Parisian Palace, which opened in 1835. The hotel is part of the Dorchester Collection, a hotel group managing a portfolio of 10 hotels across the United States and Europe. The motto of Le Meurice is “The French genius for the art of living,” which wholly represents what the hotel stands for: the ultimate experience for the guest, delivering a truly Parisian experience in all aspects.

I arrived at Le Meurice mainly with operational experience in food and beverage. Therefore, I was really excited to explore other departments, such as sales and marketing. I also arrived with a great deal of uncertainty, however, about how my internship would go and what I would learn, since I was told at the beginning that my internship experience would depend on me demonstrating my capabilities. Nevertheless, I was excited to take up the challenge.

I began by assisting the sales team with their daily tasks in order to gain the knowledge necessary to move on to more of a business analyst job. I had the opportunity to develop my knowledge in sales, of course, but even more in revenue management and market analysis. In fact, I had the opportunity to implement a brand new monthly statistics report, which fit the new segmentation of the Dorchester collection. This report was used by all the sales managers, as well as by the top management. I worked a lot on the implementation of new analysis tools and creating reports on market trends. I also had the opportunity to work on some e-commerce/e-marketing projects and to assist with more specific aspects of marketing (creating a CRM plan, researching the development of the Chinese market, etc.), as well as working on the 2014 budget.

Overall, it was a great experience that allowed me to develop me skills while bringing real added-value to the company. In addition, it gave me a much better understanding of what it takes to perform at this level of management, particularly in the luxury sector. One of the main things I took away from my internship was an in-depth understanding of the importance of data analysis and gathering information about the market and the competition in order to adopt the most suitable strategy for a hotel.