Case study

Club manager — Tristan Bland

Tristan studied for a Bachelor of Business Administration with Entrepreneurship in Hospitality Management at Les Roches Bluche in Switzerland. Discover how he secured a job with Soho House, London

How did you get your job?

One of the best parts of studying at Les Roches was having access to the careers department and their strong relationship with key employers in the industry.

Soho House, like many other companies around the world, visited the campus for a presentation, after which they conducted first round interviews. It was this initial presentation which made me realise that Soho House would be an ideal fit for me and would provide excellent development opportunities.

The following week I got a call to say I had been selected for the next round of interviews, and an assessment day, which was held at their Shoreditch site in London. Following this I had a final interview with the Head of HR, after which I was offered a place on Soho House's Management Training programme. I'm now a club manager at High Road House, Chiswick.

What's a typical day like as a club manager?

This depends on what time I'm starting. This can vary from 6am (for an early shift) to 3pm (for an evening shift). My preferred start time is 6am. I am able to walk to work and enjoy the peaceful journey and I also enjoy being productive before the rest of London is awake. However, the evening shifts allow me to have fun running bustling and energetic events, as well as enabling me to enjoy a dinner service.

As a general rule, when I first arrive I like do a quick building tour, say hello to the team and check in with everyone to make sure nothing is amiss. I'll then plan my day and review the budgets, staffing and briefing points for the rest of the team. Breakfast service starts fairly early so we will all have a bite to eat before the work starts in earnest.

I am very much focused on service, so I am usually found on the floor, greeting guests and ensuring that all elements of the service are on point. If I'm running an evening event, there are many different elements to consider, from an initial check-in with both staff and guests, to ensuring that everything is running smoothly - and that no-one is left without a drink in their hand.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The people I get to work with are the best part about my job. It's akin to Les Roches in a way, as both my colleagues and also the members who I look after are from all over the world and travel regularly, which means I get a chance to learn something new on every shift.

What are the challenges?

I think it's widely acknowledged that hospitality can be a challenging industry - to do well, you do have to commit to long shifts and a lot of hard work. For me, though, the benefits have always outweighed the negatives.

In what way is your degree relevant?

Les Roches taught me the full breadth of everything that hospitality encompasses, and I've been able to apply a lot of my learning to the job. My two semesters of practical experience while studying, working in two large London hotels in food and beverage-related internships, certainly set me up for my future as a manager.

How has your role developed?

Once I completed the Management Training programme I was promoted to floor manager of the Chiswick site, and have recently been promoted to club manager. I've been very well supported by my line managers, who have set me up for promotion by teaching me new skills and showing me a clear progression route to follow.

Long term, I would love to be able to open my own business, ideally some kind of gastro pub with rooms somewhere beautiful in the English countryside. Hopefully all of my experience will stand me in good stead for being my own boss.

How do I get a job in hospitality?

Soho House is, at a fundamental level, all about people. If you are willing to work hard and put in the hours, but know how to have fun at the same time, it may be the company for you. Relevant experience is beneficial - the organisation wants to see that you can put theory into practice and that you aren't afraid to get stuck in and support your team when they need you.

Be yourself. This sounds very cliche but Soho House looks for individuals with character and personality. Our hiring managers want to know who you are as a person. The brand is all about individuality and creativity, and that goes for staff not just members.

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