Name: Dylan Talbot Smith
High School : International School of Kuala Lumpur – Class of 2011
Degree Chosen at Les Roches: BBA in Global Hospitality Management (BSC Project Management) – Class of 2015
1. Studying in Switzerland – Why did you choose Switzerland as a study destination. And how was your experience studying at Les Roches?
Switzerland is synonymous with luxury hotel management – hence why I choose Switzerland as my study destination. To make my final decision I spent a few weeks in summer visiting Les Roches, EHL and Glion. Of all the properties Les Roches resonated best with me. Although boasting a title of one of the best hotel schools globally, it had a cozy and comforting vibe that is right up my alley. My overall experience at Les Roches was centred around the people I have come to call my friends. I enjoyed every moment, I felt that the curriculum was effective but not over-bearing; leaving me time to travel (another reason I decided to follow a career in hospitality).
2. My Program – Which program did you choose and describe in summary overall program about what you learned from the campuses.
Les Roches has upgraded their BBA program since I have graduated and have added many more exciting new specializations. The program I choose which was BSC in Project Management is no longer an option at Les Roches. It was a dual degree program which ended with both a BSc and a BBA. The specialization I choose was project management. To be desirable in a hiring market, having a skill set that is applicable in multiple disciplines is necessary. I find that project management helped me time manage not just myself but a team, align for short term and long-term goals and other leadership skills needed in the workplace.
3. My Internship – Where did you do your internships and which one was your best experience out of all?
I had two internships. One in the South of France at the Four Seasons Terre Blanche amidst a rebranding, as the management contract was terminated. And the second internship at the Four Seasons in Toronto. It is hard to compare the two experiences as they differed dramatically. The Toronto FS is the flagship for the brand whereas Terre Blanche was in the middle of significant change. By having both experience I learned the importance of a brand and the role it has on moral and employee retention. Both experiences were in the Wellness departments and created an essential foundation for my current job.
4. My Future – What are your goals after graduation? If graduated already – what is your current position and what do you do daily on your job. What do you love most about it, next career move?
Currently I am the Corporate Manager, Spa & Health Club Operations for the Shangri-La Hotel Group. My role is to ensure quality of service, efficiency of teams and other operational excellence. Aligning all the spas and health clubs to have consistent service is perhaps the most essential part of my job. Regardless of which Shangri-La you stay at, there should be a sense of nostalgia as you return to a familiar environment. My favourite part of their job is the diversity of the people I get to work with. The job application was brought to my attention from a colleague I had in my second internship. He forwarded me the position, I applied, and the rest is history.