Pierre-Yves Le Gal, who graduated from Vatel in Paris in 2008 and Vatel in Los Angeles in 2009, believes that “our network is a priceless asset.”
To illustrate this, a Vatelien advised him to enroll in Vatel when he was doing his internship for his second year of business school. And a Vatel alumnus will also be the first person hired by the consulting company, Arzel Management, which he founded in 2012. He’s also launching a company in Morocco with another Vatel alumnus.
Hi Pierre-Yves. After graduating from high school you enrolled in a general business school and then started Vatel in Paris in 2006. You did your MBA in Vatel in Los Angeles in 2008. Could you tell us what made you want to attend Vatel?
I’ve always been fascinated by the hospitality industry. I was quite young when I had my first summer jobs in a restaurant and I always wanted to continue working in this field. But I was still hesitant about my career and I enrolled in a general business school in Nantes.
The turning point came in my second year of school when I did two consecutive internships in Hebel Traiteur [Hebel Catering] in Nantes. I discovered the world of events management with Bertrand Eloud, who was my supervisor and who encouraged me to continue my education with management training in the hospitality and catering industries. This internship really opened my eyes: it was great to manage people in such a unique field. Once I had my bachelor’s degree in marketing, I went to Vatel.
What do you remember about Vatel?
Vatel brought me a complementary balance in my skills. A “hands-on” vision with a managerial and human approach focused on precise and exacting work, being exemplary and modernization of our industry.
I enrolled in Vatel in Los Angeles the very first year the MBA degree began. We were the first class to graduate and I was our class Valedictorian. For me, this global experience is what really helped me out when I was starting off my professional life.
For example, when I had just turned 22 and my English was not the greatest, my supervisor had no qualms about telling me: “Buddy!” Here’s your team, here is the restaurant, here are the keys; you’re closing tonight!” Sometimes I feel that you have to assume without really being capable of doing it. You just have to say to yourself, ‘I’ll do everything possible and everything will be all right.’ It was stressful though.
In addition to that, from an academic point of view, two instructors in Vatel in Los Angeles were able to put us completely at ease and make us want to read things which, from a coaching and managerial point of view, were my guiding lights in everything I needed to fully understand. A sentence from Marcus Buckingham’s book ‘The One Thing You Need to Know’ is still on my office door: ‘Find out what is unique in your people and capitalize on it!’
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
I was lucky to be able to climb the corporate ladder quite quickly. When I was 23 I was hired as the Restaurant Manager in the Ciel de Paris restaurant and was also the youngest Hotel Manager in Morocco when I headed the four-star Murano Resort Marrakesh at the age of 25.
Frankly all of this was only possible because of my vast on-hands experience, and hard work in putting in place ‘my’ management and administration methods in the hotel and restaurant.
After I finished working in Morocco, the conclusion was easy to make: my ‘toolbox’ was full and I wanted to direct my own company. So I decided to work for myself. I was finally able to do what I love doing and what I had always dreamed of doing: consulting. Last year I had the opportunity to work with the Christophe Leroy Group, based in Saint-Tropez, which also manages facilities in the Caribbean islands, the USA and in Morocco. In charge of operational facility management, putting in place group standards and procedures, opening new hotels and organizing events (in particular the Saint-Tropez White Night Party which I was responsible for), I was able to be a group “free electron” consultant.
This freedom of action, the possibility I have distancing myself as well as the use of my own management tools is truly a luxury that I now have given myself, with the creation of my own consulting company, Arzel Management.
Each year our Group School directors, getting together for the Vatel International Convention, use today’s experiences to continue to invent tomorrow’s schools for our future hospitality professionals.Read more
Vatel cultivates the qualities required to be a good professional in the hospitality industry: being fluent in foreign languages, knowing how to work with other cultures... Hoteliers are attracted by Vatel students’ resumes, as Vateliens can tell us.Read more
François Perraud feels both a hotelier and a financial controller, an expertise that he likes to pass on to Vatel students.Read more
Jeremie de Fombelle has always loved resorts and has seen many of them, before coming to Mauritius. And this is where he really fell in love! But economic competition is stiff. How can you stand out, if not by the quality of your management?Read more
A professor of marketing, corporate promotion and negotiation, Sophie Lot loves adult education and teaches at Vatel Switzerland.Read more
Thanatat Boonpeng: a young Vatel graduate at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok.Read more
Every day, Vatel students and instructors prepare for class, study, and fan the flames of their curiosity, thanks to the cutting-edge digital library provided by the ScholarVox platform. Come right this way for digital access to knowledge!Read more
An MBA specializing in ecotourism opens in Madagascar. This island has all it takes to materialize this demanding approach of responsible and innovative tourism.Read more
New ideas, enthusiasm, the desire to embrace a gourmet universe: Jerome Ferrer’s story has all the ingredients that inspire the best “success stories” to strategy professors!Read more
The hospitality and tourism industries are particularly concerned by sustainable development. And what if Vatel alumni played a key part in this transition towards more environmentally friendly hotel management?Read more
Travel broadens the mind, as the old saying goes. It also leads to unconventional restaurants. Let’s meet two Vateliens who founded Le Kaya Restaurant in Tignes.Read more
Besides having a Bachelor or an MBA Vatel, what does being a Vatelien mean?Read more
Throughout their entire careers, Vatel alumni remain in touch with their schools. This is also true for Kevin Tessieux, who has never forgotten that he was also once a student, and who now shares this knowledge with students today.Read more
Chahrazade Baroudi, a Vatelien since 2013, describes her job as Marketing and Communication Manager in IDAM, Alain Ducasse’s restaurant on the top floor of the Doha Museum of Islamic Art, in Qatar.Read more
Future hospitality professionals, welcome to Vatel’s 100% management simulation serious game! For an entire week and on three continents, MBA students met the challenge of managing a 4-star hotel and a resort in the Indian Ocean. The winners are...Read more
Who is Gaelle Garnier, the new manager of the network of 35,000 Vatel alumni throughout the world? Let’s meet a Vatelien who works with Vateliens!Read more
The 25th Eurhodip conference, which Vatel took part in, took place in Croatia. Targeting responsible tourism, this conference allowed participants to have more information on opening higher education courses in the field of sustainable development.Read more
Designed to address the needs of the global hospitality industry, the Marco Polo program strengthens the international profile Vatel students have and has just received the prestigious Best Innovation in an Educational Program Award.Read more
Graduated in 2011, Alexis Bouche began his career in England. Six years later, he returned to France and is now the Sales Manager of the 5-star hotel, Villa Maïa.Read more
Nearly 40 years old, and now 50 campuses in 32 different countries: Vatel Group opened its first school in Paris and is continuing to grow and duplicate its innovative educational concept in schools abroad.Read more
Trained at Vatel Nimes ten years ago, Chloe Wu has a brilliant career in China. She no longer works in the hospitality industry, but has not forgotten her passion of hospitality and service...Read more
Vatelalumni.com, free and connected to your LinkedIn profile, will soon be one of your favorite internet sites!
The Vatel International Research Center in Hotel and Tourism Managementhas just published the 10th edition of its Journal, which targets research and reflections on changes taking place in the hospitality and tourism industries.Read more
Curiosity, humility, team spirit... A Vatelien shares his commitment to values his school transmitted to him.
The same international spirit that students have Vatel and 4 students in nursing undertake a humanitarian project in Madagascar.Read more
A traveler - salesman - ambassador, Marco Polo introduced Asia, at that time nearly unknown, to Europe. This inspirational fate has given its name to Vatel’s international exchange program, where students can study at another Vatel campus for a year.Read more
The most senior representatives in the international hospitality industry give Vatel the Best School Hospitality Award. An entire profession thus acclaims them.Read more
Learning the skills needed to be a manager, quick employability, international careers... Vatel, the passport that gets you hired. See the video.Read more
A professor of hospitality management, restaurant services and tourism management for over 28 years, Pat Golden-Romero teaches MBA Vatel courses at Vatel San Diego, USA.Read more