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.


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