When people think of a “Success Story”, they always think of those who have worked for quite a while and climbed the corporate ladder quickly and brilliantly.
But when you listen to Jenna Li, the Dubai Ritz-Carlton Meetings & Special Events Executive, as she tells us her story, it’s really hard to imagine that she has just graduated from Vatel in Mauritius.
So here is our youngest 2013 Success Story told by a 2013 graduate!
Jenna, could you tell us why you decided to study at Vatel?
I was born and raised in Mauritius. I was lucky to be able to attend the best girl’s high schools on the island: Lorrette College in Port Louis and Queen Elizabeth College. All courses were given in English and my high school education followed principles of the Cambridge Higher School Certificate. As I had very good grades, I was able to be nationally ranked. And that opened many doors for me when choosing what I wanted to study.
I had always known that I wanted to work in the tourism and international hospitality industry. So I started to look at what was offered in that field throughout the world and I discovered Vatel. And when digging a little deeper, I saw that a Vatel School had just opened in Mauritius. That was a golden opportunity I couldn’t pass up! Hotels in Mauritius are renowned throughout the world as being some of the most luxurious ones that exist and having a school with a global reputation right on my doorstep made this an obvious choice for me.
In addition to that, I didn’t want to go to a school that only gave theoretical courses. So Vatel’s method of education with a mixture of practical courses and lectures was just what I was looking for. Having the possibility of putting into practice what was studied every two weeks is really an asset that puts Vatel in a class way above other schools specialized in hotel and tourism management.
So you would say that Vatel lived up to your expectations?
Exactly, and even exceeded them! In Vatel I discovered how strong team spirit and solidarity were. There weren’t many students in my class so we were all very close. We worked on a lot of projects together. I particular I remember all the pre and post production needed for our first Lipdub in our Schools and organizing the first Vatel seminar in Mauritius. Being a part of these two events allowed me to realize I wanted to work in Special Events Management.
Another thing that really struck me was that most of our professors came in just for us from foreign countries to give their courses. The expertise and wealth of content in their courses was fantastic. I remember each and every one of them and continue to thank them for what they taught me.
Where did you do your practical application work and internships?
At Four Points by Sheraton Cybercity, the Royal Palm Hotel, and at the St. Regis Resort in Mauritius. And for my first internship it was at the One&Only The Palm in Dubai. Not bad! Discovering a lifestyle that was completely different from mine in my first internship really helped me to gain maturity. Each experience and each professional person I met during the three years I spent at Vatel in Mauritius really impacted me in my professional life. I remember each event I worked on during my internships as well as the tasks I accomplished during my practical application weeks. Spending this time in hotels really changed me. It made me a better person.
And that’s how your final internship turned into your first job? Is that correct?
That’s it exactly! I finished my exams at the end of October 2012 and then a few days later I took the plane to Dubai and started my final internship in the Ritz-Carlton. Three months later, they hired me in the job I’m currently employed. I think that this is pretty good for a first job.
Can you tell us in detail what you do then?
My job consists of directly reporting to the Events Manager as well as the Sales & Marketing Manager. This job gives me a lot of responsibilities at the hotel. Staying within a given annual and monthly budget, I take care of all private events such as meetings, conventions, weddings (what I prefer!) that I organize from A to Z as the direct interface between the hotel and the customer. I’m also in charge of the entire sales process that consists of attracting the largest amount of visitors into our hotel so we can show off our many assets: having them visit the hotel, showing them the new rooms and restaurant, etc. My “sales intensity” must always be at its peak and I’m there during each event.
Would you like to add anything?
Vatel opened every single door for me. It’s true that all students must involve themselves completely and never hesitate to go the extra mile, be patient and passionate while attending school. But Vatel values and its curriculum really help people distinguish a Vatelien from all the others.
I would like to encourage as many young people as possible to choose to attend Vatel, and to get as much experience as possible. I’d like to thank all my classmates, the administrative staff in Vatel in Mauritius, the professional instructors as well as the professors and lecturers that I was lucky enough to meet while I attended Vatel.
And very special thanks to the entire Ritz-Carlton Dubai team who allowed me to begin my career.
Vatel Students from around Asia participated at SUIC's Summer Programme closing ceremonyRead more
60 international students from around the world including various Vatel schools participate at this year's cultural programme!Read more
Vatel Thailand students won culinary medals at TRAFS 2019 Thailand’s No.1 International Show on Retail, Food & Hospitality Services 2019Read more
Each year our Group School directors, getting together for the Vatel International Convention, use today’s experiences to continue to invent tomorrow’s schools for our future hospitality professionals.Read more
International Culinary SuccessRead more
Students from Silpakorn also joined a Table Manner training SessionRead more
Vatel cultivates the qualities required to be a good professional in the hospitality industry: being fluent in foreign languages, knowing how to work with other cultures... Hoteliers are attracted by Vatel students’ resumes, as Vateliens can tell us.Read more
François Perraud feels both a hotelier and a financial controller, an expertise that he likes to pass on to Vatel students.Read more
An Interview with Marco Polo Students about their study experience in ThailandRead more
Vatel Thailand Students depart for international internshipsRead more
Vatel Students at the French Ambassador's residenceRead more
Jeremie de Fombelle has always loved resorts and has seen many of them, before coming to Mauritius. And this is where he really fell in love! But economic competition is stiff. How can you stand out, if not by the quality of your management?Read more
A professor of marketing, corporate promotion and negotiation, Sophie Lot loves adult education and teaches at Vatel Switzerland.Read more
Thanatat Boonpeng: a young Vatel graduate at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok.Read more
Every day, Vatel students and instructors prepare for class, study, and fan the flames of their curiosity, thanks to the cutting-edge digital library provided by the ScholarVox platform. Come right this way for digital access to knowledge!Read more
An MBA specializing in ecotourism opens in Madagascar. This island has all it takes to materialize this demanding approach of responsible and innovative tourism.Read more
New ideas, enthusiasm, the desire to embrace a gourmet universe: Jerome Ferrer’s story has all the ingredients that inspire the best “success stories” to strategy professors!Read more
Silpakorn University International College (SUIC) organised an Open House for students to learn more about Vatel BangkokRead more
Congratulations to Vatel Bangkok Graduates - Forever Vateliens!Read more
The hospitality and tourism industries are particularly concerned by sustainable development. And what if Vatel alumni played a key part in this transition towards more environmentally friendly hotel management?Read more
Travel broadens the mind, as the old saying goes. It also leads to unconventional restaurants. Let’s meet two Vateliens who founded Le Kaya Restaurant in Tignes.Read more
Besides having a Bachelor or an MBA Vatel, what does being a Vatelien mean?Read more
Throughout their entire careers, Vatel alumni remain in touch with their schools. This is also true for Kevin Tessieux, who has never forgotten that he was also once a student, and who now shares this knowledge with students today.Read more
Chahrazade Baroudi, a Vatelien since 2013, describes her job as Marketing and Communication Manager in IDAM, Alain Ducasse’s restaurant on the top floor of the Doha Museum of Islamic Art, in Qatar.Read more
Future hospitality professionals, welcome to Vatel’s 100% management simulation serious game! For an entire week and on three continents, MBA students met the challenge of managing a 4-star hotel and a resort in the Indian Ocean. The winners are...Read more
Who is Gaelle Garnier, the new manager of the network of 35,000 Vatel alumni throughout the world? Let’s meet a Vatelien who works with Vateliens!Read more
The 25th Eurhodip conference, which Vatel took part in, took place in Croatia. Targeting responsible tourism, this conference allowed participants to have more information on opening higher education courses in the field of sustainable development.Read more
Designed to address the needs of the global hospitality industry, the Marco Polo program strengthens the international profile Vatel students have and has just received the prestigious Best Innovation in an Educational Program Award.Read more
Graduated in 2011, Alexis Bouche began his career in England. Six years later, he returned to France and is now the Sales Manager of the 5-star hotel, Villa Maïa.Read more
Nearly 40 years old, and now 50 campuses in 32 different countries: Vatel Group opened its first school in Paris and is continuing to grow and duplicate its innovative educational concept in schools abroad.Read more
Trained at Vatel Nimes ten years ago, Chloe Wu has a brilliant career in China. She no longer works in the hospitality industry, but has not forgotten her passion of hospitality and service...Read more
The Vatel International Research Center in Hotel and Tourism Managementhas just published the 10th edition of its Journal, which targets research and reflections on changes taking place in the hospitality and tourism industries.Read more
Curiosity, humility, team spirit... A Vatelien shares his commitment to values his school transmitted to him.
The same international spirit that students have Vatel and 4 students in nursing undertake a humanitarian project in Madagascar.Read more
A traveler - salesman - ambassador, Marco Polo introduced Asia, at that time nearly unknown, to Europe. This inspirational fate has given its name to Vatel’s international exchange program, where students can study at another Vatel campus for a year.Read more
The most senior representatives in the international hospitality industry give Vatel the Best School Hospitality Award. An entire profession thus acclaims them.Read more
Learning the skills needed to be a manager, quick employability, international careers... Vatel, the passport that gets you hired. See the video.Read more