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A truly transformative education starts in the classroom and continues beyond, enabled through initiatives that drive individual development. At Glion, students with a passion and commitment to achieve their goals are able to access a range of experiences, roles and programs that activate and unleash their full potential. The HAMA Europe Mentorship Initiative is a big one, and we caught up with three of the Mentors and two Mentees to find out more.

 

The Hospitality Asset Managers Association Europe (HAMA Europe) collaborates with Glion Institute of Higher Education on many aspects, not least ensuring that the content of the Bachelor’s specialization in Real Estate and Finance is preparing graduates for the reality of the modern hospitality industry. HAMA Europe also works with our students every year on Applied Business Projects, where students have to work alongside investors and owners on real projects to make them a feasible proposal.

The HEMI is the latest connection between the Association and hospitality educational institutions. Open only to a few carefully selected students per school, the program serves to support future professionals, while promoting the sector, as Mentor, Glion Visiting Lecturer, Managing Director of Pimlico Asset Management and HAMA Europe Communications Chair, Anne-Marie Auriault explains. Creating this program was a team effort at HAMA Europe”, Anne-Marie says. “We looked into the potential initiatives that would help us promote hotel asset management more among the students, and the idea came that we could have a mentoring program. It’s an efficient activity for students, especially at the time when they will be graduating.”

 

A platform for growing and giving back

In total, three Glion students are currently enrolled on the program, Eleonora Jenna, Theresa Schieck and Ludwig Molen. “They presented this opportunity to us in class and introduced us to all of the mentors”, says Theresa. “I started to read through the biographies of the mentors and saw that the career of Vincenzo Occhipinti is very similar to what I could imagine doing. I felt very related to him, and I wanted to get to know more, because it also said that he’s very interested in learning.”

For Eleonora, the program presented the potential to deliver personal growth and more. “I thought it was a very interesting opportunity, especially because I think that the hotel world is pretty small, especially in the asset management area, so people usually get to know each other. It’s a lot about networking, having a Mentor who has been in this business for 15 years and knows a lot of people already is a big advantage.”

 

“I believe that we as an association should now give back”

 

From a Mentor point of view, Investment Manager at Archer Hotel Capital and HAMA Europe Education Committee Member, Vincenzo Occhipinti, sees the program as a way to build connections and pay it forward. “I think it is a really good opportunity for further strengthening the relationship between HAMA Europe and the schools. Also, we are asset management professionals and we’ve been supported in our early years by professionals, so I believe that we as an association should now give back to the environment, to the school, to the business, to the industry.”

 

Wisdom works both ways

Any good Mentor knows that they are in the conversation to learn too, with the very best knowing that the roles of Mentor and Mentee are completely fluid, as Anne-Marie explains. “I think for the mentors themselves, the program is a good opportunity to put a finger on the trends of younger generations, so we get a connection and understand how both individuals and the school are evolving in terms of education.”

It’s not all one way though, students must bring a clear goal to each session in order to get the most out of it for their individual goals. For Theresa, applying for mentoring is all about supporting her career ambitions in asset management. “Before we met for the first time, Vincenzo told me to write down all my goals that I want to achieve with this mentorship program. I sent it to him and then we discussed it during the first meeting.”

 

“I figured, in order to actually learn more about daily life, I should speak to someone who has been living it for many years.”

 

“I thought the HAMA Europe Program would help me with my goals”, Theresa adds, “…to really define them and to learn more about asset management, because as much as we learn about it in the finance course, it was very limited in its time. Of course, I figured, in order to actually learn more about it and more about daily life, I should speak to someone who has been living it for many years.”

 

HAMA Europe Mentorship Initiative – How does it work?

The HAMA Europe Mentorship Program is provided at no cost to the Mentee and offers a wealth of support for those considering a career in asset management. “We ask the students to fill out an application form clearly telling us why they would like to be part of the program and what they expect to gain”, says Anne-Marie.

I think it’s very important that they know it’s not for us to open doors for jobs, it’s there for many other things, for example helping them in their projects, or getting them to know more about their skills. As part of their application, we ask the Mentees to give us their Mentor preference, from 1 to 3, as well as why they prefer one Mentor over another.”

Matching Mentees to Mentors is one of the areas the team spend most of their time, as Vincenzo explains. “We prepare our profiles to explain to the students who we are, our experience and what we are interested in. Also, when we receive their proposals, we have several sessions to discuss how we can better match our profiles, because in the end it’s a relationship.”

 

“They should have an objective for each session…”

 

Once selected for the program, each Mentee must lead the conversation with their Mentor in order to ensure the support they’re receiving is in line with their goals. “We ask students to make some kind of a discussion plan”, adds Vincenzo, “…and we can guide them how they should do it. They should have an objective for each session, so we can prepare and then we can discuss. At the end of the six-month program, we usually have a wrap up, and then we can keep having a more informal relationship.”

 

“…the contact has to come from me, so I organize the meetings”

 

That’s how the mentoring works from a Mentor point of view, but what’s the experience like for Mentees? Theresa explains: “The Mentors gave us their emails so we could contact them and then we set our first meeting. From there, we try to have a meeting every month, but the contact has to come from me, so I organize the meetings in terms of finding the suitable time and sending the link. We usually meet for an hour and then we talk about all these different topics.”

 

How to successfully apply for mentoring – top tips

Vincenzo and Anne-Marie shared their advice for a successful HAMA Europe Mentorship Program application, and the specific elements they look for:

Vincenzo’s application tips:

  • You need to see it as an opportunity
  • Explain why you are motivated
  • Put time into thinking about it
  • Don’t be vague, have real focus

 

Anne-Marie’s application tips:

  • Structure your application
  • Be diligent, dedicated, do research
  • Look at the Mentor’s profiles
  • Describe the reason they would prefer one Mentor over another

 

For Vincenzo, the ideal Mentee is someone looking for external support. “I think that’s what’s important to them, as we are outside their normal relationship, their normal chain of responsibility, we are someone they can talk to about their job, or their school, or whatever it is that interests them.”

Having our own Glion students on the program presented a unique opportunity to also get top application tips from a Mentee point of view:

 

Eleonora and Theresa’s application tips:

  • Be honest
  • Explain your motivations
  • Think about where you want to be in the next 10 years
  • Speak from the heart
  • Do your research!

 

“Why was my application good?”, says Theresa, “…I think it’s because I was very honest. I think it helps a lot. I told them that I don’t have a lot of experience in finance except for the courses and internship, but that I am very motivated to learn. You could feel that I actually did research on the mentors and the program as well.”

 

A coach in your corner

HAMA Europe Education committee member, HoCoSo Chairman and Head of International Hotel Development and Asset Management Specialization at Glion Institute of Higher Education, Jonathan Humphries summed up the benefits of mentoring for students. “There are many intangible benefits of mentoring, it’s about getting students mentally prepared. It could be about how to approach professional relationships, it could be about helping them gain confidence, it could be about trying to help them see a different side of themselves, so they can conduct themselves better in the interview process. I think there’s quite a lot of intangibles that the executives who are coaching or mentoring the students can also share.”

I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for the Mentees”, concluded Luc Boschmans, Managing Director at Tristan Capital Partners and HAMA Europe Education Chair. “I would have loved to be able to ask questions to senior professionals when I was a student. I hope we will have even more Mentees from Glion in the future and that we, at HAMA Europe, will be able to stir some Mentee’s desire to start a career in asset management.”

Want to know more about the benefits of mentoring and how it works? Listen to this podcast, hosted by Jonathan Humphries: The roles of mentors: mentoring and being mentored – with Jonathan Langston

 

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