With our Executive Master’s in Luxury Management and Guest Experience now in full swing, we’re asking participants for their first impressions. Here, we catch up with Mariana Vazquez de Alba, who works for J.P. Morgan in Mexico and the Bahamas.
“Although I don’t work in the hospitality industry, it’s something I’ve always had an interest in and the importance of client service – something intrinsic to hospitality – cannot be overstated in my current role.”
It’s not always obvious why people choose a hospitality education, but for Mariana Vazquez de Alba, the connections between luxury hospitality, guest experience and her current position working for international bank J.P. Morgan were plain to see.
“I lead a team of waiters and receptionists in the Amenity Services department of J.P. Morgan’s Mexico and the Bahamas operations,” she says. “While it is not a hotel, client experience is as high a priority for us as it is in the hospitality industry, so great service is paramount.
“With an educational background in administration, a passion for service and a desire to explore future professional opportunities in the luxury sector, the opportunity to study on the Luxury Management and Guest Experience Master’s program seemed a natural choice for me. It will not only allow me to build on my current skillset and broaden my experience, it will also introduce me to a world in which the skills I develop will be sought after.”
While the course content and school’s reputation were important factors in Mariana’s decision to apply for the Executive Master’s, the distance learning aspect was the icing on the cake.
“The benefits of the flexible study arrangements are amazing,” she says. “I can work and study at the same time, which allows me not only to share my professional experience with my classmates but also apply what I’ve been learning through the program to my day-to-day job.
“Each of the modules we have taken so far have planted a seed in my brain and opened my mind to incredibly valuable things I’ve been able to use immediately in my current role and I’m sure the upcoming modules will be the same. The more I study, the more I see how everything falls into place and at the end of each module, I realize how interconnected each aspect of the program is.”
For Mariana, the experience has been heightened by the residential week at the beginning of the program, which sees all those taking part get together in person in Switzerland to attend classes, workshops and field trips.
“The residential week was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had,” she says. “It was incredibly well organized and I loved getting to know my colleagues, who I already consider my friends. The connections we made have really helped during the distance learning because, having met everyone, it genuinely feels like we’re together in the online sessions.
“What also stood out while in Switzerland were the facilities, which were incredible, the amazing view from the campus and the delicious food in the patisserie.”
“The residential week was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. It was incredibly well organized and I loved getting to know my colleagues, who I already consider my friends. The connections we made have really helped during the distance learning because, having met everyone, it genuinely feels like we’re together in the online sessions. What also stood out while in Switzerland were the facilities, which were incredible, the amazing view from the campus and the delicious food in the patisserie.”
Mariana Vazquez de Alba
Mariana managed to take in two field trips during the residential week – to Clinique la Prairie and the Hotel Royal Savoy – both of which she found rewarding.
“The two field trips really opened my eyes to different possibilities and opportunities,” she says. “My biggest takeaways from them were that luxury can be found everywhere and that it is based on attention to detail and providing the best possible experience no matter what.”
Aside from the course content and the learning opportunities presented during the residential week, what Mariana has found inspiring throughout the duration of the program has been learning from the senior professionals employed as faculty at Glion.
“I have been really impressed by the teachers,” she says. “Their experience, their knowledge and how they interacted with us during the residential week were all outstanding and it’s a genuine privilege to be in a position to learn from such high-profile professionals.
“Not only are they teaching us about their fields of expertise, they are also encouraging us to develop some of the ‘softer’ but no less important skills required in the luxury industry. These include striving to remain on trend, investing in your knowledge development and always being curious, creative and respectful.”
Immerse yourself in luxury
Our new Executive Master’s in Luxury Management and Guest Experience is purpose-designed for professionals with at least five years of professional experience on their CV – offering flexible study that means there’s no need to give up your current role.