Eugénie Jason Igout, « Pretty Vatélienne » du Four Seasons Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive
“Vatel has been in my family for over 20 years now.Ten years before I enrolled in Vatel Nimes, my brother Richard Jason was already in the classrooms and various departments of the Vatel Application Hotel & Spa 4*.”
A 2005 alumnus, Eugenie Jason Igout began working with the Four Seasons Hotel Group in 2008, hired by another Vatelien, the General Manager of the hotel where she did her second year internship. For the past year, she has been working at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, as the Quality and Innovation Manager, a position the hotel recently created.
Tell us about how you came to Vatel Nimes
Traveling and international cultures have always held an important place in my family. So for me it was natural to choose the hospitality industry that would not only let me travel, but also have a career, where I would quickly be able to work in high-responsibility jobs.
Richard, my big brother, is the one who introduced Vatel to our family. Seeing him so happy and fulfilled at work made me want to follow in his footsteps. Richard became the General Manager of a company, when he took over our family business, Etablissements Richard. And I went to the other side of the world, in California, as the Quality and Innovation Manager.
How did you get this job?
I started working with Four Seasons two years after I got my Master’s Degree from Vatel. Before that, I worked at Fortnum and Mason in F&B in London for two years as their Assistant Restaurant Manager. After that, it was thanks to the Hotel Manager where I did my second year internship that I was able to join the Four Seasons Group. A Vatelien who gave me a helping hand, and who was like a guardian angel to trigger my career. I’m where I am today thanks to him, thanks to my skills and my motivation.
I started off my FS career as the Duty Manager at the Four Seasons Bora Bora, when I opened. A fantastic experience, and one that I would recommend to everyone. Then I had the opportunity to work in several other departments: in Accommodations, in the Front Office, as Reservations Manager and then Revenue Manager. Then they offered to transfer me to another hotel, the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel.
What are your daily activities?
The Beverly Wilshire is one of the Four Seasons flagship hotels, located on the famous Rodeo Drive. This is where the movie “Pretty Woman” with Julia Roberts, was shot. It has 395 rooms. It’s an old building, dating back to 1928, which makes it really old for Beverly Hills!
The job I have is a creation. The hotel created it. I don’t yet have fixed daily activities, and no day is like the previous one, as it’s up to me to develop it and give a meaning to the function I have. The goal is to find out everything that can be improved in each department. I spend a lot of time looking at our guests’ comments to understand what we can undertake to better exceed their expectations.
It’s a really interesting job because I work with all the departments in the hotel. I now better understand why Vatel thinks it is so important to train us to work in every department a hotel has. Whether it’s the front desk, the kitchens, accommodations, the company store, finance, etc.
You have to have had practical experience in our jobs, because this allows you to boost your self-confidence which then makes you more credible for your employees. Having compared myself with other students who did not do any practical application work with their theoretical courses, I can say that I was much better prepared than they were. And when you add that to theoretical courses given by true professionals, you quickly understand why Vatel stands out.
Are you satisfied with the American way of management?
American hospitality is very interesting. What’s really positive here is that you learn to take risks, because you are taught to learn something from your failures. Everything can’t always be perfect, so it’s up to us to learn from our mistakes and keep on moving forward.
And where would you like to move forward to?
I’m not really looking into anything in particular, for the time being. I want to continue traveling with my husband, who I met at Four Seasons. We’re not planning on coming back to France for the moment. I’ve always wanted to manage a hotel, but I’m also open to a similar job at a corporate level.