Rytė is from Lithuania and a graduate of Swiss Hotel Management School. Here, she shares the most valuable life lessons she learned during her studies and what it was like to change careers in the middle of a pandemic.
As long as I can remember, I’ve been passionate about hospitality. Growing up, I was fortunate to stay at many luxury hotels and the experiences were always unforgettable. I dreamed of working for a luxury hotel surrounded by people who loved hospitality as much as I did, and perhaps even owning my own luxury hotel brand one day.
When I first arrived at the Caux Palace, it took my breath away! I really loved how diverse the school was – my classmates came from all corners of the world. Yet, despite our cultural differences, we really felt like a united team – especially during events like International Day or our second-year banquet.
There is simply no other place like Swiss Hotel Management School where you can gain so much firsthand knowledge and experience of other cultures.
The internship office helped me a lot with making contacts at various hotels. They definitely have a lot of connections and are always willing to help however they can.
My first internship was at the Ritz-Carlton Abama in Tenerife, Spain. Working there gave me a great overall understanding of how hotels operate. I lived six months on the island and loved it.
For my second internship, I applied to work at the Grand Hyatt Dubai because I really wanted to experience a different culture. The hotel was very large, so it was interesting to learn about large-scale hotel operations. Also, I fell in love with the city so much that I came back to Dubai after I graduated.
My favorite memory was our second-year banquet. We were tasked with creating a banquet from scratch and it was quite the challenge to pull it off! However, it was a great opportunity to learn how to work together as a team, which was so helpful later when I joined the event sales team at Shangri-La The Shard in London.
Like so many others who work in hospitality, the Covid-19 pandemic has definitely been the biggest challenge for me in my career so far.
When the pandemic started, I was working as an Event Sales Executive in London. Suddenly, we were no longer able to host events. After 11 months of being furloughed, I was made redundant. I had to decide what my next career move would be.
Luckily, I received the opportunity to move to Dubai and work in a real estate company, which was exciting because I love the city. The job is different from what I was doing before, but I really enjoy it. I’m a real “people person”, so being able to meet and interact with so many different people every day brings me a lot of joy.
To work in sales, you have to be great with people. Being surrounded by such a diverse student body during my time at Swiss Hotel Management School, gave me a richer understanding of how to work with people across a range of personalities and cultures. As a result, I feel like I am able to relate to people better, which is essential to my success at work.
I would say to not be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone – travel, explore and learn what it is you are really passionate about.
I’d also tell them that an education at Swiss Hotel Management School and your experiences during your internships will teach you a lot about hospitality, but also so much more. You’ll learn so many skills that will set you up for success in any industry, if you decide to change careers in the future.