IMHI Class of 2016-2017

IMHI Class of 2016-2017
Class of 2016-2017

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hyatt Student Prize: On-Site with Hyatt in Zurich

By Claire Plessier, MBA in Hospitality Management, France & USA, 2012-2014 2nd Year

As the first runner up of the 2013 Hyatt Student Prize, I was rewarded with a week of cross-exposure at the Hyatt International EMEA SWA division and at the Park Hyatt in Zurich, Switzerland. I followed a detailed agenda, with the first three days dedicated to exposure to the corporate world of Hyatt and the last two days experiencing the operational side of a five star luxury business hotel in downtown Zurich.

My first meeting was with the VP of HR, Katrin Muelle, who was so kind and organized my first three days so I could meet separately with all the different heads of departments including Frank Lavey, Senior Vice President - Operations, Tom Hawley, Vice President Development, Eric Brun, Vice President Brand and Tony Morales, Vice President Finance. Even though I know each of them must have had a very busy schedule while I was there, each and every one of them took the time to sit down with me, answer all my questions and explain their different roles in detail. I had the opportunity to see some of the current development projects they were working on and find out where all the upcoming Hyatt properties were being built.

With Jacques Morand,
GM of Park Hyatt Zurich
The following two days were spent on the property level with all the Operations executives of the Park Hyatt Zurich including HR, Rooms and F&B. Since my background was mainly in Food & Beverage, it was extremely beneficial for me to learn about the Rooms side of the hotel. On my last day, I had the opportunity to spend the morning with the front office, guest relations and concierge team and welcome top VIP guests. I also spoke over coffee with the General Manager, Jacques Morand who went over his daily tasks and weekly meetings with me. Mr. Morand also shared his career path and explained his current double role in Hyatt, as an Area Director for Hyatt and a GM.

What struck me with each and every person I met was not only the passion they had for their respective roles, but the commitment and admiration they had for Hyatt. Hyatt was more than just a company and a culture, it was a true family. Almost all of them had been working with the company for over 20 years.

Of course, the icing on the cake of this trip was to be able to stay at the Park Hyatt in Zurich and to truly experience hospitality at its finest.

Even if I was already convinced that I had found the right industry to work for, this experience has further solidified my passion and motivation to become a future leader in the hospitality industry.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ready for Take-Off: Launching Junior IMHI Hospitality Consulting

By Gabriella de la Torre, MBA in Hospitality Management, Mexico & USA, 2012-2014 2nd Year 

“Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin

An important part of life at IMHI is participating in various case studies and projects that challenge us to find innovative and creative solutions to the real-world issues facing companies. In Managing People, we were asked to develop the human resources implementation plan for Sofitel in a variety of destinations; in Revenue Management, we had the task of creating strategies for alternative businesses that could benefit from the application of revenue management in their daily operations; and most recently in Asset Management, our project centered on advising a real estate investment fund on the value of a specific investment opportunity.

In addition to these projects, students at IMHI will have yet another avenue through which they can gain even more concrete, hands-on experience. Junior IMHI Hospitality Consulting, the brainchild of Professor Nicolas Graf, Academic Director of the MBA in Hospitality, was unofficially launched at IMHI’s Paris Get-Together this past March. This organization, run entirely by and for students of ESSEC’s MBA in Hospitality Management, expects to provide students the opportunity to work on real world consulting projects for a variety of hospitality organizations. At the same time, client companies will be able to benefit from the experiences, expertise and ideas of IMHI students, who will work together to envision and implement solutions for their many business needs.

Every IMHI student will become a member of Junior IMHI upon enrollment in the MBA program and will be able to actively participate in missions and projects as per their individual experience and expertise. It is expected that by complementing previous experience with knowledge obtained through IMHI’s various courses, project teams will be able to provide a unique value to Junior IMHI’s future clients.

As the current first-year students have left for internships or apprenticeships, the second year students have taken it upon themselves to prepare everything for their return in September, when they will be ready to begin Junior IMHI’s operations full force. Seeking to create a legacy for future IMHI students, these second-years have prepared and submitted legal paperwork, created the organization’s website, and have begun contacting potential clients for future projects. The aim is that future generations of IMHI students will have the opportunity to not only learn through traditional teaching methods and professional work experience, but also through involvement in the challenges of real-world companies.

For more information regarding Junior IMHI Hospitality Consulting, please visit the organization’s website:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Intensive Asset Management

By Gabriella de la Torre, MBA in Hospitality Management, Mexico & USA, 2012-2014 2nd Year

On the first day of the week-long March break, instead of going on much-needed vacations, 33 students arrived at ESSEC to begin a five-day course in Hotel Asset Management. This class is one of the many intensive courses that IMHI students can take over holiday breaks throughout the year. From Negotiation Workshop to Leading and Motivating Others, they offer an opportunity to earn additional credits while deepening one’s knowledge in a wide range of subjects.

In the Hotel Asset Management course with Professor Daniel Lebret, we were able to learn about the ins and outs of managing multiple investments and further explored the complexity of this field particularly in regards to the hotel industry. Explanations of quantitative theory, Excel calculations and real-life case studies were just a few of the tools used by Professor Lebret in order to transmit the knowledge and understanding required not only for the course assignments, but also for life after graduation. These five days of learning culminated in a group case presentation centered on providing recommendations to a real estate investment fund on whether or not to bid for an investment opportunity in Santa Monica, California.

Days were spent in class, while evenings were spent gathering market research, running financial simulations and preparing PowerPoint slides for the final presentation. After many hours of discussion, planning and preparation, the groups were ready to present their findings to Professor Lebret, who provided pertinent and critical feedback regarding each group’s differing strategies and recommendations. This course was incredibly exhausting, but incredibly valuable as well. It allowed many of us the opportunity to put into practices the theories we had learned in class and to push ourselves to perform in such a short time span.