Each semester Les Roches Marbella organizes a series of hospitality industry presentations that serve to broaden students’ knowledge and provide exciting internship opportunities in the best hotels around the world. Last Tuesday we had the pleasure of welcoming one such prestigious hotel company on campus; the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG).
IHG is an international hotel group with 9 hotel brands and 4,600 hotels in nearly 100 countries around the world. The list of hotel brands under the flag of IHG includes Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Crown Plaza, Indigo Hotels, Hualuxe, Even Hotels, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. With a portfolio as impressive as this, it is no wonder they have over 90,000 more rooms in the pipeline over the next several years. On a domestic level, IHG recently opened its first luxury boutique hotel in Barcelona under the Indigo brand of hotels and there are 13 more such hotels being developed in the region.
As with many of the hotel companies that visit Les Roches in search of qualified hospitality professionals, IHG was represented by two of our alumni: Angela Sinovas, a 2009 graduate who is now a Human Resources Manager with IHG and Alejandro Soria, a 2011 graduate and current candidate in IHG’s Future Leaders Program. Both were on hand to assist Intercontinental Madrid’s Director of Finance and Business Support, Dimitris Mitta.
We had the opportunity to interview Mr. Mitta after his presentation and he had some interesting things to say about Les Roches Marbella and the hospitality industry as a whole:
LRM: From your point of view, what are the most important skills that a Hospitality Management school should instill in their students?
Dimitris Mitta: First of all, students should be taught the importance of service. They also should receive an education that puts attention on managing a business. As such, they need to understand that a Hotel is a business like any other and should have direct working knowledge of its operations and objectives. I have seen many cases where students do not understand the important role of departments such as Sales and Finance. Although it is crucial to see hotels as fundamentally service companies, we live in a financial world and it is equally important to understand the importance of managing a successful business within this role. Last but not least, a Hospitality Management school must provide quality internships to combine both theory and practice in real-world hotels.
LRM: What kind of student profile does IHG seek when recruiting candidates from schools specializing in Hospitality Management?
DM: Future Mangers! IHG always looks for candidates with the desire to lead. We value students who want to succeed but who also realize that they must learn the industry from the ground up to get there. We look for students who are ready to put in the hard work required to become managers in a short period of time.
LRM: Why has IHG chosen Les Roches Marbella to recruit students for its establishment and since when?
DM: We recruit from Les Roches Marbella because of the level of education and internships offered to the students. By providing us with qualified candidates, the school essentially pre-selects the students for us. Furthermore, we have employed many Les Roches Marbella students in the past who have performed very well and succeeded.
LRM: From your experience with Les Roches Marbella, what differentiates this School from others as it involves the training of managers for the hotel industry and what added value do you think our students have?
DM: Two important reasons for selecting Les Roches Marbella students are: One, they are multicultural and international-minded, and two, they are very focused on service and hands-on management of a company.
LRM: How do you organize the collaboration between IHG and the Career Development Department at Les Roches Marbella?
DM: The collaboration is facilitated by our established relationship with the school’s highly professional people in the Career Development & Internship Program Department (CDIP). They are always open to receive us when we are recruiting students and have a clear idea of the profile of student we seek out. Thanks to the success we have seen from the school’s students, we now try to visit at least once a semester.
LRM: Can you tell us of a student from Les Roches Marbella occupying a position of responsibility in your chain?
DM: Actually, two graduates of Les Roches Marbella are here with us today to assist in the presentation of IHG, Ms. Angela Sinovas, Human Resources Manager and Mr. Alejandro Soria, a candidate in IHG’s Future Leaders Program.
We would like to thank Mr. Mitta for his time and we look forward to providing talented professionals to the Intercontinental Hotel Group for a long time to come. Please check back regularly for more hospitality industry presentations at Les Roches Marbella.