IMHI Class of 2016-2017

IMHI Class of 2016-2017
Class of 2016-2017

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Juggling the Academic and Professional World

By Scott Gordon, MBA in Hospitality Management, USA & France, 2012-2014 2nd Year

With Yann Caillère, former CEO of Accor, in Warsaw
for the first annual Sofitel Sales Ambassadors Meeting
After a sunny year in Dubai, where I participated in the “Sofitel School of Excellence” MIT program as Assistant Revenue Manager at the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach, I was fortunate enough to continue my adventure with the Accor Group in Paris.

Accor offered me the opportunity to continue with them through the apprenticeship program offered by the MBA in Hospitality Management at ESSEC. A couple of days after my arrival in Paris, I joined the Sofitel Worldwide team as a Project Manager reporting to the Senior VP Sales & Marketing, encompassing Revenue Management, Pricing and Distribution.

Getting into the rhythm was a bit complex at first. Having to juggle between classes at ESSEC for 3 days a week then work at Accor for 2 days was difficult, especially knowing the amount of work that needed to be delivered for electives such as Financial Accounting or Business Computing. Once I got the rhythm down, however, everything ran flawlessly for the next 6 months. Being able to apply theoretical concepts learned in class to real life cases was very interesting and stimulating.

L-R: Axel MANGEZ (VP Sales & Distribution Sofitel
WW) - Rick Harvey LAM (SVP Sales & Marketing
Sofitel WW) - Myself
Once T1 and T2 were completed, all apprentices were required to spend 9 months full time in their respective companies. This allowed me to focus 100% on my missions at Accor.

The key objective of my job is to ensure that projects are delivered on time, within budget and are achieving the required results. I was assigned responsibility for what my boss calls P.P.P.I.I.I. (Planning, Processes, Performance, Integration, Implementation and Insights).

Through all the projects I’ve worked on, I had the opportunity to work on some high profile projects such as the development of a cross-selling program for the brand, a project where we teamed up with Advancy, a strategy-consulting firm. I also managed the creation of an ICP (Integrated Communication Plan), a document encompassing all upcoming actions in terms of Sales & Marketing. One of my favorite projects was the development of what we called “Sofitel Sales Ambassadors.” This consisted of selecting and training a “Sofitel Sales Specialist,” the “go-to” person for selling Sofitel hotels, in each and every Accor global sales offices in the world. The creation of this process was highly strategic for the brand and resulted in important new incremental sales.

With colleagues during a team
Project Management is captivating because it allows you to support various projects and the ability to work with multiple departments on cross-functional projects is enriching. Even though challenging at times, the apprenticeship program offered by the MBA in Hospitality Management is one of a kind!  Being able to be both a student and an employee simultaneously gives you the best of both worlds.


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