In 2020, Chidochasche Chola enrolled on the Glion Master’s in International Hospitality Business to transition her career from Marketing to Hospitality. What followed was an immersive year of studies and personal development, a six-month internship in Dubai, and a job offer from Marriott that Chi herself describes as ‘a big jump’. We caught up with her to find out more.
Rewind to 2018 and Chi started her professional journey with an Economics major in the United States. From there, she headed into Marketing and Project Management with roles in New York and Miami. Then in 2020 it was passion, and the pandemic, that brought her to hospitality, and Glion.
“My family owns a number of hospitality firms in Zambia. When I went home and spent time there during the pandemic, I fell in love with what it meant to be a hotelier. I learned so much about other people and cultures, and my time spent at home turned into an aspiration and passion to provide unforgettable moments. That’s when I decided to join Glion.”
“I became the class representative for both semesters, and the Marketing student ambassador.”
Selection for the Master’s Fall 2020 intake followed, as did immersion in every bit of professional development that the Glion learning journey had to offer. “I was quite busy in Glion and I tried to get involved wherever I could to make an impact. I became the class representative for both semesters, and the Marketing student ambassador.
“I met incredible people such as my other class representative, David Mast, who now works at W the Palm in Dubai. Together we worked alongside Program Director, Pretima Farrant, and created the Master’s Committee in Glion to give Master’s students more of a voice. Now, it is so rewarding to see how much the community has grown, and to see people reach out to me for ideas and pass on my initial passion that I started with David.”
Following completion of the academic studies on the Master’s in International Hospitality Business, students can then choose between a six-month internship or Business Research Project to complete the program. Chi chose an internship in Human Resources and headed to Lapita, an Autograph Collection hotel in Dubai.
“During my internship I got involved in a new project as Special Project Manager, Workforce Innovation in Marriott. This took me to the corporate level and ultimately my current role in March 2022. I am now part of Learning & Development and HR projects, delivering training to 394 hotels and property leaders.”
“…I’m above property level not just for Dubai, but for Europe, the Middle East and Africa…It’s really a big jump.”
“It was a hard choice between staying in-property and going corporate, but my passion for this project is very strong. Now I’m above property level not just for Dubai, but for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “I handle all internal communications, run training, do marketing, and some data analytics. It’s really a big jump and I’m doing a lot of things I never thought I would do. My progression is very fast but I feel very grateful. I am very humbled and so passionate.”
Chi’s career tips
With Chi experiencing outstanding success so soon after completing her Master’s, we had to get her career advice to share with current and future Glioners.
“Be yourself, no matter what you do, always stay authentic and true to who you are. We were all selected to go to Glion, one of the best schools in the world, for a reason. When you go out into the world, remember who you are. Remember where you came from. Remember the people who got you there regardless, both the good and the bad. And remember all the lessons you learnt along the way.”
“The hospitality world is so dynamic and fast paced, you never know where you’re going to end up tomorrow.”
“Be dedicated, passionate, excited and open to the world of hospitality. The hospitality world is so dynamic and fast paced, you never know where you’re going to end up tomorrow. Live your life and make every day an adventure, I think you’ll be set.