Name: Catherine Demont
Campus: Les Roches Bluche, Dual BBA/BSc in International Hotel Management with specialization in Entrepreneurship, Project Management and Hotel Design, 2014
Current job: Group Services Manager at Rosewood London
Taking care of business on a big scale is no problem for Catherine. As Group Services Manager at Rosewood London, the Les Roches alumna works to create five-star experiences for large groups and events. Her main responsibilities include managing group and event bookings from start to finish, serving as the main point of contact for organizers, and communicating group and event arrangements with all departments in the hotel. And no two days are the same:
“I could be meeting with group organizers ahead of time to discuss the details of their stay. I could be greeting them upon their arrival, or wishing them farewell on their departure. I could also be assisting with piecing together final invoices once a group stay has wrapped up. There’s always lots to do to ensure luxury service!”
Catherine’s journey to her current career with Rosewood began at Les Roches, where she was first exposed to the global diversity of the hospitality landscape. As a student, she completed an internship in China at InterContinental Suzhou, a period which left a lasting impression. Catherine heartily recommends the experience of working abroad in an unfamiliar environment.
She says, “Living in Suzhou was a fantastic, eye-opening experience; the culture in mainland China was so different to anything I was used to. This exposure helped me in my career, as I now have a greater understanding of Chinese culture and customs, and how we can better meet the expectations of our Chinese guests. Living and working in the environment is the only way to gain a true understanding — and the only way I could have visited such amazing places and met such wonderful people!”
After returning from China, Catherine began her final year at Les Roches — and her job search. She says, “Rosewood caught my attention, and following the presentation they delivered on campus during my final semester, I was hooked. As a small luxury collection offering a personalized boutique experience, Rosewood truly stands out among the competition.” Catherine applied and was hired for the position of Sales Coordinator at Rosewood London. After a year, she was promoted to the role of Group Services Manager.
At Rosewood, Catherine found that she particularly enjoyed the challenges of group sales. [quote]I thoroughly enjoy working with business on a larger scale, rather than with individual guest bookings. Successfully completing a group booking of more than 300 room nights is a great accomplishment. [/quote]
“To have clients with high expectations, who spend large sums of money, express their satisfaction and gratification is very rewarding.”
Three years after graduating from Les Roches, Catherine’s connection to fellow Les Roches alumni remains strong. She says, There is a huge Les Roches alumni community in London, which has done a great job of remaining in touch with each other. There are also several individuals who dedicate time to arranging alumni gatherings every few months, which are always highly attended and are a great way to network.
[quote]Fellow students who were once just classmates and friends become industry contacts, and we’re always able to help each other out with new employment opportunities and industry updates.[/quote] I can’t think of another educational institution that can boast such a large intertwined alumni network; it’s a great benefit.”
In fact, Catherine works alongside Les Roches alumni every day. She credits the school with “encouraging students to think outside of the box,” and notes, “Les Roches provides that cultural and industry exposure that today’s hotelier needs to succeed.”
As for the future, Catherine has yet to decide what her next career move will be, but the doors are wide open: “There’s so many elements of the industry that I enjoy, and the more experience I gain, the more my eyes are opened to how I could use my newly gained skills. I would love to run my own operation one day, but I think I have a lot more work to do until I’m ready for that!”