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.