I recently had the privilege of meeting with Ralph Radtke and we’ve shared our hotel vision during the ILTM show. He was named General Manager of the Ciragan Palace Kempinski a few years ago.
Do you have any advice for students to wish to enter the hospitality industry?
If you decide to go into this great business which is the hospitality industry, I have no advice to give, but I’ll give you my perspective. I am the president of AAG (the Alumni Association of Glion in Switzerland), so we deal with these kinds of questions all the time. First of all, it is important to be passionate. Never give up. There will be difficult moments in your life or situations that are difficult to handle where you say to yourself, “Maybe I’m not paid enough,” or “Why am I working all these hours while others are partying,” etc.
You should persist in your dream. Another thing: you should be realistic. Don’t always think about others; think about you! Where do you want to go with your career? What do you want to do? This is what is most important. We are not working with the Red Cross or Doctors without Borders. We are working in business, so you have to make sure that you are looking after your career and being selfish in certain circumstances to push forward your career.
For the rest, it’s important to inform yourself well before you go into this business. If you want to be a banker, don’t go into this business because afterward you will waste your time. It’s about passion, loving people, being honored to serve other people. It’s not a dishonor to serve other people. Unfortunately, the hospitality business is socially less recognized than working in a bank or in an insurance company, but at the end of the day, it’s about your dream. If your dream is about going around the world and not having borders in your job, this is one of the rare industries where there are no borders. You can go to China, India, wherever you wish etc. Combine your work with your dreams to visit some beautiful countries and places. At the end of the day, if these things come together, I am 100% sure you will succeed. Because that’s what I did and that’s the reason why I am here.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.