Developing skills, opening doors – why Executive Master’s student Yana Delimpaltidi chose Les Roches

Even with a hospitality degree and a decade’s professional experience, Yana Delimpaltidi knew there would be benefits in going ‘back to school’ with our Executive Master’s in International Hotel Management. We caught up with her to find out how she was getting on with her studies…

As a sun-drenched, perennially popular tourism destination, Greece ranks pretty highly as a place to sharpen hospitality business skills.

So it has proved for Ukrainian-born Yana Delimpaltidi, who has made a home – and a career – in Greece for the past decade or more.

“I embarked on my hospitality career journey in the front office, honing invaluable skills in guest communication and understanding their diverse needs,” she explains. “For the past eight years I’ve been an integral part of the VIP department for the Sani/Ikos Group, overseeing private services and enhancing guests’ experiences beyond their stays in our 12 Sani & Ikos Resorts in Greece and Spain. 

“Our service and care for guests is at a high level, so it requires from us maximum professionalism, attention to detail, and the ability to fulfill the wishes of guests even before they ask for them.”

A pretty demanding role for sure, and one that provides plenty of practical, day-to-day experience. But Yana knew she needed something more to step up the executive ladder; an enhanced level of expertise that can only come from going ‘back to school’.

Acquiring the career ‘x-factor’

“When searching for an academic program, a key factor was the presence in the program not only of theory, but of practical knowledge – examples from teachers who already have quite impressive experience in this field. I also wanted to see tasks included that help develop skills that will really be useful in the work process itself.”

Attracted by the program content and faculty of our Executive Master’s in International Hotel Management, and of our reputation across the industry, Yana chose Les Roches as a means of opening doors to the future. She duly began her studies in September 2023.

A big benefit of an Executive Master’s is that it can be studied flexibly alongside work and family responsibilities, so there’s no need for the participant to leave their present job. This was a big factor in Yana’s selection process, although it wasn’t without some anxieties.

“Due to my full-time work schedule, which requires my almost complete daily involvement, and factoring in time for my family, I certainly cannot afford to leave for several months on campus,” she notes.

“I did have some concerns that the online program would be weaker than the one students take in person. But all this dissipated immediately with the start of the first module. The well-structured presentation of information, open access to lectures, and personalized interactions with teachers via video calls or email, exceeded my expectations. The online program’s flexibility enables me to balance work and study without compromising quality.”

Up close and personal

Although the overwhelming majority of an Executive Master’s is followed remotely, the program also incorporates Residential Weeks that gather the student cohort together on campus for face-to-face classes, industry visits and peer-to-peer networking. Yana took advantage of this element – and was pleased she did!

“My visit to the Marbella campus reinforced the program’s excellence. The eagerness to assist, and the professionalism evident in every organizational aspect exceeded my imagination. There were no dry presentations or tedious lectures; the teachers imparted knowledge drawn from their extensive experience through lively communication, discussions, addressing our queries, and providing practical examples, going beyond conventional academic material.”

Off-campus activities that Yana recalls fondly included a sake tasting and sushi masterclass at the Nobu Hotel Marbella, which she said “demonstrated the pinnacle of service, setting a standard for our aspirations”. And a luxury hotel visit to talk with the General Manager and other senior staff was seen as “simply priceless and something that cannot be obtained from a dry study of the material”.

Having reached the halfway mark of her Executive Master’s program, Yana is already casting her mind forward to what happens next, and how she will deploy what she has learned. What is she hoping to achieve?

“I aspire to apply the acquired knowledge in my current role. Perhaps in the future I’ll also be ready to explore opportunities in other companies, confident that a Les Roches diploma will unlock doors to the world’s leading hotel brands. 

“My dream was to attain education in the world’s best school, and that’s an achievement I’m on the brink of realizing.”

Good luck with the rest of your studies, Yana!

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