Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality and Events Management graduate Rima Pradhan talks about the multicultural exposure at Swiss Hotel Management School that helped shape a career that spans three continents, and the resourcefulness needed to evolve with a world changed by a global pandemic.
Rima is someone who embraces change. As a young woman, she left family and friends in Ghana to attend SHMS Swiss Hotel Management School some 4,000 kilometres from home, as she sought “the best tertiary education outside of Ghana.”
Being immersed in an international environment surely made me more adaptable and understanding of cultures and always gave me a competitive edge in my job-related interviews.
“I came across an advertisement for a seminar for SHMS Swiss Hotel Management School and signed up to attend. I had no idea when I walked into the seminar with my parents, that my life was about to be changed. The video presentation showed us Caux Palace and professionally dressed students engaged in practical classes, from culinary to housekeeping to service. It looked like these students were mastering an art form or a skill and they seemed so happy to be there. We were mesmerised by the whole experience and I knew I wanted to be a part of this world,” she recalls.
After graduating in 2008, Rima opted to complete her internships in Switzerland in order to improve her French and break the language barrier – another example of her determination to adapt and grow. She also appreciates the solid foundation this provided.
“The internships were game changers - being immersed in a work environment full time at such an early stage in life prepared us for the outside world and gave us experience and career confidence, both essential in our industry.”
From Switzerland, Rima moved on to Abu Dhabi where she kicked off her career as a Guest Services Team Leader. She considers this time to be the most memorable in her journey as it gave her the opportunity to rise the ranks to Senior Events Manager and eventually land her current dual property role at JW Marriott Parq and the DOUGLAS in Vancouver, Canada. Rima is the most internationally influenced member of her team.
Rima credits her seamless transition between cities to the multicultural exposure she enjoyed at SHMS Swiss Hotel Management School.
“Where I learnt the most was during group course work where you are placed with people from different backgrounds who you have to work with and overcome differences to achieve the same goal. Being immersed in an international environment surely made me more adaptable and understanding of cultures and always gave me a competitive edge in my job-related interviews.”
On top of that, she was also able to share a Swiss Hotel Management School connection with those she worked with in all three cities, from Swiss Hotel Management School alumni to people who knew about “that palace on the mountain.”
Creating extraordinary experiences for clients and guests makes each day unique, which is what Rima Pradhan loves most about being an event manager. Today, Rima braces for an unprecedented challenge. In a time when we need to keep safe distances from one another, the job of bringing people together is set to evolve.
We are going to be better and stronger than ever.
Ever positive, Rima sees opportunity in this crisis and trusts her creativity, resourcefulness, and grit to help her rise to the occasion, noting that “our skills are transferrable and can be flexed to our advantage hence not limiting us. I took this time to self-reflect and work on skills that I have always wanted to develop that would support me with our current role, e.g. leadership skills and project management.”
In addition to working to her strengths, Rima is ready to explore new concepts such as virtual conferences and hybrid events, and she is adamant about overcoming this challenge, insisting, “We are going to be better and stronger than ever.”