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Marco Polo: a wealth of experiences
Marco Polo: a wealth of experiences - Vatel

Marco Polo: a wealth of experiences

Back from a year at Vatel Manila with the Marco Polo program, Natacha Thevenot was the Valedictorian for her Bachelor year: she tells us more about how this fantastic experience impacted her student life and professional future.


Read more: Natacha’s testimonial about her Vatel Manila experience

After your Marco Polo year in the Philippines, how did you feel when you went back to your professors, your classmates and your habits at Vatel Lyon?

Our class is really close to each other: I couldn’t wait to see my classmates and go back to student life in my school. It was tough to leave Manila, but I was still happy to come back to France.

How did this international experience impact your work this year?
Studying at Vatel Manila was a great opportunity for me to discover subjects that are taught differently than in France: entrepreneurial work, events management, international law, etc. All the courses were in English using different educational methods than those in France. I was able to develop my critical spirit and perfect my professional English: real assets compared to my fellow students who stayed in France.

Plus, I had a “godmother”, who informed me of all the courses she was taking at Vatel Lyon - marketing, management (French style), and human resources. So, I didn’t lag behind at all and when I got back, I had no problems with the third-year courses.

What would you tell a first-year student who is thinking about leaving next year with the Marco Polo program? 
Marco Polo is a big commitment: you must be ready to leave for a year far from your country, your friends and family while continuing your work here to have the next year’s academic level. To make the most of it, you have to know what you’ll be doing and be well prepared.

It was an unforgettable and extraordinary experience personally. I spent seven months in an internship at the Felix Hotel in Cambridge England and six months in the Philippines. I met other cultures and learned how to stand on my own two feet in all circumstances.

I learned a lot with Marco Polo: much more than just an exchange program, it’s an unbelievable lesson in life. I’d do it again, if I could!

What are your expectations for the MBA in International Hotel Management?
With an MBA, you go quickly from operational divisions to strategic ones. It will also allow me to expand my managerial know-how which I’ll use in my internship, and I hope that this will turn into the beginning of a great job.
I’m looking forward to having a specialization, which will give my resume a lot of added value. I’m hesitating between the Luxury Brand Management specialization in Vatel Paris and the Sales and E-Marketing Management specialization in Vatel Brussels.

What are your upcoming projects?
I’m interested in being a Catering Manager. This is a polyfunctional job with both strategic and operational functions. You have to work closely with the teams in the kitchens and restaurants, manage several outlets, adapt the offer to each type of clientele, work on your restaurant’s image, draw up the budgets, etc.
My dream? Being the Catering Manager in a five-star hotel in an Anglo-Saxon country, ideally in the United Kingdom. And I’m counting on my MBA internship to put this in place!

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