After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality Management in 2016 and a Master’s of Science in International Hospitality Management in 2018, Ophélie has had a wide range of experiences in various luxury hotels such as the Prince of Wales (5*) and the Black Bass (5*). Today, she is Head Receptionist at the Maison Bleue (5*) in Annecy and agreed to share her experience and career path with us.
Ophélie Nové, Head Receptionist at the Maison Bleue (5*) in Annecy
Tell us about your company and your responsibilities today?
Today I’m the Head Receptionist at La Maison Bleue Hotel 5* Relais & Châteaux. This is an independent hotel run by the two-starred chef Yoann Conte and his wife Elodie Conte. The hotel has 11 rooms, a gastronomic restaurant and a second restaurant which offers great food. My team is made up of 5 people during the day and one person at night.
The reception is in charge of hotel and restaurant bookings, handling groups, take-away sales and all other reception-related tasks. Even though the hotel is small, it has over 60 employees. My main tasks are to supervise the optimisation of the reservations schedule, to coordinate the hotel and restaurant reservations and to supervise the reception team on a day-to-day basis in order to provide the highest possible quality of service.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve been confronted with?
Even with a qualification from a reputable school, the hospitality industry is a very hands-on environment. In my early years in the workplace, even though we had received excellent training in hotel and service management, it can be difficult to apply for managerial positions without a certain number of years of experience behind you. Previous generations tended to evolve according to the number of years spent in the company.
The biggest difficulty I encountered was having to prove to employers that even though you are young and have little professional experience, your training has given you the keys to succeed in this type of position.
What is your greatest source of pride today?
Today I’m rather proud of how far I’ve come. I never try to stay stuck in my comfort zone. Even if it has been sometimes difficult to leave organisations in which I invested a lot of time and energy, I’ve always managed to leave when I saw that I was no longer able to progress or to learn. I’ve managed to work in unusual hotels or establishments that have given me an open mind and the ability to adapt. I’ve always stood by my values and worked alongside people who share them. This is often the first thing that motivates the choice of establishments where I wish to work.
How has Institut Paul Bocuse helped you to achieve this result today?
Institut Paul Bocuse is a school with strong human and professional values. My training enabled me to acquire a very sound knowledge and understanding of our industry. I was able to evolve quickly and be at ease in my roles thanks to this. Moreover, the diversity of the instructors and courses taught enabled me to acquire notions across a range of fields and to have a more general vision in terms of management rather than just remaining focused on the operational side of my department.
From a more personal point of view, it has allowed me to discover the world of gastronomy and to take an interest in the careers of the world’s top chefs. This aspect is even more important today because I work alongside a leading chef and with a clientele that is familiar with the secrets of this universe.
What is your ambition for the future?
In the short term, to continue to learn, to develop my skills but also to meet inspiring people. In the long term, I would like to create my own company which will necessarily be linked to the hospitality industry. The project will depend on the development of our company, our field and above all on the context to come.
What would you like to say to students who are considering a career in this industry and in these professions?
Hospitality is not the easiest business to work in, but in my opinion, it is the most interesting. No two days are the same because every customer is different. Furthermore, our industry is vast and the choice of jobs is not just limited to restaurants and hotels. Finally, I’d just encourage them to go for it so they can make a living from their passion.
If you are passionate about the Hospitality industry and this career path inspires you, our Bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality Management will equip you with the operational and managerial skills you need to access the most exciting careers in the world.