MBA Alumnus & General Manager Bernard Rodrigues Furthers Career in Hong Kong
Bernard Rodrigues, Singaporean
Year of Graduation: 2013, Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Hospitality & Service Industries Management; Specialisation: General Management
General Manager, New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel
Surrounded by scores of attractions and located in the commercial center, this Hong Kong hotel offers over 450 guestrooms with the majority looking out onto one of the world’s most sought-after city skylines – Victoria Harbour
Bernard Rodrigues has so far enjoyed a hospitality career across Asia spanning more than 30 years, serving in leadership roles for both regional and international hotel groups, including the likes of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Meritus Hotels & Resorts, Dusit Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International, and Royal Princess Hotels Group.
We interviewed Bernard to ascertain how his career has advanced in Hong Kong after he graduated with his Glion MBA, which he completed online in 2013.
Q: Can you summarize the benefits you have gained by studying for your Glion MBA?
Bernard: “The Glion MBA online program has broadened my strategic and critical thinking skills, in preparation for a fast-changing world.
In my daily work, I apply the theory-based learning coupled with my practical hospitality experience gained over more than 30 years, to develop further my leadership skills and career aspirations. This was one of the main reasons I chose to further my education by taking my master’s degree in business administration.
I singled out Glion for my studies as it is a well-established and recognized institution globally. Likewise, one also does not have to leave their job to study with Glion online, and that’s the beauty of it.”
Q: What is your current position?
Bernard: “My master’s level qualification has given me the opportunity to not only develop further my strategic thinking and leadership skills, but also the opportunity to grow my career and take on new challenges.
After my graduation from Glion with my MBA, I moved on to a bigger property and brand in the same capacity as my previous role as general manager. In the summer of 2014 I was appointed general manager of New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel. This well-established 5-star hotel was previously called Nikko Hotel Hong Kong, before it was rebranded.”
New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Q: Tell us about a situation in your job role where you applied your new skills gained through the MBA program.
Bernard: “During our hotel’s new comprehensive renovation program. Time management is so important when undertaking the online MBA program, and this also applies very much so with our hotel’s own current multi-million dollar renovation project.
A very large amount of planning goes into a project of this scale and there are ongoing deadlines that need to be met, and follow ups etc. that need to be made in an efficient and timely manner. In some way the course has certainly benefited my time management skills further.
At the core, you become more strategy-focused with a higher level of business acumen. The MBA opens up a new dimension and introduces new perspectives to you, helping you to look at things in a broader context. This assists you in being analytical, critical and enterprising.
I am enjoying every moment of the challenge to position this iconic Hong Kong hotel with a new look by mid 2016.”
New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel’s newly refurbished guestrooms with deluxe harbour view – to be unveiled in March 2016
Q: Glion offers professionals a wide range of programs and specializations. In your view, how does that benefit the industry and how relevant is it for a global sector/company like yours?
Bernard: “Glion’s online programs and specializations are very factual and realistic. The course materials are updated regularly and are relevant to the current hospitality industry, in taking a global perspective of management.
The various specializations offered enable each of us to choose the subjects we are passionately keen to learn more about. We can apply our new specialist knowledge in our daily roles, or further specialize and develop within our careers.”
Q: How has completing the program benefited you from a personal perspective?
Bernard: “From a personal perspective the MBA program is self-enriching and, I could say, motivating. There is so much to learn and gain from the program, not only from the perspective of realizing your career aspirations, but also from a personal development perspective too.”
New Year fireworks in Hong Kong
Q: What did you think about the format of the online program?
Bernard: “It’s a virtual learning platform and a new way of learning, engaging and interacting, rather than a traditional classroom format. The materials are relevant and readily available through an online library, if one wishes to do some research work, etc.
The entire program offered us career professionals the flexibility to study at our own pace and time without having to leave our jobs, which you can’t do in a normal classroom while studying full-time on campus. It offered us a work-life balance.
But having said that, time management is also important and one has to be disciplined and committed to the program and schedule just as that of a full-time student on campus – but the flexibility outweighs the rigidness of the program.
The lecturers that facilitate the programs on the online virtual learning platform bring rich life experience and many case studies to the table, during the discussions and interactions among the classmates in different parts of the world.
This is because the majority of the instructors are also working professionals in their own respective fields, and bring vast amounts of international knowledge and experience into the online classroom when discussing and interacting with the students.”
Q: Can you talk about your experience as a Glion alumni member?
Bernard: “The power of networking and building relationships will help you very much both personally and professionally in the hospitality industry.
We mostly communicated online via the virtual learning platform during the course of our Glion MBA as all of us were based in different countries, but we did make a point of meeting each other face-to-face during our graduation at the Glion campus in Bulle, Switzerland.
To this day, we still keep in contact with each other and the networking opportunities, we build upon.”
We warmly thank Glion MBA alumnus Bernard for sharing his Glion journey with us, and wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.