When I started my last year at high school, that crucial moment where you have to step back and think about what college to go to, I still wasn’t sure: what line of work did I want to study for? What kind of job and where did I want to work? Did I want to stay in Russia, my native country, or have an international career?
I talked about this with my friends and family, and in particular with professionals working in Hospitality and Tourism management. These jobs aroused my curiosity and I was more and more attracted by them. After haven spoken with several Vateliens, I was convinced: I decided I wanted to be like them, a senior executive in the international hospitality industry.
I bought into the Vatel Spirit and its educational methods right away. I quickly became aware of all the possibilities that the Group’sinternational outreach and worldwide network of alumni had to offer.
So I applied and passed the entrance exam, and just a few months later started school at Vatel Moscow.
My 1st year on the Campus convinced me that I had made the right decision: the theoretical courses followed by weeks of professional application were really interesting, as was the visit of several luxury hotels.
Hospitality jobs seemed to be made for me and I quickly noted that I also was made for them: I had a job offer right after my first internships at the Grand Hyatt Martinez on the French Riviera and in the Palace Le Bristol in Paris. I turned these offers down as I wanted to continue my schooling, but I kept track of these contacts for the future.
My French got a lot better after these two experiences in France, but my goal had always been to become completely bilingual. That’s why I decided to do my 2nd year on a Vatel Camus in France, with the Marco Polo program.
My goal was to do my 2nd year in Vatel Paris, the capital of the French Art of Hospitality, something envied by the entire world. I could already imagine myself spending a whole year in the most beautiful Palaces in the world, going to Michelin starred gourmet restaurants, and the luxury shops on the Champs Elysees.
So another milestone was reached: I started my second year at the Paris Campus. I won’t hide the fact that it was tough at the beginning because Russian and French are two very different languages. But the Deans from Vatel Moscow and Vatel Paris were right in trusting me, because I really made a lot of progress. After a few months in a total immersion, I really feel at ease with one of the most complex languages in the world!
You just have to concentrate, never miss a class and pay attention at school; everything else follows. Some things will seem to be overwhelming at the beginning of course, but you’ll be able to do them if you really want to.
I love France from all points of view: I appreciate this country for its culture and sophistication, but also, of course, for its gastronomy.
Of course, as I’m sure you already thought, I’ve now set myself some new goals:
A Vatel Paris 2002 alumnus, Solene Le Blevenec began her career in Hyatt Hotels & Resorts before joining the Meurice Hotel. Turning encounters into opportunities, she made the audacious choice to become independent. A bet that paid off!Read more
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How can students appreciate and retain a theoretical course? With a professor who has worked in this industry and has lots of stories to tell!Read more
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Who is Isabelle Cassini, a Vatel Nantes professor?Read more
Seven Romanian high school students spent two weeks at Vatel Nimes, where they shared the daily lives of the 800 students on this Campus.Read more
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Line Laffond, a French professor in international classes in Vatel Nimes, has won the CirVath* Research Award for her study about the “uberization of the hospitality industry and tourism”Read more
Armelle Auguste worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years before being appointed as Director of the 5th Vatel School in France.Vatel Nantes will open in 2018. Her portrait and message to her future students.Read more
Vatel Gourmet Grand Hotel Dieu, located right in this historical and majestic monument, teaches students how a catering boutique is run.Read more