Glion student embraces the world of luxury on latest internship

Glion Institute of Higher Education isn’t all about hotels – we also enjoy close relationships with some of the world’s leading luxury brands. One example is Swiss watchmaker Hublot, who recently gave BBA International Hospitality Business student Shihao ‘George’ Xu the chance to embark on his second internship. George tells us about this fantastic experience below.

A new challenge

After completing his first internship at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, George wanted something a little different for his next one. “I worked in the rooms department,” he said. “When it came to my second internship, I decided that I didn’t want to do it within food & beverage. I also didn’t want to do it in Asia.”

George was then offered a position in the Sales and Marketing department of a five-star hotel in Mauritius. “They were very keen on my photography skills and promised me they would develop them,” he said. However, George was looking for something completely different. “I wanted a place that would help me see things differently, that would push me out of my comfort zone,” he said. “I believe you won’t learn anything if you feel too comfortable in your workplace. It should be full of challenges.”

This led to George securing an internship at Hublot’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

Working with luxury brands

George worked in the commercial department at Hublot. “My official title was LVMH Watch Division Chinese Travel Retail Representative,” he said. “My job covered Hublot, Zenith and Tag Heuer.”

While on his internship, George was given a number of responsibilities. “I had to propose, develop and implement business strategies, in order to develop sales in China,” he said. “I had to organise specific events to engage Chinese travellers, promote our stores online to Chinese markets and develop new contacts. I got to work with true professionals and legendary people.”

On reflection, George is pleased that he pushed himself out of his comfort zone and tried something different. “I was surrounded by beautiful, expensive watches, and got to meet people that I never imagined I’d meet,” he said. “Plus, the location of Hublot’s headquarters is magnificent.”

Changing directions

Not only has working at Hublot improved George’s skills, it’s also completely changed where he sees his future. “It has opened my eyes,” he said. “Before this internship, I thought I’d go into my parents’ business. Now, I would like to work for a luxury group – I really enjoyed it and feel this would help me make long-lasting connections.”

George believes that studying at Glion proved incredibly beneficial during his internship. “Glion has taught me how to be a better person,” he said. “I have learned to speak well and dress well, two key skills you need in order to work in this industry.”

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