Glion student makes triumphant return to hospitality

  • NATIONALITY: Finnish
  • GRADUATION YEAR: 2018
  • PROGRAM: MBA
  • SCHOOL: Glion London / Switzerland

After leaving the world of hospitality behind, two years ago Tuomo Niemi decided it was time to return to where he belonged. Rather than dive straight back in, he updated his knowledge and strengthened his skills with a Glion MBA program. This has led him to securing work with Hotel St. George, a five-star hotel in the heart of Helsinki.

Tuomo always had a passion for the hospitality business. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, he spent a number of years working within luxury hospitality. However, he moved away from this industry ten years ago. “I was away from hospitality for over a decade, working in IT and telecom businesses,” Tuomo said. “We set up our own IT company, but in 2016 I decided to take a risk and leave my job in Finland and return back to my own field.”

However, Tuomo didn’t want to “start from scratch”, and decided he needed an option where he could advance his knowledge and fast-track his career. “I found Glion and was instantly impressed by their flexible MBA program,” he said. “It allowed me to study in London and then finish my studies online. Spending six months in London gave me the opportunity to meet some wonderful classmates from all around the world, engage myself back into my studies and explore London’s luxury hotel scene.

It’s been like an immersive apprenticeship… I have travelled in numerous sales events in the USA, Asia, the UK and central Europe. I have assisted in marketing, and built internal sales materials and the brand manual.

Although Tuomo found it tough to combine his studies with work, the MBA program “provided great knowledge of international hotel business.” He believes that studying such a degree has enabled him to get reacquainted with hospitality. “Without these studies, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable returning to hotels,” Tuomo said. “In today’s international marketplace, it’s vital to understand the global context – constant change, consumer needs, digitalization and product development are a few key topics that have been covered.”

While looking for suitable roles to apply for, Tuomo found an advert for an upcoming luxury hotel project. Looking for new recruits, the Hotel St. George offered him the chance to balance a job with his home life in Berlin, a situation that instantly appealed. “I wasn’t quite ready to move back to Finland, but after meeting my current boss, Mirkku Kullberg, she immediately informed me my presence in Finland wouldn’t be needed all the time, since my duties included St. George’s international launch.”

The worldwide alumni network is an incredible source of like-minded professionals…It’s a great benefit.

Hotel St. George is an ambitious, new generation, 153-room hotel in Helsinki. A stunning, landmark building from the 1840s, St. George challenges the concept of luxury. “It combines world-class art and design with a holistic understanding of wellbeing,” Tuomo said. “For us, the new luxury means security, privacy, wellbeing and a more serene life. The property’s facilities include a restaurant, bakery, bookshop, and a full-service spa with a swimming pool, saunas and fitness facilities.”

Tuomo has a range of duties. “It’s been like an immersive apprenticeship,” he said. “I have travelled in numerous sales events in the USA, Asia, the UK and central Europe. I have assisted in marketing, and built internal sales materials and the brand manual.”

Another upcoming event Tuomo is excited about is graduating, and he’s looking forward to staying in touch with his fellow students. “The worldwide alumni network is an incredible source of like-minded professionals,” he said. “It’s a great benefit.”

Find out more about our NEW Dual MBA and MSc in International Hospitality Business, in partnership with Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM).

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