Antonin Brault graduated from the first Vatel Martigny class, a School that opened in 2010. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2013, and since then, Antonin gained experience in the Swiss hospitality industry in the four-star Vatel Hotel next to the campus and at the Grand Hotel du Lac, a five-star hotel located in Vevey, as the Assistant Banquet and Wedding Manager.
But he preferred the Emirates for his international internship: at the Radisson Blu Resort in Sharjah, where he worked for two months in the Sales and Marketing department, before joining the Hotel’s RH department for two more months.
Right after graduation he took off for Kansas City, in the US, to do his Management Training in Accommodations at the Hotel Phillips, a four-star historical monument ranked hotel belonging to the Marcus Corporation Hotels & Resorts chain.
Nine months later, he came back to Switzerland and was hired as the Receptionist at the Geneva Movenpick. A young Vatelien with a lot of things to tell us!
What similarities and differences did you notice between Vatel Martigny and Mauritius?
Even though the courses are the same, Vatel Martigny and Vatel Mauritius have a completely different way of working. You have to understand that Mauritian culture is closely related to that of nearby islands. In my class there were students from the Seychelles, Reunion Island and Madagascar, whose culture was completely different from ours.
Furthermore, the vocabulary and cultural and other references are not at all the same. What I really noticed in Vatel Mauritius, were the faculty members, all enthusiastic professionals. Mauritius is facing several hurdles: economic, demographic and educational difficulties and Vatel is the first international Hotel Management School on the island. So I felt a lot of investment, both from the faculty members towards their students, but also students towards their School, with lip dubs, flash-mobs, etc.
Another big difference with Vatel in Martigny is that Vatel Mauritius students either live at home with their parents or share apartments off campus. In Switzerland, on the other hand, we live directly on the campus, in the School Residence, right next to the four-star Martigny Vatel Hotel. This makes relationships between students different.
One point that they do however have in common is that they are both very recent schools: Vatel Martigny is four years old and Mauritius is five.
What memories do you have of the years you spent each of these schools?
For Vatel Martigny, I remember most of all a school targeting positive changes and practical application courses in the hotel where we really learned a lot. I have excellent memories of professors who brought me a lot, both in terms of hotel management knowledge itself, but also in terms of know-how and working skills. This is a very important association wherever you work in a hotel.
For Vatel Mauritius, I really remember the great times we had at school, the friendly atmosphere, with a fantastic relationship between students. I’ll never forget either the unbelievable professors we had with a point of view concerning hospitality that we never touch on in Europe.
l think it was because of the complementarity between these two schools that today I’m able to rise above everything and to forge my own vision of modern hotel management.
What did the second year you spent as a Marco Polo student bring you?
My second year in Mauritius brought me so much that I really hope every Vatel student can have this opportunity! The Marco Polo Program has two dimensions:
An academic dimension that teaches us a new way of looking at the hospitality industry with new notions, and that allows us to consolidate our knowledge and introduce other skills in hotel management in a different way.
And there’s also such a great cultural dimension! The Marco Polo Program teaches us how to adapt ourselves, to question ourselves but above all, how to put ourselves into the shoes of the people we’re living with. The biggest mistake, and a lot of people make this one, is to judge another culture by comparing it with your culture. Standards and values change, and you have to change too. I met extraordinary people who I’m still in touch with and I was able to take part in lots of unique events, like Mauritian festivities, Hindu religious ceremonies and even an Indian wedding!
These two dimensions, both academic and cultural ones, make up something that makes you more mature, and very quickly so. I learned a lot about others, but also about myself.
For Antonin’s Success Story, click HERE.