An eye for details, a lot of concentration and her whole skill set! Three necessary qualities when you work in the Service Center of a five-star luxury hotel like Maira Delumeau, a Vatel Paris 2011 alumnus, who has worked since May 2014 at the Shangri-La Paris Hotel.
Maira, after having spent a year of middle school in Argentina, a year of high school in Thailand, you decided to continue your higher education at Vatel, an international school in France. This wasn’t exactly a coincidence, was it?
I was lucky enough to have been raised in a multi-cultural environment. So for me it was essential to continue this passion for human relationships that my parents had instilled in me. Vatel represented a diversified professional future and a very thorough curriculum. I just loved attending Vatel. I had the opportunity of meeting students from all walks of life and of creating friendships that still exist today.
Did your Vatel training allow you to find out in what hotel department you wanted to continue working in?
Vatel courses were quite a big and permanent challenge for me personally, because it’s such an intense rhythm after general high school courses. You’re plunged right away into your real future professional life and the instructors in practical application courses don’t let you improvise anything. The fact that I had done internships in both F&B and accommodations allowed me to be well prepared for very demanding daily tasks. Right after my first internship at the Hotel Bel Ami in the Latin Quarter in Paris, I knew that I wanted to continue in accommodations rather than in the restaurant department of a hotel. I my second internship at the Carl Gustaf Hotel in Saint Barthelme Island I was able to hone my sense of guest relations that I still use a lot today.
What happened after you graduated from Vatel in 2011?
After I got my Bachelor’s Degree from Vatel, I decided to continue my higher education in a business school. After my Master’s Degree, I contacted people in my Vatel network, and was hired for my first job in Guest Relations at the Bon Marche in Paris.
Then I applied directly on the Shangri-La Hotel site and was quickly contacted for job interviews with the hotel’s operations manager and general manager. Just a week after that, I had a positive answer which led me to be doing the job I do today.
What does your job consist in?
I’m currently the Service Center Agent in the Shangri-La Paris Hotel. The Service Center is like the heart of a hotel. This is where you receive all internal and external calls, whether they are coming from hotel guests or one of our employees in housekeeping or for a technical issue. This takes place throughout the entire day and this job requires a lot of attention for details, concentration and a multitude of skills.
And how does your profile as a Vatelien help you in this job?
While I was a Vatel student, I was taught to remain humble and discreet and both of these qualities are part of Shangri-La’s values. Each year that I spent at Vatel progressively brought me theoretical as well as practical knowledge allowing me to manage situations that were sometimes quite delicate.
What do you see as the next move in your career?
My current job allows me a good overview of all the departments in a hotel. I really love being in contact with our guests, and I’d like to continue with a job in Guest Relations, and then in ten years or so, as the Accommodations Manager. When you love your job, it’s much easier to climb the corporate ladder. In addition to that, the Shangri-La Group is constantly expanding and it would be really interesting for me to participate in the launch of a new hotel. This is a very dynamic group that totally matches my personality and I’d like to continue working with them.