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This month, we would like to introduce you to Mathilde Mouton, a dedicated student at Essec Business School in France and a member of the HSMAI Europe Student Council.

Mathilde is a passionate explorer of the F&B industry, with a special focus on Hospitality. Her curiosity drives her to seek new concepts and experiences worldwide. She finds her greatest satisfaction in connecting with people and creating moments that bring happiness.

Q: Why did you choose to study Hospitality Management?

I rapidly felt interested in the hospitality industry through the différents establishments I was able to visit and the different jobs mechanisms raised my awareness. That is why I chose to enroll myself in hospitality studies, to be able to better understand the « behind the scene » and in the future own my place. 

Q: Why are you passionate about hospitality?

Hospitality industry is unique in the way that bringing something special to different person is at the core of everything we create. I like the fact that we have the power to see a smily faces when we do our job well. We are experience curators.

Q: What are the biggest challenges as a student in hospitality?

I will say that some of us are not 100% service oriented and tend to forget that the core of our industry is the guest experience. Finance and economic perspective is important but the final image worth a lot. Therefore it is important to follow standards and put more efforts on the quality, even when work schedules are hard to handle. 

Q: The hospitality industry – as many others – faces the challenge of attracting and retaining talent. Do you have any thoughts on this that you would like to share with us?

Rewarding and Leveraging more the current employees at a pace corresponding to their effort. When applying for a job, we should be confident that we have true evolution perspectives if we learn fast and well.

One of the best experience we can get as an intern is to move into different departments to have a taste of all positions the industry as to offer from front to back of house.

It helps student to know earlier in their career path what correspond better to them and avoid bored attitudes at the beginning of their first job or a complete escape of the industry.

Q: Why did you decide to join the HSMAI Europe Student Council?

Joining the HSMAI council was a new step for me to accompany my hospitality studies and meet people and students from other counties than France. It is always valuable to confront vision of the same center of interest. 

Q: How is HSMAI Europe Student Council helping your studies/students?

Absolutely, I highly recommend studying hospitality to students who have a passion for the industry. It is crucial to have a deep understanding of the diverse career opportunities available within hospitality. Practical experience and networking are also essential, allowing students to engage in hands- on work and establish valuable connections. 

Q: Why did you decide to join the HSMAI Europe Student Council?

HSMAI Student Council is a wonderful way to share your experiences with other industry leaders and obtain feedback. I decided to join HSMAI also for professional development, by joining them Is possible to access industry insights. In addition HSMAI provides platforms for networking and collaborations among professionals. I believe HSMAI has the potential to make a positive impact and retain the students leaving the industry.  

Q: How is HSMAI Europe Student Council helping your studies/students?

Being part of the council is a great opportunity to meet hospitality expert during European conventions but also other students who share the same passion as our. Finally it is a nice and rich hospitality community to be part of. 

Q: What is your dream job when you graduate? 

My goal is to be able to open, one day, my own establishment, a great F&B outlet where guest could find a real sense of the place with identity.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

The core message would be to show the real meaning of hospitality to present our industry : a service to guest, an enlightened experience to warmth and emphatic attitude; to show that these client offerings are possible not only thanks to front of house employees but also back of house, strategists, financial professionals and concept developers. Therefore, every young professional could find a place through these variate positions.

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