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MBA Vatel: additional skills and a springboard for a career - Vatel

MBA Vatel: additional skills and a springboard for a career

William Ribault, 22 years old, tells us about student life in his 5th year of specialization at Vatel Bordeaux.


After having studied for four years at Vatel Paris, done internships at the Georges V and the Brussels Plaza, William decided to pursue his studies in the realm of luxury hotel management. To do this he decided to go to Bordeaux for the Specialization in the MBA International Wine and Spirits Management

His goal: putting “the little something extra” on his resume so that it would stand out.

What do you like about the wine and spirits sector ?

Wine is one of the most complex and mysterious French products, but when you explain this well to people, their customer experience is really enhanced. It’s also a great lever to increase a restaurant’s turnover. Later on, I’d like to manage restaurant services and I think that having additional knowledge in this line of work will open doors for me. Bordeaux is the wine capital of the world and an ideal place for this specialization.

Tell us more about your first few months with your courses, wine tours, workshops and professional wine-tasting events.

When you mix theoretical courses with practical applications, you learn five times faster. Vatel Bordeaux, with its wine tours and workshops gives us hands-on experience and the opportunity to apply everything we learned in the classroom right away. For example, when we toured Chateau Castera, I saw the entire wine harvesting process. And for someone from Normandy like myself, this was really a true discovery! The professionals who we visit know how to share their passion. Charles Braastad, who manages Maison Delamain, took the time to present us with various Cognacs from the time they were fresh out of the cask until the aged products. And I also loved the tour we had at the Baron cask facility. Now, when I look at a cask, I know how it was made and that French wood gives off a different aroma than American wood. You can’t learn stuff like that on internet; you have to see it for yourself.

What do you think about the WSET certifications that Vatel Bordeaux issues ?

These certifications are recognized internationally and are accredited by a British organization. They certify your level of knowledge in wine and spirits, as well as your English level. That’s something that makes your resume really stand out.

What do you think about Bordeaux and the region ? Tell us more about student life here.

After having lived in Paris, this is like a vacation! Bordeaux is a mid-sized and welcoming city. You can go everywhere on your bike, and you’re just an hour away from the Arcachon Bay, near Saint-Emilion. With vineyards, wine cellars and great restaurants, you learn and have fun at the same time. The administrative staff and faculty members are always available and have time to listen to us. As of the very first week at school, Laetitia Ouspointour, our Head of Studies, accompanied us on a tour of the Cité du Vin, the “Wine City,” and our professor in Wine Tourism showed us around the city. This close relationship we have with them helps put new students at ease.

Do you have any advice you’d like to give to students who are thinking about specializing in Wine & Spirits ?

Jump right in and come! All specializations are really adventageous. If you’re interested in this line of work, the Wine & Spirits Management MBA was tailor-made for you.

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