Luxury hotel director gives insightful talk

Luxury hotel director gives insightful talk

At Glion, we ensure you gain first-hand exposure to the exciting world of hospitality. From professional internships to exciting industry visits, our programmes see you network with some of hospitality’s finest brands. One recent example has been the visit of Laurence Bloch, Director of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, one of Paris’ most prestigious hotels.

About Laurence

Laurence came to Glion to give a lecture to our Luxury Brand Management students. A hospitality professional with extensive industry experience, Laurence has enjoyed career success as a receptionist, housekeeper, procurements manager, HR manager and deputy director. Her overarching experience of almost every hotel department has seen her rise up the ranks, now working at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée and ensuring it remains at the forefront of haute couture.

Laurence taught our students that if you want to stand out from the competition, you to have to be bold and innovative.

During her time with the hotel, Laurence has overseen the decoration of the bedrooms with two interior designers, monitored all corresponding investment projects and now passes on her experience to 550 employees. She was awarded the French Order of Merit in 2009, a prestigious accolade given to reward the country’s most prestigious professionals.

Building a brand

Our Luxury Brand Management specialisation is the perfect course if you want to work with some of the world’s most exclusive brands. It teaches you the soft and hard skills, professionalism and versatility needed to manage luxury organisations. Laurence provided some invaluable advice and insight into creating amazing luxury experiences, particularly when it came to cementing the Hôtel Plaza Athénée as a leading hotel.

“The vision of the Plaza Athénée is – once upon a time the palace of tomorrow,” Laurence said. “When I arrived at the hotel in 2000, we really wanted to reposition the hotel. It had a great name and great people, but the regulations were not good and the products were bad. We decided to interview the 350 employees to find out what our values were, and from that we came up with our vision.

Once upon a time represents the hotel’s “heritage”, palace is the “luxury” and “tomorrow” is the hospitality leaders of the future. “It is important to keep being creative, innovative and adapt to the future,” Laurence said. “We need to keep both pieces – the heritage and the future.”

The hotel’s Paris location means Laurence faces stiff competition from other luxury hotels. “We are on Avenue Montaigne, the most iconic avenue for luxury brands in town,” she said. “Any brand you can think of is here. It is one of the most elegant places in town and is a 10-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower.”

“We communicate constantly, producing more than 100 press releases and articles per week around the world,” she said. “It also helps us personalise.

Laurence taught our students that if you want to stand out from the competition, you to have to be bold and innovative. “We put a + after our 5* rating, because we believe we are different from the other five-star hotels in Paris,” she said. “We are one of the only palaces to offer two different room styles – a traditional 18th-century palace and a more modern equivalent. Every room is different with different art chosen.

Another way the hotel stands out is through its restaurant, which secured its first Michelin star in 2015. The restaurant has been masterminded by legendary French chef Alain Ducasse, one of only two chefs to hold 21 Michelin stars throughout his career. “Alain wanted to introduce something innovative in order for us to get a Michelin star,” Laurence explained. “So, he decided to boycott napkins and tablecloths, as well as meat. We instead focused on fish, cereals and vegetables.”

Laurence also informed our students you need to ensure your voice is heard. “We communicate constantly, producing more than 100 press releases and articles per week around the world,” she said. “It also helps us personalise. For example, whenever someone mentions us online, we receive a notification. A guest recently did this by posting a picture in our red bathrobe and slippers. We then sent over a red bag with a message saying ‘this will match your coat.’”

A career of luxury

Want to work with some of the globe’s most influential brands? Our Luxury Brand Management specialisation will give you the skills and first-hand experience you need to be successful in the exciting world of luxury brands. Laurence Bloch is just one of many experienced, world-renowned luxury professionals to give insightful talks – by choosing Luxury Brand Management, you will meet and network with a wide variety of established industry leaders.

Interested in studying at Glion? Simply share your details here and one of our dedicated Education Counselors will be in touch.

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The benefits of doing a double degree

The benefits of doing a double degree

Glion has recently introduced the dual MBA and MSc in International Hospitality Business, a programme that enables you to gain two degrees after only one year on campus and one year working in industry.

The degree is offered in partnership with Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM), an equally renowned French business school. But what are the benefits of doing a double degree? And how well-received are the Master’s programmes from both these schools? Our blog has all the answers.

Leading MBA programmes

Our dual MBA and MSc is taught by leading experts from not just our school, but also from GEM. The latter’s MBA leadership team have received high praise from a range of publications – it is ranked as one of the top 25 courses in Europe (The Financial Times) and among the top five in France by The Economist.

“Prior to the MBA, I worked in the Indian pharmaceutical industry,” said Smriddhi Dhingra, who graduated with a GEM MBA in Innovation Management in 2014. “From this, I realised how difficult it was to get even the most basic primary healthcare and medication in developing countries. This inspired me to study a GEM MBA.”

Smriddhi chose to study in France due it to being “at the forefront of building policies and structures for global healthcare.” While studying, she was taught by international faculty and thrived in a multicultural environment. “The class was full of experienced, mature individuals from different backgrounds, adding value by discussing the cultural nuances that play an important role in global business today,” she said.

“The structure of the GEM MBA allows you to integrate business theory with practical right from the outset,” said Bruno Mesnard, Vice-President of MGE UPS. “The end result saw MGE UPS gain a manager deeply enriched by his MBA experience, who now has even greater potential for success within the company.”

Does being taught by GEM’s leadership team sound appealing? Want to gain the key business and management skills needed to be an industry leader? Go to their website to find out more.

World-renowned Master’s degrees

Our Master’s programmes provide you with the in-depth knowledge, industry insight and first-hand experience needed to advance your management career. It is no surprise that such strong relationships with organisations has seen Glion ranked number one worldwide for employer reputation (QS World Rankings 2018).

“While studying my Master’s, I have worked on projects that have helped me grow professionally and personally,” said Sandy Koukouli. “Glion then used its amazing network of contacts to get me an internship.”

Henri De Saussure was drawn to Glion for its reputation and international opportunities. However, he found himself falling in love with more than just his programme. “I have really enjoyed the social experience,” he said. “You get to meet so many people from different backgrounds, cultures and mindsets. This is something we can all learn from, so just be open and be yourself.”

Donal Hegarty also thrived after studying a Master’s degree. Since graduating, he has secured a position at the Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris, the world’s first hotel to accumulate five Michelin stars. “It’s a fantastic way to start my F & B career,” he said. Donal works in the hotel’s restaurant, Le George.

The best of both worlds

If both programmes sound attractive to you, then good news – you can now combine the two. The dual MBA and MSc in International Hospitality Business brings together the excellence of GEM’s MBA and Glion’s MSc programmes. You will gain two degrees in one, from two globally-renowned hospitality schools. You will advance your knowledge through a hands-on management project, strengthen key skills and tailor your education to your professional goals.

The programme will also ensure you learn to solve contemporary global management challenges. It will also provide you with cutting-edge business insight, giving you vital skills needed to become a manager in a variety of sectors.

Are you interested in fast-tracking your career? Want to study an accredited degree from two world-leading schools? Go to our website and find out why our dual MBA and MSc is the right course for you and make use of our exclusive 40% reduction on tuition fees offered until May 31.

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Glion students discuss the benefits of teamwork in their project with UEFA

Glion students discuss the benefits of teamwork in their project with UEFA

When you study at Glion, you have the opportunity to work with world-class companies and create a strong professional network. In our recent article, we spoke to Anastasiia Papish, Barbora Veneckova and Symbat Khakim. The three students, currently in their seventh semester, spoke about an amazing project they have been conducting with European football governing body UEFA.

The trio are about to conduct an Applied Business Project (ABP), which is part of our BA Hospitality Management programme. The aim of an ABP is to find innovative solutions to a business problem, challenge or need. Anastasiia and the team are working on a project to create a manual for the Champions Club, the private area for sponsors, guests and more at Champions League football games. The students are also creating a social media campaign, which can be viewed on Instagram.

Effective teamwork

Anastasiia says it is important for their team to be comprised of equals, rather than having one specific leader. “We like to work this way,” she said. “We do not have specific roles within the team. We are doing the research all together and making sure we understand all of the details. Once we’ve done that, we’ll separate the tasks.”

However, Symbat feels the group understands just who prefers to do what and where each member’s talent lies. “Barbora, for example, loves to do the literature review, whereas I’m not a fan,” she said. “Hence, I am more in charge of the methodology. We are aware of each of our strengths and we try to use them the best way we can to achieve the right results.”

Symbat believes they are working well together as a team. “We knew each other already,” she explained. “We are a small team and we can easily organise things. Alongside this, we are organising the Cultural Fair, Sports Day and Glion’s Got Talent.”

For the team, there is a lot of work ahead. “We will have to create the event plan, with the running orders and budget objectives, as this is the first part of our grade,” Barbora said. “Then we have to market the project and create the marketing plan, so that is the second part of the project. That’s graded separately.”

“Then there is the third part,” Symbat added. “Which is the actual results. We will measure the customer satisfaction and reflect on our entire project.”

The ABP is part of the trio’s International Event Management specialisation, which is providing them with the skills they need to successfully complete this project.

Working with UEFA

The ABP is part of the trio’s International Event Management specialisation, which is providing them with the skills they need to successfully complete this project. One week before they arrived on campus, they went on an organised visit of UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon. “We had a meeting with their team, who told us what the project is all about and what they expect from us,” Barbora said. “We had a nice tour and we really liked it. Their team is very young, dynamic and international, and shows a very nice work environment.”

Symbat says the group has remained in regular contact with the UEFA team throughout their project. “We give them a constant update on our timelines, deadlines and plans,” she said. “There are also a few organised Q & A sessions, where we will either meet in person or discuss things through Skype.”

The students also posted on social media directly from Rome, where they attended the Champions League quarter-final match between AS Roma and Barcelona.

About the team

Anastasiia (originally from Ukraine), Barbora (Czech Republic) and Symbat (Kazakhstan) keep themselves busy outside of their studies. Barbora frequently attends the gym, Anastasiia is an accomplished snowboarder and Symbat enjoys travelling.

For the future, all three are interested in entering the events industry full-time. “I would like to stay in events, but I’m also interested in studying a Master’s,” Barbora said. Anastasiia, on the other hand, wants to gain more work experience. “I would like to work for individual event companies that are not hospitality-led. I would love to have my own event company one day.” Events is also something Symbat is keen to continue doing. “I would really like to combine food & beverage with events, so something like weddings,” she said. “I hope to work in the Middle East, preferably Dubai.”

Applied business projects are an essential part of our programmes, and enable our students to meet and network with leading brands, both within hospitality and beyond. Stay tuned for more stories coming soon.

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Glion alumnus organizing BELIEVE IN Marseille Arts & Music Festival

Glion alumnus organizing BELIEVE IN Marseille Arts & Music Festival

YEAR OF GRADUATION: 2012
COMPANY: BELIEVE IN Marseille
JOB TITLE: Hospitality Manager

When Florent de Serpos, BBA ’12, was offered the chance to become the hospitality manager for a new arts and music festival in his home town of Marseille, France, he accepted the challenge without hesitation. Organizing a major event like the BELIEVE IN Marseille Arts &

Music Festival, where they expect to see 20,000 visitors over one weekend, is a complicated task. We caught up with Florent to get some insight into how he got this dream-job and see how it’s going so far.

‘I started working for the BELIEVE IN Marseille company in November 2013 when I came back from a management training in New York at the St Regis. The concept has been created by two young and ambitious “Marseillais” entrepreneurs named Virgile and Dorian, who are partners,’ explains Florent, ‘Their mission is to show that Marseille is not a criminal city but a growing city with a lot of touristic potential. They convinced me to join them and I accepted this major challenge that I believe will show a better picture of my hometown.’

The BELIEVE IN Marseille Arts & Music Festival promises the best of the city’s sounds, tastes and sunshine for tourists and inhabitants alike. It will take place on June 20-21st on the scenic Esplanade J4 of Marseille’s sea front. As the first outdoor festival of its kind, the event will showcase the diverse, dynamic cultural scene of Marseille. Featuring both local and international musicians, the festival will offer an eclectic musical experience while artists from the regional art and design schools expose their work.

As the dates are rapidly approaching, Florent is very busy, ‘I am working as hospitality manager for the company. My role is to take care of our artists. In other words, I’m organizing their stay, transportation between the airport, the venue and the hotel; scheduling their performance time, anticipating their slightest desires in terms of hospitality on the stage, backstage and VIP area by being in contact with their tour manager. Because of their international reputation we must provide the best service and make sure they will not forget their trip to Marseille.’

During his time at Glion, Florent completed several internships, including one position in food & beverage administration at the Park Hyatt in Pekin. It came as no surprise to him that setting up an event of this size is a big challenge.

‘The major challenge I am facing is how to manage all the venues on this event. Anticipation is the key to the success of this event. Glion taught me how to anticipate my guest’s needs and wants through management courses. The theory and practice I acquired back in Glion is now put into a real business situation with high financial risks. Without my experience from Glion, I would have not been able to manage the details for such huge event.”

In just a few months, this festival will come to life so we invite everyone to support this event with true Glion Spirit. Remember, Marseille is only five hours away from Glion and Bulle campus by car.

For more information, visit the BELIEVE IN Marseille website or like it on Facebook.

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Glion Student Testimonial: Aimée Bordes

Glion Student Testimonial: Aimée Bordes

Aimée Bordes has been interested in the hospitality world from a young age, and fell in love with Glion after attending an Open Day. Since then, Aimée has developed both her soft and hard skills, studied across our three campuses and immersed herself in the ‘Glion spirit’.

Finding the right school

After graduating from The Francs Bourgeois – La Salle in Paris, France, Aimee was drawn to the world of hospitality. “I have been passionate about culinary arts and food & beverage from a young age,” Aimée said. “When it came to thinking about my future studies, I was looking for a pathway that would include F & B. Therefore, I started looking at hospitality schools.”

The first step for Aimee was to attend a number of school fairs in her native Paris. “This is where I first discovered Glion, and from that I decided to attend a few Open Days,” she said. “At Glion, I met teachers, staff members and students. Over the course of the day, I fell in love with the whole school. Glion offers a strong academic pathway, allowing their students to develop both professionally and personally.”

A multi-campus experience

Studying at Glion has also enabled Aimée to enjoy Glion’s three campuses, located in Glion, Bulle (both in Switzerland) and London (UK). “Glion provides us with lots of facilities, including restaurants, fitness centres and libraries,” she said. “We also have had the opportunity to enjoy various activities, such as visiting Switzerland’s lake region and the nearby ski slopes. The campuses provide us with the right balance of curricular and extracurricular activities in order for us to fully enjoy our time there.”

While at Glion, Aimée has developed a number of crucial skills. “We’ve learned technical skills involving housekeeping, front office and kitchen,” she said. “We have also strengthened soft skills such as critical thinking, leadership and research. Glion allows me to understand how companies should act in order to effectively sustain their own development, adapting to new markets and product needs. I am getting full insight on the realities of the market with specific examples and case studies.”

A global perspective

Now in her sixth semester, Aimée has enjoyed an enriching, multicultural experience, working with people from different countries while studying at our London and Swiss campuses. “One of my first group projects saw me work with some students from Asia, which was a real eye-opener in terms of communication and cultural differences,” he said. “We took the opportunity during this project to find the right balance between our cultures in order to let everyone add a bit of their personalities and thoughts into the project. This really helped me learn how to work in a multicultural environment.”

Aimée has also got to enjoy the Glion spirit, which she believes is more than just the education. “It becomes part of our everyday lives,” she said. “It’s a state of mind which all students, teachers and staff members share. The Glion spirit hits you on day one when you arrive on campus and never leaves you.”

Interested in studying at Glion? Simply share your details here and one of our dedicated Education Counselors will be in touch.

Take the next step

Do you have a specific query you would like to ask us? Please fill in the contact form below and let us know the nature of your enquiry, and a member of our team will respond to you as soon as possible.

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