From public speaking to international teamwork to quality assurance, Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS) alum Letizia Cosciotti finds everything that she learned as a student at SHMS to be indispensable working in hospitality at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai.
My name is Letizia Cosciotti, and I come from Rome, Italy. I studied at a Hospitality High School where I graduated in Hospitality and Reception Services and got my State Diploma prior to my studies at SHMS.
I have always loved hospitality and the incredible world that it can offer. Working with people is the greatest opportunity for me, a learning journey that never ends. Every person I have encountered so far has helped me in my growth and learning journey.
I graduated from SHMS with First Class Honors in October 2021 in International Hospitality Management. I started my journey in September 2019 as a 2nd Year Student in Caux Palace and completed my 3rd and 4th Semester on the Leysin Campus.
After leaving SHMS, I spent most of my time writing my dissertation and doing some training online to develop my skills. I was hired in October 2021, a month after officially submitting my dissertation, as a Guest Services Agent (Front Office Associate) at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai. The property I am working in is part of Marriott International, which for me was the most important aspect when applying for a job. Like all hospitality students, we all have a dream company, or a dream place we want to work in, and for me, it was always to be part of the Marriott Group because of the incredible opportunities for fresh graduates and for the support as well in growing your career and moving into a different property, or even different country.
After a year and a half, I am still working at the front desk of the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai but have been focusing on different areas and supporting other departments. I am currently the Quality Ambassador Representative of the Front Office Department. This past month, we have developed a newly formed Quality Committee that would connect different associates from their respective departments to ensure consistent quality and luxury is always ensured in the services we deliver. Though the Sheraton Grand Hotel is a premium business property, it is also a five-star property and is a recommended hotel in the Forbes Travel Guide magazine 4 years in a row.
We know we can do and achieve so much more, which is why we created the Quality Committee to reach the next level. To sum up, my job tasks include taking care of daily operations, arrivals, and departures, along with ensuring that quality services are provided at all times and improving and developing the front office team. To do that, I recently started to work with the Front Office Manager regarding the learning and recognition program within our department to ensure not only equal and constant recognition, which has shown to be beneficial to the team in different ways, but also to implement new areas of recognition for our associates. I hope to see great results for this project within six months.
The first important skill that I learned during my years at school is how to work in a multicultural or international environment. Working in hospitality means meeting and working with many people from all over the world, and it’s the most fascinating aspect for me; however, because of some differences, difficulties may occur. That’s what I first learned at SHMS: working with people with different backgrounds, different cultures, different mother languages, and different skills. And working in a hotel, especially in the UAE where there is such an international environment, it is essential to know how to deal and work with people from different cultures. Differences will be always there, but we should focus on how to benefit from them and work with them to achieve our goals together.
Another skill that I learned is public speaking. For me, public speaking was not easy, but essential when working at the front desk. From the projects and presentations that we were asked to prepare, the school helped me a lot in public speaking and developing many different ways of attracting an audience as well as putting it all into practice. Honestly, I got many compliments at work from my colleagues for my presentation skills and public speaking!
Lastly, one thing that helped me greatly is what we learned in our classes and the variety of knowledge I gained from that. Having classes in events management or marketing management when I was in school allowed me to offer my help at the hotel with creating and sharing social media content or to help organize small get-togethers, since I already had that knowledge; being a Student Ambassador each semester at SHMS helped me a lot regarding that as well!
The thing I love the most is the lifestyle of an SHMS student. I miss planning events in Caux Palace, creating projects for a future company, making presentations, presenting our projects, and always challenging myself as a student. Studying at SHMS was so much fun for me (and hard work of course). I also miss waking up in the beautiful snowy Swiss Alps, or watching the sunset touching the clouds over the Caux Palace gardens during springtime.
As if being a student from one of the Top 3 Best Hospitality Schools in the world isn’t enough, studying at SHMS gives you what you need in the real world and develops you to perform at your best. As I said earlier, it is about teamwork, working in an international environment, and knowing a variety of subjects which is all a huge support for your future career.
SHMS provides so many opportunities to meet companies and hotels so you can find a job and also offers internship programs that literally place you into the real world of working in hospitality. These aspects were the biggest advantage for me in finding a job within only a couple of months after graduation.
The world is full of great and smart people, so you have to find a way to shine. Think out of the box and be different! Don’t give up on yourself and be patient because great things come with a little bit more time. Change jobs, have many experiences, make mistakes, and learn from them.
Get out of your comfort zone and you’ll learn and discover so much more. Have fun and laugh! What makes you smile and being passionate about your job is not always easy, but if you can keep it up, you are going in the right direction!