IMHI Class of 2016-2017

IMHI Class of 2016-2017
Class of 2016-2017

Friday, November 28, 2014

News from November: Managing People!

By Marion Neveu, MBA in Hospitality Management, France, 2013-2015 2nd Year

During the first term of the second year, for students in IMHI’s two year track, the principle class is Managing People. This class is related to International Human Resources.

Previously, I have only studied Human Resources management in a French context. Now we are studying at an international level; once again, IMHI knows how to take us to the next level!

How do you recruit a person from Mexico? What does it take to get this person to work in Iran? How do you attract the right person for YOUR company and how do you retain them? These are a few of the questions we have to face in our current project: Create a Human Resources strategy for a Sofitel.

The class has been divided into groups of 7-8 students, each of which has been assigned a different country: Mexico, Peru, Iran, Kenya and Panama.

The first step of the project is to determine where the hotel should be located and to create its structure: Size? Number of employees? Facilities? All these aspects must be taken into account.

Then, each group has to develop a Human Resource strategy in accordance with Sofitel standards and the regulations of each country. This strategy must articulate all aspects of international Human Resources: recruitment, planning, career development, training, compensation, and more…

On Friday, November 14th, all the students had to suit up for their first presentation: 30 – stressful – minutes to highlight a month’s work! It was hard and a little frustrating, but that’s all part of the game!

We then had to face the comments of our professor, Stefan Gröschl, who gave us a lot of recommendations for the next presentation. We still have a lot of work to do, but I take it is a chance to improve our project and correct past mistakes. You don’t get a second chance in “real” life.

Next challenge: December 12th!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Peninsula Paris: a great challenge!

By Justine Solignac, MBA in Hospitality Management (IMHI), France, 2013-2015 2nd Year

The Peninsula Paris has been under renovation since 2009 and re-opened its doors on August 1st, 2014. It is the 10th hotel of the brand and the first in Europe.

It all started at the end of March, when I finally succeeded in getting an internship as a sales coordinator at the Peninsula Paris. I was really thrilled to take part in such a long-awaited project on the Parisian hospitality market. The pre-opening office of the Peninsula Paris was really impressive, with all the departments gathered together in the same open-space.

During my first two weeks, I observed and learned a lot about the brand, its values, and its positioning. At the end of these two weeks, I participated in the first big event of the Peninsula Paris: the “Mass Recruitment,” which consists of selecting and recruiting half of the work force for the operational departments. It was really enriching to take part in such an event, during which we received 500 candidates, half of whom were selected. During this event, I helped organize interviews and inform candidates about the hotel, which also gave me the opportunity to learn about the brand and put our sales pitch into practice. Candidates were our first customers!

After this first important event, all the departments moved into the Peninsula Paris’ office, which was still under construction. I visited the hotel for the first time: 200 rooms, 6 restaurants, gigantic gilded spaces… It was amazing to work in such a beautiful place! From then on, everything went really quickly; we organized the press event, the embassy event, and finally opening day! I participated in the organization of these important events: invitations, follow ups, sales kits, press kits, orders with suppliers… But I also worked as a Page Girl (the Peninsula’s groom) during the events. It was really exciting to be a part of it!

As a sales coordinator, I also had many responsibilities. I organized two European roadshows for the General Manager and the director of marketing. I also supported the sales managers in their different tasks, including sales trips, reports, and planning, starting from scratch. I learned a lot about the sales department strategy and how to attract the maximum of customers to the hotel. I was also in charge of the RFP (requests for pricing) through the Lanyon System.

I also got a chance to work with the Events Department to create proposals and contracts. This gave me the opportunity to work closely with the RM and reservation department in order to set the right prices. I also worked with the marketing coordinator for the different photo and video shoots we had at the hotel.

Working at The Peninsula Paris was a great challenge and fascinating experience. It also gave me professional experience in an executive department. The Peninsula Paris has also introduced me to new ways of thinking, which has allowed me to reinvent myself, both personally and professionally. It gave me new ideas about my future career and also what classes were essential for me to take at IMHI. This is why I chose two concentrations: luxury and e-commerce. Further, I learned that I really like to be challenged professionally and I really enjoyed participating in the development of such a hotel. While I don’t have my exact career path planned out after graduation, this internship opened me to new possibilities for my career.

Monday, November 3, 2014

It all started at IMHI...

By Marion Neveu, MBA in Hospitality Management, France, 2013-2015 2nd Year

In September 2013, I entered the MBA in Hospitality Management program at Essec. As my professional experiences were mainly related to Operations and Food & Beverage, my personal goal was to find the right opportunity for a change. During the first year at IMHI, I discovered new interests and my ambition changed. I discovered that being a General Manager or a Hotel Department Manager are only a few examples of the top-level management jobs available in the hotel industry. Even if I am passionate about the hospitality industry, I realized that working in a hotel might not be the right “fit” for me.

A few months later, I found an internship at HTI Consulting in Cape Town, South Africa. HTI is a consulting firm specialized in Hospitality and Tourism that operates across Africa and the Middle East. As I accepted the offer, Alban George, another IMHI student, told me that he was also going to be working for HTI Consulting.

At the end of March 2014 I took a flight to South Africa… the adventure had begun! When I first arrived in Cape Town and joined Alban we spend a week on vacation to settle in and discover our new hometown.

Living in Cape Town was an amazing experience. The Mother City is located on the Western Cape peninsula, between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. It is an ideal mix of urban area and nature and it is very easy to get away from the city and visit the surrounding areas.

During my internship, my missions were mainly related to feasibility studies, the core business of the company. I assisted my superior on three different assignments: feasibility studies in Swaziland, Togo, and Kenya. I also helped on various other contracts (such as in Mauritius or Congo).

The projects are conducted using the same method, but the reports are custom-made for the client, so the workload and structure can be quite different.

At the beginning of a study, an employee travels to the destination to study the market and meet the local actors (NGO’s, hotels, governmental bodies and main companies). As an intern, I remained at the office to collect the data and start the report. I produced graphs to highlight the data, summary tables, and wrote part of the reports. When I started out, I was in charge of the first two parts of the report – the economic overview and the tourism overview – and a few months later I was assigned to different challenging tasks. I also created excel templates designed to properly collect data at the beginning of the studies. Since the projects sometimes last more than three months, it’s easier to have the data (as well as sources) in the same file.

During my internship, I was working on behalf of Magdaline, a senior analyst for the company. We got along well and I greatly appreciated her knowledge and experience. The CEO of the company, Wayne Troughton, is very knowledgeable on the African market and his analyses were very helpful. The whole team was very nice and the atmosphere was pleasant, despite busy periods and stressful deadlines.

This experience was very positive, professionally as well as personally. I made a lot of friends from everywhere, as Cape Town is a dynamic city. After graduation, I am planning to look for a post in consulting and development, and going back to Cape Town or the African continent could be the right place to start, since the markets are not yet mature.

As the 1st year at IMHI was a chance to find what I wanted to do, I now expect to take classes relating to that field and to be able to go further with additional courses that could strengthen my competencies.