Student Interview – Grisha Davidoff, Mexico
Meet with Grisha Davidoff, studying a Bachelor Degree in Hospitality Management.
Why did you choose to study at Glion Institute of Higher Education?
The idea of joining Glion first came to me when I was 16 years old. I was doing a summer job at the Mandarin Oriental Maya Koba in Mexico and the General Manager was a proud GIHE alumnus. He told me about his experience at Glion and awoke my curiosity. Then, after looking at videos of the school, my motivation to join GIHE increased. After visiting the school for the first time and meeting the students and the faculty, it was clear to me that it was my dream to study here. The incentive of joining Glion encouraged me to go from being a trouble-making student to graduating as a top-3 student from my high school in France and earning my baccalaureate with the highest honors.
What expectations did you have before you arrived and how has Glion met those expectations?
One of the things that impressed me the most when I first visited the school was the soft skills and the charm of the students. I never met such outgoing and classy young adults as the students who received me during the open day. I wanted to acquire those social skills myself. I was thrilled to hear that those students lived and worked day-today with other students from all over the world and also had amazing international work experiences at such a young age.
Thereafter, my expectations were mainly to be immersed in the Swiss excellence and rigor, get international exposure, and attend one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Since I am a student at Glion, those expectations where not only fulfilled but exceeded. I managed to get work experiences in 3 different countries besides studying in Switzerland. I made strong friendships with amazing people from countries that I didn’t even know existed before. Most importantly, I have learned to always try to improve myself in all aspects of my life: studies, grooming, public speaking, sports, friendship, and attitude. When I look back at who I was before coming to Glion, to who I am today, I can say with certainty that coming to Glion was the best decision.
Why would you recommend Glion to future students?
Glion offers a unique experience. Many young people are heading to general careers such as business management and when they finish studying they do not find a job. When you graduate from Glion, you have already a year of professional experience and in many cases you have worked internationally for a top luxury company. Working in luxury hospitality demands high standards and teaches you how to work under pressure, and be polyvalent and flexible in all kinds of situations.
What is the Glion Spirit for you in a few words?
It is a positive mindset that all of the students and teachers have. It consists of friendship and solidarity; at Glion, everybody is polite and friendly. You interact permanently with people from different backgrounds in different languages, and you learn from them. It is about working hard in class and playing hard outside of it. Glion spirit is what allows you to go to any country in the world and have a fellow “Glionner” to call, and even if you just made their acquaintance, you will feel that you’ve know him or her for years.
Can you speak about your student life and opportunities you can have on the campuses?
As we are a small community compared to other schools, the student life is great, as most of the students know each other and are united. Since Switzerland is at the heart of Europe, you will travel a lot with your friends to neighboring countries or enjoy the beautiful Swiss landscapes. In both campuses of Montreux and Bulle, many recreational activities are organized during weekends and many sports teams get together during the week.
Glion also promotes an active leadership that allows the students to get involved in extracurricular activities that contribute to the well being of the student body.
Where did you do your internships?
I did two internships since I arrived to Glion, the first one was an F&B management training in Shangri-La in Beijing as a Restaurant Assistant Manager for 7 months and the second one was divided in two. At first, I was Assistant General Manager in charge of all hotel operations in Mikhael’s Hotel in Brazzaville, Congo for almost 3 months and later I went to the Sofitel Brussels Europe as Assistant General Manager for 5 months were I was the General Manager’s right hand man.
The professional experiences I got during my internships at Glion were some of the most important moments of my education. I got to travel to 3 different countries and learned how to work with different cultures. I learned to be professional at all times, no matter what the situation was, thanks to emotional intelligence. I had increasing responsibilities in each of these experiences, which developed my leadership skills a lot and increased my self-confidence.
After these experiences, I feel highly prepared to enter the professional world and I already have entry-level offers in managerial positions.
Do you feel Glion prepared you for your internships?
I have been working in the hospitality industry part-time with my studies since the age of 16, which allowed me to enter Glion with some experience and hard-skills. However, after studying in Glion, I understood the managerial rationale and objectives much better, which allowed me to grow quickly during my internships. I increased my soft skills, my administrative and financial understanding of the hotel, and enhanced my emotional intelligence and professional attitude.
CAREERS & FUTURE
Do you feel prepared to enter the industry when you graduate?
I feel ready for the industry and I am looking forward to starting my career with all the knowledge and skills that I acquired at Glion.
What level of position do you hope to go into once you graduate?
I already have managerial offers for when I graduate. I have an offer as Director of Operations in a 5-star hotel. However, I am thinking of joining financial services and thus I will need to get the basics first.
What are your plans just after graduation and in future years?
I would like to work for a financial company such as JP Morgan or Morgan Stanley to have a better understanding of the financial world and to understand how to work with investors. Then, I would like to do a master’s in real estate and finance and start developing my own hotel company.