In this edition of Alumni Views we met with a recent alumnus of the Postgraduate Intensive Diploma in International Hotel Management, Mr. Miguel Angel de la Torre.
Miguel came to Les Roches Marbella in January 2014 after twelve years working as an Area Manager and overseeing five travel agencies for Viajes Iberia (later Vibo Viajes). When Viajes Iberia began closing its agencies around Spain in 2012, Miguel decided it was time to reinvent himself in order to stay on top of his profession. At 40 years old he enrolled in the postgraduate course at Les Roches Marbella and this helped him to expand his horizons within the hospitality and tourism industry.
Prior to studying the postgraduate degree earlier this year, Miguel had spent four years in the Spanish army and later completed his undergraduate studies in English at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. During these early years Miguel discovered his love for teaching and furthered his qualifications with a pedagogical certificate for teaching English in the Spanish public school system. His English skills eventually led him to the travel and tourism industry where he completed the IATA Foundation Course for International Travel Agents and laid the groundwork for his future position with Viajes Iberia.
Miguel always had a dream of working and living in Asia, so he made good use of the doors that were opened for him while studying his postgraduate degree at Les Roches Marbella and obtained a hotel internship offer in the Chinese city of Harbin. While speaking with Miguel we asked him if studying at Les Roches Marbella at 40 years old had an impact on his life and professional goals. His answer: “Studying at Les Roches Marbella really changed my life. As the school motto says, Les Roches is not just a school, it’s a way of life! In my case, after studying there, I learned to be much more organized and consistent in my everyday on-the-job performance. I also learned to love what I do and to always be enthusiastic about it, something that is essential to being a good manager. I have to dreams and one of them has always been to expatriate to Asia. Thanks to Les Roches Marbella I am fulfilling two dreams in one.”
So, what is his second dream? To become a teacher and this is where his story takes an unexpected turn. Shortly before starting his internship he came across a job offer for a Spanish teacher at our sister campus in China, Les Roches Jin Jiang. Out of curiosity he contacted the school’s director and before he knew it he was conducting interviews via Skype. Les Roches Jin Jiang was impressed by his credentials and immediately offered him the position to come teach Spanish classes at their campus in China. He never looked back and declined his internship offer in order to start this summer as a lecturer at Les Roches.
Three months into his venture in China, Miguel couldn’t be happier, after all he is living and teaching in one of the most exciting and beautiful cities in the world – Shanghai. He describes living in Shanghai by stating, “This city is amazing! It’s the most populated city in the world and so multicultural and international. This is a dream come true.”
Now, to top off his incredible story, the Spanish daily newspaper, El Pais, contacted him to do an interview about Spanish teachers working abroad. We are happy to see that the feature was published just prior to his feature here in the Les Roches Marbella Blog. You can read the article here.
From all of us at Les Roches Marbella, we want to welcome Miguel to the Les Roches family and wish him the best of luck with his new professional journey in China.