Quentin says the intensity of studying for an MBA in Switzerland provided an academic 'adrenaline kick' - and the course changed his professional and personal life for good
When and where did you study an MBA?
I studied my MBA from July 2009 to June 2010 in Switzerland, at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management (now Les Roches Global Hospitality Education). I chose to specialise in marketing instead of finance, simply because I came from an accounting and finance background, and my goal was to widen my spectrum of skills.
I received my MBA in May 2012 after taking a year-and-half to write my final thesis while working.
What is your current professional role?
My current role is director of financial planning and analysis at Six Senses Hotels, Resorts, Spas, in the Bangkok head office.
Why did you decide to study an MBA?
I studied and worked in hospitality from the age of 13, and encountered a dozen hotel managers who recommended that I strike for the best hotel schools in the world - specifically Les Roches or École Hôtelière de Lausanne - if I wanted to work in a global and diverse environment and be able to travel around the world.
Knowing that, I decided to keep studying and working in France, Ireland and Germany to meet the entry requirements for either school.
Tell us about the application process
I applied to the school nearly a year in advance to be prepared logistically and financially for the change. I had to give all my working place references, academic records, covering letter, application letter, and an essay on why Les Roches would be the school for me.
What did you most enjoy about the course?
Our MBA was very intense - nine subjects per semester with multiple single and group assignments per week, and this is what I enjoyed the most. It gave you an academic 'adrenaline kick' as if you were in a hotel operation.
The personal competitive aspect while working together with diverse cultures, languages, opinions and values towards one common goal was very rewarding, while being challenging and frustrating too. The balance was very important personally and professionally. It became an eye-opener on the infinite possibilities that the world has to offer.
What was the most challenging aspect of the course?
The thesis was the most challenging aspect of the course by far. I chose to apply what we learnt during our MBA and push it further by choosing a company that is 'out of the ordinary' and see whether the theory and reality can balance each other. Working while studying on the thesis was hard. It took me longer than expected because finding something that has not been done academically and professionally for a company cannot be done within a couple of months.
How has the MBA benefitted your career?
The MBA changed all aspects of my life dramatically. I moved to a different continent (Asia); travelled around the world for a couple of years (more than 50 countries) and learnt different aspects of the hospitality business (sustainability and wellness).
It enabled me to be selected from thousands of students to work for Six Senses Hotels, Resorts, Spas to focus on what I am best at, financial planning and analysis. And finally, I met my wife with whom I have three children now.
What advice would you give to others studying an MBA?
Drive and passion are my advice. Thousands of people are going through 'famous' or 'normal' hospitality schools from various backgrounds. However, the people who tend to succeed in hospitality are genuine and driven individuals with a broad perspective of the business. Then you need to find the company that mirrors your core values, and not just work for a company that is famous.