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14 March 2016

BREAKING WITH STEREOTYPES: HOSPITALITY IS MORE THAN HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS

by Anna Vdovina, Les Roches Jin Jiang Student, Intern at Alliance Advisory and Hotel Management, Shanghai

When I tell someone that I am majoring in hospitality management, people usually picture me as a welcoming front desk agent, aspiring chef or smiling flight attendant, but few assumptions go beyond those stereotypes. After taking two consecutive challenging, yet fun and rewarding internships at hotels,

I have decided to pursue something very different and explore this vibrant, ever evolving industry to the maximum of its potential.

This is how my journey with Alliance Advisory and Hospitality Management Company has begun.

Alliance Advisory and Hospitality Management (AAHMCO) is one of the leading consulting firms in the hospitality industry, mainly focusing on three fields of expertise: strategic advisory, project management and asset management. Now this might sound a little stiff so let me give you more insight with an example: Imagine you always had a dream of opening a Japanese restaurant. Your grandma is from Japan and she taught you some secret recipes, you’ve got innovative ideas and already see yourself opening that special designer front door of your restaurant in the city center. People would be looking at you with admiration and booking your tables weeks and months ahead… sounds attractive, right?     
The only teeny-tiny issue separating you from your dream is that you might not be much of an expert in the restaurant industry...This is when we come into play.

The discussion process. From left to right anticlockwise: Joey Yue - Event Executive; Charles He – Managing Director; Anna Vdovina; Carol Xie – Senior Associate.

AAHMCO will help you to understand who exactly will be willing to try out that miso soup, where those people live and eventually, where your place should be located, what you should charge for that soup and how to attract more and more visitors. Frankly speaking, any questions from who your competition is to how much the utilities would cost you, what the best color for the chairs is to how to deal with taxes– all those questions are the company’s field of expertise.

It has only been a week since I have started my internship here, but I already had a chance to jump into a couple of projects, thanks to the friendliest colleagues imaginable.

I have worked with several teams before and have to say: I have not been accepted in such a family-like manner before. A welcome lunch at the Renaissance Hotel nearby and an engaging chat in the office made my first day fun and memorable.

From left to right: Charles He – Managing Director, Carol Xie – Senior Associate, Joey Yue – Event Executive

As for the city, I am not new to Shanghai since I have been studying here and have also done my first internship in the city. However, it never fails to impress me.

The amount of exhibitions, performances, expat community meetings, let alone the nightlife, is mesmerizing! It is definitely a city full of opportunities for anyone willing to seize them!

As an analyst intern, my responsibilities will include assisting with various projects thus gaining consulting experience, supporting the team in organizing public events for hospitality professionals as well as conducting a comprehensive research in the industry focusing on the Shanghai market.          
Sounds like a lot of work and I could not be more excited to get going! I am ready to explore the copious world of hospitality and find out more areas where present and future hospitality graduates could excel and build their careers.  

I’m glad to take you with me on my journey – let’s break with some stereotypes!