First (and last) impressions count – alumna defines the guest experience in her #firstjob at The Landmark London

On her first day of studies at Glion, BBA student Gemma Herd already knew the role she wanted after graduation. And when you know what you want, the action you need to take becomes so much clearer. In the latest edition of our ‘My First Job’ feature series, Gemma shares how her time at Glion equipped her with the abilities and experience to make it happen.

Name: Gemma Herd
Program: Bachelor (BBA) in International Hospitality Business (Hotel Development & Finance specialization)
Position: Front Office Graduate
Company: The Landmark London
When started: August 2019

A luxury hotel can separate itself from the crowd in a number of ways; location, décor, service, price. But, for the very best hotels, it’s about the entire guest experience, from start to finish.

In her first role after graduating with a Bachelor in International Hospitality Business (Hotel Development & Finance specialization), Glion alumna, Gemma Herd relishes the responsibility of ensuring 5-Star first impressions and lasting memories at The Landmark London.

My responsibility is to provide a seamless arrival and departure experience for our guests, ensuring that their entire stay is above and beyond five star service,” she says.

“As well as being the primary contact for our inhouse guests, my role involves the daily tasks, reporting and billing for reception. It is a physically and mentally challenging job with long hours and a high level of multitasking needed, but I thoroughly enjoy it and one day to the next is never the same.”


‘The values of the company align with my own’

Right from the start of her Glion education, Gemma had a clear idea of the job she wanted after graduation and the kind of employer she wanted to work with.

“My current role is similar to what I envisioned as my first job, primarily because the values of the company and my managers’ align with my own. The experience I am gaining from my current job at The Landmark is giving me a very sound base on which to begin my career – I could not have hoped for a more valuable first job.”

Considering a career in luxury hotels? Head ‘over the pond’ from The Landmark, London to The Lowell Hotel, New York and discover the role and responsibilities of 2019 BBA alumnus, Gabriel Barrios.

What Glion did for me

With the hotel’s reputation as her main responsibility, Gemma identified three key lessons from her time at Glion that help her deliver a beyond 5-Star experience for The Landmark London. The first was an understanding of hospitality’s greatest attribute, its diversity, “I made incredible friends from all over the world, and knowing that a familiar face could be found in most parts of the world makes the prospect of traveling even more exciting.”

The multicultural nature of Glion has allowed me to learn and admire the culture of others, giving me a heightened sense of empathy when interacting with my colleagues and guests.”

The second was teamwork, and although it wasn’t always fun, the skills she developed have proved vital for her professional career. “Group projects were not always fun and games, they taught us the importance of collaboration within our hospitality careers and daily lives.”

The ability to ‘hit the ground running’ and add immediate value is a powerful attribute for anyone seeking a job, particularly a graduate, something Gemma highly values. “Glion successfully combined both theoretical and practical learning during our studies ensuring to prepare us for the working world.

“The variety of our program definitely prepared me for the world of work as I felt I had gained knowledge on a wide range of subjects, that I could later pursue depending on my career path.”


From a Career Day to the first day of her career

Going beyond a purely academic education, Gemma commented on how Glion strengthened and supported her employability and career prospects after graduation.

“Incorporating internships into our program enabled us to have the practical hands on experience, whilst teaching us the discipline required to maintain a job. Our exposure to industry experts when guest speakers visited our classes allowed us to find out what career paths were open to explore.

“I found the career days both inspiring and motivating, as they gave me a taste of what was out there in the real world. I was very lucky to meet The Landmark London at my final career day and having applied online previously I approached them again.

“After confirmation that I had a visa to work in the UK I was asked to have an interview right there and then. I was incredibly nervous and unprepared but grasped the opportunity, that led to a positive result.

From car manufacturers to property developers, a high-end hospitality skillset is in demand across the luxury sector. Meet Glion BBA graduate, Shihao Xu, who headed to Tokyo and into the luxury watch market with LVMH.

Gemma feels her two professional internships were key to securing her role at The Landmark.

She explains, “My two internships were both front office based further developing my passion for this particular department. These periods of my study helped me to apply my theory-based learning to the world of work; but most importantly they taught me lessons I could never learn from books, for each guest approached me with a different question or need.”

With an unwavering passion for hotels, Gemma’s long-term goal is to open a boutique venture of her own. In the short-term, her next move is to gain experience in VIP relations to further develop her knowledge of 5-Star service.

“I would advise students to look for a job in a place/city that will make you genuinely happy, as I have found my life – work balance to be very important in settling into my first job. Always look for an organization that has similar values to your own, as I have found that this encourages me to go above and beyond for the company. And never shy away from an operational position.”


From hotels and finance to watches and sustainability, discover more ‘First Job’ stories:

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The post First (and last) impressions count – alumna defines the guest experience in her #firstjob at The Landmark London appeared first on Glion.

What impact does the opportunity of a leadership role have on students? – Interview with Student Government Association and Committee Presidents

Have you ever wondered what being a leader in the hospitality industry entails? To organize events, manage budgets, and oversee marketing activities? At Glion, students are given the opportunity to practice these skills while thriving in their own interests through the Student Government Association (SGA) and various committees.

We have an established SGA, which is in charge of connecting students with faculty; this promotes every students’ voice to be heard, ensuring the satisfaction of Glioners, even outside of school time.

These groups of driven, dynamic, and charismatic students represent the needs and wants of their peers. They are especially talented at organizing those thrilling social activities outside of academic hours. Additionally, students who are particularly interested or passionate about other concepts, such as dining experiences, sport events, oenology, or environmental awareness, get together to create their own committees.

Endless international events

Before the unfortunate situation of Covid-19 causing the campus to close, some examples of events done by the SGA include a welcome drinks party held during the first weeks of the semester for students to meet one another, and movie nights for a relaxing evening together. The dining committee held a successful event at Il Pampero, in London, where 15 students experienced a fine Italian lunch together. And the Wine Committee held an amazing Sake Tasting event to learn more about Sake and Japanese culture.

Learning and leading – Meet the SGA and Committee members

Below, some members of the SGA and Committees in Glion London share their experience. They describe how they have earned beneficial skills while striving to provide opportunities for the whole student body to enjoy the fun, adventures, and experiences of being a Glion student.

Jake Davidson – President of Glion London Student Government Association, Master REFHD

Why did you apply for this position in the SGA?

I applied to be part of the SGA in London as I saw the opportunity was there for a new president to come in and bring together a large intake of new students. Having exposure to all degrees, semesters and faculty members, allows the SGA to be able to more effectively connect the students with the school and with one another. Also, personally taking the opportunity to lead a team and learn effective management skills gave me some key skills going into the professional world post-graduation.

What skills have you learned during this experience?

So far, the skills were focused on the team management aspect of the job, ensuring that all parties involved are practicing efficient communication with one another. Additionally, learning to understand and communicate the thoughts and demands of a large group of students into a concise, respectful and reasonable talking point is quite a task and a very steep learning curve.

How did you manage to fulfill your role of student representative remotely?

As President of the SGA London, I felt responsible to ensure the students are well taken care of during the COVID-19 situation, and to make sure the remote learning is going well for everyone. With my team, we keep in touch with the other students, who are now all around the world, to make sure they’re ok and well-connected to the faculty members. This is a unique experience which brought the students together.

Morgane Horreard – Glion London SGA, Communication and Operations, Master IHB

Why did you want to be part of the SGA?

Because the London campus is fairly small, I wanted to join the SGA, to be able to welcome everyone in our family. The SGA’s mission is to make sure everyone is feeling welcome on campus and being part of a group and it resonated with my objectives as a student.

What skills have you learned during this experience?

I mostly developed collaboration, communication and organization skills. Our time on campus was really short this semester, but the events we managed to organize were a good opportunity to meet every new and returning students, it was great.

Do you think this experience will help you in your future career?

Definitely! I experienced event and project management. I also learnt to consider every aspect of a project from a more feasible and financial point of view. Finally, being part of the SGA is always about understanding people’s needs and wants, like in the real professional world.

Émile DIDIER – Sports Committee , Master IHB

Why did you choose to take over the Sports Committee?

When I was in my first semester, we had a few football games, but we were clearly not enough and when winter and the early nights arrived, there was almost no one left. When I joined Glion London, I really wanted to play football, not only for my health but also to meet people who share the same interest in football. Seeing that nobody was taking over the Sports Committee in my 2nd semester, I decided to take over to organize more sports-related events. I went through the process of recruiting a new team, gathering students’ feedback on what sports they are interested in, and planning new events. The experience was cut short when the campus shut down, but it was definitely a learning experience.

Emma Lecerf – Glion London SGA, Public Relations and Events , BBA4

Why PR and Events?

I decided to take care of the public relations and events for the SGA in London because it is something I’m very passionate about and I am always looking for ways to make life better for Glion students.

What skills have you learned?

Thanks to this experience I have learned to work with other people and find ways to bring all our different ideas into one perfect project. We also worked with the uncertainties due to the COVID-19 situation and had to change our schedules or rethink the way we planned or organized an event. I learned more about marketing and social media during my time in the SGA than during my studies.

How do you think this experience will help you in the future?

I believe all experiences are useful. Being part of the SGA is a very enriching experience, it has opened my eyes to the importance of teamwork and understanding one another in a group. It especially taught me that each step taken when trying to perfect an event or party is important. There are no bad ideas. Everything is done through a thorough thought process and it is very important for us to get the best out of each event. I also have had the opportunity to learn from our mistakes or miscalculations. I now understand that it is important to put care into all work and believe in it to create the best outcome possible.

Victor-André Staebler – Dining Committee President, BBA4

Why did you choose the Dining Committee?

I believe that applying for the Dinning Committee is directly linked to my love for food. As I am currently in London, I figured it would be an ideal opportunity to discover new restaurants and bars. It is an exciting form of bonding that we do on a daily basis – dining. Through this committee, I aim to provide sought-after experiences that every student is excited for and ultimately create joyful memories.

What skills have you developed?

I believe that being part of the committee has taught me various skills. Managing your time and respecting deadlines are the ones that I improved the most, as you never know how long the restaurants/bars will take to reply. I definitely improved my team working skills, as you need to gather with your committee members every two weeks to discuss potential new events. So, all in all, it was a very rewarding experience.

Do you think this experience will help you in the future?

Planning events has definitely taught me all the different steps we have to take in order to provide a successful event. Therefore, I believe it has given me a strong basis on what event planning entails, and I could face this task more easily and confidently in the future.

Ahmed Bahlawan – Green Committee President , BBA4

Why did you apply for the Green Committee?

The reason I applied to become the president of the Green Committee was mainly due to the fact that the committee was in need of revival and of a new leader. And with my great enthusiasm and my advocacy for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable world, I thought myself the best voice for the committee. I aim to implement changes on campus and promote a more sustainable sense of awareness.

What skills have you learned during this experience?

During this short-lived experience, I managed to develop some skills, such as seeking and recruiting members, managing a budget, promoting the committee through social media and time management in order to not let this task interfere with my schoolwork.

How will these new skills help you in your future career?

These skills proved to be vital and developed my charisma and commitment to a cause – standing up for what I believe in. I am confident that with the skills I’ve acquired through this experience, I will be able to implement them in my future career from a managerial standpoint. All of these skills are necessary for a leadership position.

We’re all in it together

Overall, all students in committees and in the London SGA have experienced professional and personal development during their leadership roles. Planning events and activities for the students has shown to benefit both parties through this exchange of ideas and fun times. We believe that everyone can make a difference, regardless of what semester the students are in, they have the opportunity to join these committees and help maintain the astounding Glion Spirit.

About the author:

“Hello! My name is Rebecca and I am currently in my fourth semester of my Bachelor. I am Italian and Dutch, but I was born and raised in Asia. Growing up in an international environment inspired me to explore the world of hospitality. That’s why I chose Glion.”

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The post What impact does the opportunity of a leadership role have on students? – Interview with Student Government Association and Committee Presidents appeared first on Glion.