Why did you decide to study hotel management?
For me, there’s only one reason for choosing the hotel industry, and that’s passion. The field is very demanding and requires a lot of personal investment and sacrifice if you want to go far. The rewards are not always what you expect, so you have to truly love what you do. And I really do!
What motivated you to study abroad?
In the hotel industry, it’s important to be open to other cultures and languages. You also need empathy and emotional intelligence: clients who stay at a hotel are not in their home environment and are therefore outside their comfort and safety zone. I feel like it’s harder to understand clients or anticipate their needs if you don’t understand the challenges of being in an unfamiliar place. That’s why I wanted to go abroad for a long period of time to see if I was capable of this type of openness.
Why the ITHQ?
The Institute’s reputation and a tour of its facilities, particularly the teaching hotel and restaurants, quickly convinced me.
Why did you choose the ASIHM program?
I already had a university degree (European license / North American bachelor’s degree), and I wanted to work “in the field” without spending too much time at school. Through the ASIHM program, I’ve received practical education, carried out concrete projects, and started my career in the hotel industry through internships. It’s a great balance between theory and practice, and it’s ideal for students like me who are a bit tired of traditional teaching. This year we even got the chance to help create a business plan for the future lobby bar of the Hôtel de l’ITHQ. I learned more from this project than I ever would have during lectures or regular classes.
What did you like most about your program?
This program really gets you in the action. The instructors always find ways to help us apply our knowledge in a concrete way. The internships give us perspective and help us delve into the subject more deeply. The instructors are also available to discuss the material to help us develop our understanding. The instruction is very personalized: the teachers take our background and future aspirations into account to guide and advise us. This program is more like coaching than a series of traditional courses, which is why I think it’s very valuable.
What challenges did you have at the ITHQ?
The only problems I had were bureaucratic ones, as it’s always a bit difficult to immigrate. There are so many forms to provide and authorizations to get. It’s easy to get lost! Fortunately, the international recruitment team always helped a great deal and supported me whenever I needed help with the process. Everything else has been very positive and beyond my expectations. For example, when I arrived in Quebec, I didn’t know anyone in the hotel industry. Now, thanks to the ITHQ and to my colleagues and my teachers, I have been to the biggest hotels in Montreal and even regions outside the city. I’ve quickly developed an impressive network of contacts. I never imagined that the hospitality industry would be so accessible!
What are your professional ambitions?
I want to stay in Canada a bit longer, as I really love it here. I’m currently working in Montreal for the Groupe Germain’s Alt hotel chain, a very promising Canadian brand that I am incredibly devoted to. I would love to develop my career with this company and manage a department or be a general manager, preferably at a hotel out in the countryside, as I’m extremely passionate about the great outdoors. I also have a great passion for Asia and want to travel there in a few years to work at a hotel in Burma, South Korea or Indonesia. That’s the great thing about the hotel industry: your options are endless!