Mai Anh studied for an MBA in Switzerland after discovering a passion for the luxury hotel sector - and says the connections she built there have proven to be priceless
When and where did you study an MBA?
I started my MBA in August 2014 at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management (now known as Les Roches Global Hospitality Education) in Bluche, Switzerland. My full course title was Master of Business Administration in Hospitality with Marketing, which I completed with distinction in 2015.
What is your current professional role?
My current role is corporate project manager - rooms and quality for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, based in the Hong Kong office. I have been with Mandarin Oriental for more than five years, previously as assistant manager, rooms division management trainee and front office agent, also working in Bangkok and Prague.
Why did you decide to study an MBA?
I studied business administration with an emphasis on marketing and communication for my Bachelors degree at the Anglo-American University in Prague. After completing my initial studies, I worked for a luxury hotel where I found my interest and passion.
This is why I wanted to deepen my knowledge in hospitality management, and the Les Roches MBA was recommended to me by my manager who is an alumnus. On researching the institution a little more, I found lots of positive feedback from other students.
Tell us about the application process
It was very straightforward. I remember I submitted all the required documents to Les Roches, including my Bachelors degree confirmation and reference letters, and after a short period of time I received a letter to say I had been accepted.
What did you most enjoy about the course?
Lots of things. I enjoyed learning from the visiting professors who gave us practical and real-life case studies from the hospitality industry, and also having classes that touched on the relevant key trends in the market.
Most importantly, the connections that I have built during my time at Les Roches are priceless. I have made friends around the world and met countless professionals from different companies. It is so interesting to see how your friends and connections develop in their professional life, and hospitality as an industry is about knowing the right people at the right time.
What was the most challenging aspect of the course?
The intensity of it. We had to deliver many papers and projects, and sometimes the deadline was almost at the same period. However, on the other side, we all grew very close to each other. Our class was very diverse with different cultures from various countries. At the beginning it was challenging to find the working balance, but at the end of it we learned a lot from each other.
How has the MBA benefitted your career?
I have definitely deepened my knowledge from selected courses during my MBA. I have also met great professionals and some of them have become my friends. Also, I have benefitted a lot from being part of the distinctive Les Roches community.
What advice would you give to others studying an MBA?
There might be some classes you like less than others, but always try to make the most of it. And make as many connections as possible.