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Launching my hospitality career in Switzerland and Dubai

14 June, 2017

Aksinya Kovalenko finished the Level 4 Diploma in Hospitality Management at Kings Bournemouth last year, before transferring to the second year of a degree course at the prestigious Swiss Hotel Management School. She talks to us about pursuing a career in hospitality, and her current work placement at a luxury resort in Dubai.

Hi Aksinya. What are you doing at the moment?
After completion of the second year of the university, I am currently doing my internship in luxurious Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah beach, and to tell you the truth, I absolutely love it! I recently finished my training in Guest Relations Department and recently have moved to the Front Desk.

I like and enjoy every day of my life here. In Four Seasons, I feel right at home. This is the place where I dreamed to be. When I just came, I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere of sophistication and chic that reigns in the air enhanced by such talented, friendly and supportive people, who create this environment and who I am very proud to work with. I like that the management gives me a lot of responsibility and takes me as a full-fledged employee. Every day is exceptional and filled of various emotions and events, and it provides me with precious experience from which I learn and acquire knowledge in such fast and intensive pace. Working in Dubai in a hot climate is not suitable for everyone, but I like working conditions and enjoy different activities organised by Human Resources department, such as barbecues on the beach, going out to theme and water parks, etc.

I love to work here and make people happy, because their smiles are the best reward for me!

How do you think your course at Kings has most helped you?
I finished an International Diploma course (Level 4) in Hospitality and Tourism Management last year. I can say with great confidence that the course that I passed not only expanded my knowledge in these areas theoretically, but also helped me to "feel the taste" of the industry from within. It is an excellent start in the career, and I am extremely grateful to Kings for the opportunity to work in the real environment and to apply your skills in the real life. In my opinion, it is very important for students, especially my specialty, to go, practice and assess their capabilities. I know it seems scary, and you will definitely feel nervous while having your first job interview and first days at work when you are adapting to the new environment, but it all goes away when poured into that rhythm.

What course are you now taking and what made you choose this programme and university?
Last September I transferred to the second year of the university in Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS) joining the Bachelor's Degree Programme in International Hospitality and Events Management. This course focuses on management of the main areas of hospitality, global trends, business strategy and operational leadership and suited me best.

My aim in studying at university is to be equipped with profound knowledge and practical skills, which will allow me to get the job of my dreams and be an independent and self-sufficient woman. Because of the fact that Switzerland is world famous for providing high-quality education in Hospitality and Tourism management, I decided to visit an Open Day in SHMS and was totally fascinated by the rich history of the Caux Palace (campus) and friendly people, such as reknowned lecturers, and being keen to gain knowledge on hospitality and practical skills from a country where this was first developed. Moreover, communication with its students incredibly inspired me and only strengthened my desire to go further along this path.

What aspect of hospitality do you enjoy most?
Hospitality Management has been my focus ever since I first developed an insatiable curiosity for this subject area when I was elected as a team-leader for organising an event at school. From then on, the subject captivated me because it offers great and unlimited opportunities such as meeting new and interesting people, traveling around the world and broadening your mind and horizons. This is what I probably enjoy the most about hospitality industry, especially now here in Dubai as it is a very multicultural city with a dynamic lifestyle. Moreover, as from childhood my life was connected with creativity and interacting with people, I could not find a better place to grow as a person and build my career.

What did you enjoy most about being at Kings?
Without any doubts, the previous year at Kings was one of the best in my life, and, to be honest, I cannot highlight just one thing, because I enjoyed every single day there: from the early mornings, when I run to the classes to start a day in the "close-knit family" atmosphere, to the late evenings, sitting until late at night and working on the assignments and preparing for the exams. Apart from studies, I was also delighted to go with my teachers and group mates to different places for excursions, exhibitions and afternoon teas and do different activities with my friends inside and outside the residences.

What do you miss most about Kings?
Generally, I miss everything about England and everything what relates to Kings, but one thing I miss the most is my teachers: Alex, Anne and Paul, who I am happy to call my friends and mentors. They gave me significantly useful and solid foundation for my future life, and I am so thankful for everything they have taught me, for all their valuable advice and support. They made a big contribution into my personality, and without all of them I would never be who I am now.

What advice do you have for other students considering taking the Level 4 Diploma in Hospitality at Kings?
If you decide to start your career in hospitality industry, Level 4 Diploma at Kings is what you have been looking for! It is a perfect combination of studies and social life, and what I know exactly, you will never regret making this decision. Just be positive, be kind and be unceasing curious! I know that if there is a goal, then you will definitely reach it sooner or later, and Kings will definitely help you with it.