From China to France: my life at Vatel Bordeaux
Qian Qian Wu, a Chinese fifth year student, gives us her opinion on her schooling and life in Aquitaine.
Why did you decide to study at Vatel Bordeaux?
Because of Vatel’s great reputation!
After I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management in Amiens, I wanted to specialize in the hospitality industry and one of my professors recommended this school to me. So I started gathering information about the various Vatel Campuses in France: Paris, Lyon, Nimes and Bordeaux. I based my choice on two criteria: I wanted to live in a big city and take advantage of a program for international students.
And that’s how I came here back in 2014.
Tell us about your integration in France and then in Bordeaux.
I grew up in China, in the city of Shanghai. Back there, most Chinese people have a very romantic idea about France, but our cultures are very different. When I left for the very first time, I was only 20, and I was really stressed out. Everything was so different for me: the language, customs, food, culture, etc.
Luckily for me, in Bordeaux as in Amiens, the professors and students both helped me a lot. Little by little I learned how to speak French, and they allowed me to better understand the country.
Today I’m really happy in Bordeaux.
It’s a nice, calm city. It’s easy to get around using the tram, and the inhabitants of Bordeaux are very warm and welcoming. And, as it is a tourist destination, people often make the effort to speak English to be understood, both in the streets and in the restaurants. I feel at home here.
You just finished your internship in the brand new Vatel Bistro. What did you learn there?
I loved this internship! It allowed me to get used to the cash register system, the new reservation software, but also to get used to specific customer requests. Sometimes you needed to set tables for groups, sometimes we had to organize seminars and huge receptions such as the 10th International Vatel Convention. I really learned a lot here.
And I also learned how to work in a team with Vatel Tunis students who were doing their internships here too. Our restaurant services director was really patient with us. He helped us learn how to serve our customers in a very professional way.
Plus, as I’m a student in the MBA Vatel Specialization, Wine and Spirits Management, I was also really pleased to be able to work with Gaetan Gladieux, who is the Vatel Bordeaux Tables wine steward.
So tell us why you chose the wine and spirits specialization.
Later on, I’d like to open my own restaurant and, from my point of view, it’s really important to have a lot of different skills when you’re doing a job like this. I’d like to gain the maximum amount of experience in the hospitality industry and in restaurant services, and now in wine too to be successful in the future in my own place. Bordeaux wines and its vineyards are known worldwide. That’s one of the reasons why Vatel Bordeaux sets up a lot of tours of wine castles for us. We find out everything to know about wine production techniques, and I know that this kind of further knowledge will make me a better professional.