“Every day is different” – Ilaria Zambelli enjoys a fast-paced #FirstJob with Mandarin Oriental

Master’s graduate Ilaria Zambelli has swapped the multicultural environment of Glion for the multicultural environment of Qatar’s capital, Doha. And she is happy to have the chance to put what she learned with us into practice…

Name: Ilaria Zambelli
Program: Master’s in International Hospitality Business, with specialization in Finance & Hotel Development
Position:> Sales Coordinator
Company: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Doha
When started: August 2019

If you want to get ahead in hospitality, it helps to study at a school with an exceptional reputation across the industry, and one which can open doors through an incredibly strong network of alumni and partners.

Don’t just take our word for it, though.

“Thanks to Glion contacts I am now working for Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Doha,” says Master’s graduate Ilaria Zambelli, who started her #FirstJob post-graduation in August 2019.

Ilaria is Sales Coordinator for the luxurious hotel, which opened its doors in March 2019 and enjoys a superb location in the city’s Downtown area.

Joining during the ‘soft opening’ period offered specific challenges but also gave Ilaria exposure to many different tasks and responsibilities, which meant “every day is different and every day there is something new”.

She adds, “My main responsibilities are to cooperate with the Sales team, keeping an eye on how this fast-paced market is evolving. There is a lot of market research to analyze our competitors, but also the chance to meet some very important clients with our managers and director attending ‘FAM’ (full account management) trips and sales calls. I also help the Events team in assisting with contracting, banqueting event orders and creation of small and internal events.”

With 80% of its population born outside Qatar, the city of Doha is a place where those with intercultural fluency can thrive. Just like Glion, in fact, where international students make up more than 90% of the total cohort and around 90 nationalities are represented on campus at any given time.

“Working with different cultures was an everyday thing at Glion,” Ilaria adds. “Being able to do this and knowing how to deal with a variety of cultures has helped me to adapt easily and fast.”

She also cites two other things she learned at Glion which have helped her to make her way in the professional world: the ability she developed to speak in public; and learning how to tackle different projects simultaneously, while respecting the deadlines.

“Being able to organize and manage your time at work can be a lifesaver, and no-one teaches you that once you enter the doors of your workplace.”

If you are enjoying Ilaria’s story, why not follow up with our #FirstJob feature on fellow Master’s graduate, Anna Andreoli, who has also landed a position with a famous name in hospitality

Discover Her Story

Ilaria has already called upon much of what she learned in her Master’s program, but she highlights her specialization in Finance and Hotel Development as being particularly useful to her new career. “It gave me very important tools for developing a market analysis project, but mostly it gave me a good understanding of the world I was going into.”

The learning hasn’t stopped for Ilaria now she is on the career ladder. And this is something she believes is essential for current students looking to land their first jobs.

I believe that being humble is the secret if you want to learn and reach your career goal. Be nice with people and be thirsty for their knowledge; everyone, no matter at which step of their career they are on, can teach you something precious.”

As for her own career, Ilaria admits that in these challenging times, and given the way Covid-19 has “mixed the deck” for the hospitality industry, she’s not willing to make too many big plans.

“But for sure I see myself in a managerial role in the Sales and Marketing department. I am very open minded and willing to travel, so right now I won’t target either the company or the place where I will be.”

Why not check out some of our other ‘My First Job’ stories – you’ll find the links below:

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