Here we are, and the “Revenue Management” class at Vatel Lyon has just opened with its first students. Twenty of them have chosen it for their fifth and last year at Vatel, and are in the photo with Mr. Jean-Manuel Andre, the head of the program and an RM specialist for over 20 years, Mr. Nicolas Cocagne, an RM administration specialist and Ms. Delphine Cinquin, the Vatel Lyon Head of Studies.
Clement Lorentz, the 2013 Vatel Lyon Bachelor’s Degree in International Hotel Management Valedictorian chose this post-graduate specialization.
Clement, where did you do your last internships and what departments did you work in? Did they influence your choice of this specialization?
My first internship took place at the La Pomme de Pin four-star hotel in Courchevel 1850 where I worked in the restaurant and at the front desk. Then for my second year, I decided to go to London to the Pullman London St. Pancras,where I worked in the entire restaurant and catering department. I was already interested in revenue management, and had the opportunity of doing a four month internship in the school vacation between my fourth and fifth year at Resilogis, a group based in Lyon. This group manages three hotel residences and over 15 student residences in Lyon, Montpellier and Grenoble. Nicolas Cocagne, the Revenue, Sales and Marketing Manager was my mentor and taught me about this job that he loves. And I quickly learned to love it too.
What attracts you in Revenue Management?
RM is not just about managing prices and room vacancies. It embodies a dimension including analysis, strategy and forecasts, without ever forgetting an omnipresent human aspect. A Revenue Manager does not merely work analyzing figures throughout the whole day. He or she works, on one hand, with every department in the hotel and on the other, with the hotel’s global environment in order to increase profitability, without forgetting even the smallest detail that could impact its global revenue.
Do you already have an idea about the final internship you want to do?
After a first and very rewarding experience in a locally sized group with “in-house” methods, now I’m looking towards the Accor group in Paris for my final internship in order to have a different vision of this job and perhaps a more standardized one with very state-of-the-start decision-making tools.
What professional goals do you have?
In the short term, of course, I’d like to be a Revenue Manager. In the mid term, I’d like to manage a hotel, and Revenue Management is quite close to this, in order to acquire experience and skills I need for my long-term goal. And this is to open my own hotel in Ardeche, which is where I grew up. I love this region because of the tranquility, the beauty and diversity of its landscapes as well as the quality of life you have when you have a family.
Can you tell us very simply what Revenue Management entails?
Revenue Management, now a key department in the hotel and tourism management fields, is a managerial tool that allows you to better manage sales and costs, with the goal of optimal profitability. That means you have to know your market, what your customers need and expect in order to guide your purchases and in doing so, generate higher revenues. This discipline requires the use of new technologies and new communication and information methods while never forgetting the human value that is at the heart of our job.
Do you have any idea about the courses you will be taking this year?
I’ll be taking “traditional” courses like management, taxation, and tourist economy this year. But we’re no longer in a theoretical way of learning things, but rather now we’ll be applying what we learned in previous years. So RM, as you can tell by its name, is a department that includes two notions: revenue, with pricing forecasts, marketing strategies and so on, as well as management when you train your teams and make them aware of decisions made at higher levels.
As this specialization just opened this year, we’ll be discovering all the presentations and conferences we’ll be attending. And when you look at the schedule, courses will be both varied and complementary, or you could even say necessarily incidental to each other. In addition to that, we’ll be hosting professionals from many walks of life who will share their skills and experiences with us.
What are your first impressions? Can you tell us about the first conference you attended?
The speaker at our first conference was Jean-Manuel Andre, and he gave us a presentation about the basics of RM and how it is applied to our types of jobs, in catering in airlines, in restaurants, hotels, etc. This first conference gave us a huge amount of information and the entire class agreed that it corresponded to what we were expecting. We can’t wait to attend the other conferences.
Did students from other Vatel Campuses also come to take this program?
Yes, we have students from Vatel Paris, Nimes, Bordeaux and Brussels. There’s a good atmosphere that promotes personal development because we’ve all got a lot of different experiences we can share.