Vatel alumni often leave the hospitality sector for a while before coming back to “their first love.” Let’s have a look at Celine Thillaye, for example. After she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree from Vatel, she decided to continue her higher education for a Master’s degree in Communication.
These two skills allowed her to be hired right after graduation at Guy Savoy - three stars in the Michelin Guidebook - and then work in several jobs in web marketing startup companies. She then came back to the hospitality sector because of the Vatelien network as the Corporate Sales Manager for Hotels & Preferences, a hotel chain including 134 hotels in France and abroad, jointly founded by Cyril Vaussard, also a Vatel alumnus.
“As I’d always wanted to work in the hospitality sector, I enrolled in Vatel after high school, where I majored in Literature. I must admit that I was attracted by the mixture of theory and practical application in Vatel’s curriculum.
I have great memories of the three years I spent at Vatel. When I look back, I could say that Vatel is a school of life! As the French saying goes, ‘travel broadens your mind.’ And I’d like to add that internships do the same thing. I’ll never forget my internship in Courchevel in the kitchens. My determination and tenacity I still have today are a direct result of this internship.
Vatel doesn’t train students for jobs as Chefs or to work in the kitchens, but all students work in every department a hotel has. So, if later on I was to work with the kitchen staff, I’d be able to understand them and sympathize with them because I had to do exactly the same job as they have now.
So coming back to what I did, after different internships and a short experience in Montreal, I wanted to leave the hospitality industry for a while to continue with a Master’s in Communication. I quickly came back to my first love though when I worked at Guy Savoy and Hotels & Preferences.
As the Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris Sales Manager, I actively participate in the hotel’s corporate strategic marketing, and I’m in charge of over 50 key accounts. I’m also responsible for overseeing our sales offices and coordinating our marketing and sales activities in our distribution networks.”