Aksinya, Eva and Olga are 3 Russian SHMS students currently on internships with Four Seasons in Geneva, Miami and Dubai. We caught up with them to find out the journey that led them to this very exciting moment in their lives as they put plans in place for their future.
Why did you choose hospitality as your career path?
Aksinya: I knew I wanted to find a profession where I could talk to people, tap into my creative potential, lead an active and busy lifestyle and get paid well. Hospitality turned out to be the best option as it lets you build a successful international career with lots of choice.
Olga: I dreamt of becoming a pilot just like my father as he was always talking of his travels and all of the exciting places he visited! He was the one that convinced me that the hotel business is booming and I could make a successful career in hospitality.
Why did you choose to study at SHMS?
Eva: I have always been interested in the world of hotels and restaurants. My first introduction to the school was through an Open House organised by Swiss Education Group. I chose SHMS because I was impressed by the presentation of the school, the professional students and especially the warm atmosphere and the comfort and coziness I felt during my visit.
What was your first year at SHMS like?
Olga: The very first year is probably the most difficult one as you are far away from home and you have to take care of yourself, by yourself for the first time. Adapting to the new environment, new people and new school rules taught me independence and tolerance. Although difficult at first, by the end of the year I was fully settled in and could not wait to see everyone returning from internship!
What is the most interesting part of your studies?
Aksinya: The Events Management specialisation makes studying at SHMS really exciting for me. Beginning in year 1, we take part in the the organisation of a real banquet for 100 guests. We are tasked to create the concept, manage the budget and contractors, send out invitations, prepare the menu and distribute the key roles of the team. Its an opportunity for a real-life scenario just like in the working world.
What was your first internship experience like?
Eva: My first internship was in restaurant service at the 5-star Beau Rivage Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. After completing the internship, I remember feeling so proud that at 18 years old I already had great working experience and on the job training. My internships have helped reinforce my passion for working in this industry.
Aksinya: I'm currently on my first internship experience with the 5-star Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach in Dubai. My first 3 months were spent working in the Guest Relations Department where I focused on personalised luxury service. My next 3 months will be spent at the Front Office welcoming guests. The training and role playing opportunities has created an invaluable experience that I'm confident will help me in my future.
How did SHMS help prepare you for your internship?
Eva: At SHMS we are taught discipline, work ethic and communication with customers through varied projects and group work. Also, studying with students of more than 50 different nationalities truly helps develop your ability to listen and understand others. This emotional intelligence and tolerence is a crucial part of being successful in hospitality.
What advice do you have for students considering a career in hospitality?
Eva: Choosing the right school is extremely important as it can define your future career. SHMS' focus on career preparation alongside its global reputation is why it was the right choice for me as I build my career.