As a Student Ambassador of Les Roches Marbella, I have been tasked with the responsibility to always act professionally, to surpass even my own expectations, and to represent my university as I always represent myself – diplomatic, open-minded, tolerant, and hospitality-oriented. Essentially, there is not much difference between all students and us Ambassadors. We are all taught the same regardless of our roles only we ambassadors have a desire to pursue these traits further and express them with people outside of the school.
I consider myself to be a “meteoropathic” person and this played an important part in my decision to study in Marbella. After all, how can anybody be sad, homesick or desperate while living in a place that has more than 300 sunny days annually and where rain is a rare advent? Yes, I forgot – there are also beautiful palm trees, the Mediterranean sea and sandy beaches! When I found out about Les Roches Marbella and it’s reputation as a leading international hotel management school, I did not hesitate to send the application straight away as there is an added bonus to studying in a warm and sunny climate.
Living in Marbella is not like living in the rest of Spain. Although I have not visited the entire country, I can tell you that this city is different than the others on the Costa del Sol and Andalusia, and for sure when compared to the inland cities and other regions of Spain. Marbella is something special. Internationalism can be smelled in the air. Everywhere. Wherever you go on the streets, the old-town, Puerto Banus, in supermarkets, in nightclubs, all nations are included.
Two and a half months have now passed since I began studying the Postgraduate in Hospitality Management. Let me explain how this first period went.
Induction was on 29th of July and with it came a plethora of schedules, advice, expectations, calendars, and responsibilities. Everyone was thrilled to begin but also a little afraid of what lie ahead and somewhat confused before we got acquainted with the new environment.
All the procedures, rules, regulations and of course the service uniforms that we were faced with on the first day soon started to make sense and we had no other option than to adapt and stick to them.
In the first week, we started our practical lessons. From day one this involved stewarding, service and kitchen duties. There were a lot of sceptical comments to the tone of, “Why are they doing this to us? What does taking out the garbage and peeling potatoes have to do with hospitality management?” Then, suddenly, during the 3rd week, we PG students found ourselves getting used to it, the shock had worn off and we began to see where this was heading.
Induction Day – We look so scared!
It was at this time that we started thinking and acting like a team. True compassion could be felt and real team spirit started to flow like a cloud above us. All of us understood very soon that we have to pass through every job and every role of our future employees and colleagues in order to understand their job positions and tasks, so we can easily manage and make decisions when it will be needed in the future as from the manager’s point of view.
Great idea, is it not? Besides, it was not doing us any harm as I am sure that a lot of us had never even washed dishes before. At the very least we can be happy that we have tried something new.
Finally, the academic part began and soon we would find ourselves missing those long hours of practical training. There were many Interesting subjects being thrown at us by now, such as Marketing in Hospitality, Accounting, Rooms division, Facilities, Food & Beverage Management, and Events Management among others.
Apart from the progress tests and projects from all the other courses, in the Event Management course, we had a task to organize the campus-wide “Sports day” event on the 25th of September. That was a challenge and our first real test in a real-world setting. We were still new, “green and fresh”, not adapted to this kind of life and intensity, bombarded with information, but we were striving to succeed with only one quote in our mind – “nothing is impossible”.
Organizing the Sports Day event involved detailed preparation, budgeting, delegating roles, collecting ideas and sponsors, promoting and also doing fundraising activities. And in the end, organizing this event resulted in a feeling of great pride amongst us PG students once the event had concluded later that evening. We understood it was over and looking back on all that led to that day, everything went more than fine. From the selection of food we prepared to all of the sports tournaments which took place with relative ease, the culmination of the day came with award ceremony and felt like the cherry on the cake.
Sports Day on The Beach
There is no better prize than acknowledgement from your superiors (in our case, the professors and school management) for the achievement that you have accomplished. We are truly happy and proud. We all feel much stronger and ready for new challenges that are going to come in the second half of the semester. After passing this test of our abilities, at least now we can predict how much effort we will need to make in order to pass everything and finish with good grades. We truly are richer for experiencing this ultimate pressure.
The Sports Day Team taking a breather after the event
At the end of the semester, we will be more than ready to cope with any kind of job in the hospitality industry because our program is based on studying and dissecting the different fields in the industry. Of course the main goal of all this hard work is to shape us as professionals and convert us into experts in hospitality. Two months into the Postgraduate in Hospitality management program, we have learned the essentials of being good colleagues and we have a foothold in the basic operations of each department in a hotel.
It doesn’t matter if somebody likes F&B Management more than Rooms Division or marketing, for example. We all have to know each area, regardless of where we intend to develop our careers later on. This is the reason why Les Roches Marbella has such a good alumni association with successful managers all over the world working in all departments of hotels, resorts and hospitality related businesses.
Enhancing our skills with expert instrucion from Freixenet
I would like to finish this summary with a response I often give during job interviews. When the interviewer asks me to speak about myself, my answer tends toward “Hospitality is not for everyone, it is for people who love to make other people happy”.
If you are passionate, and truly enjoy making others happy then Les Roches Marbella is a great choice. It will enrich your professional ability with important knowledge, force you to broaden your existing skills and enlighten you with unforeseen new skills, all of which will help you gain a competitive edge when applying for a job with world class hospitality companies.
Today, I understand why the school’s motto is “More than a school, it is a way of life”. It shapes you to not only be a hospitality professional but also to be a better person in all respects.