From the Vatel Bordeaux’Bachelor to the Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria

Sophie Balanche, a 2016 Vatel Bordeaux international hospitality management alumni (Bachelor), tells us about some of her multicultural management experiences when she went to Vatel Bordeaux. She is currently doing her final internship (MBA), at the Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria as a “personal concierge.” 

Sophie Balanche, who has lived in Bordeaux since she was fifteen, wanted to attend a school located in Bordeaux. She started at Vatel Bordeaux in 2013, because of the mixture of theoretical courses and practical application courses.

A four-month internship as the Banqueting Manager in her first  Bachelor year

As of her first year, her four-month internship gave her a positive impression. She secured it with the priceless help of Veronique Courtonne, who was the Vatel Bordeaux Corporate Relations Manager.
I was really lucky,” she admitted. “I was supposed to work at the front desk for four months. After two months, I found myself working as the Banqueting Manager. I was in charge of the events part: soliciting partners, setting up the communication plan, organization of events and weddings. I was the contact person for everyone. I gained a lot of different skills.”

An important international internship at the end of her second Bachelor year

Everything was not so hunky dory in her second year, especially during her internship in Corfu, Greece: the manager limited her initiatives, her family and friends were far away. “I remained in contact with Veronique, and she supported me. She was able to find the words I needed to make it to the end! And finally, I only remember what was good in this internship!  She helped me a lot.”

A long experience in the Admissions department in Vatel Bordeaux in her third  Bachelor year

As she liked the atmosphere in Vatel Bordeaux, she did an eight-month internship in the Admissions department, headed by Carine Sauvey: “my best experience.” She learned a lot about the psychological aspects of people as well as techniques to analyze a profile and a personality.

“I always asked them two questions that are fundamental for me:
– What animal would you like to be? A good way to see a candidate’s character.
– What question wouldn’t you like me to ask you?

These two questions allow you to see how well the candidate can bounce back and answer and how well he or she can adapt.

Conquering America for her MBA in International Hotel Management

Sophie Balanche - MBA at Vatel Los Angeles

After she left Vatel Bordeaux with her Bachelor’s degree, Sophie Balanche was ready for her own American dream and the new world. She appreciates Uncle Sam’s managerial support, where concrete results are the only thing that counts.

More mature, she’s able to cope with the exigencies required to work at the  Waldorf Astoria de Beverly Hills Famous for being the city where stars are at home, this five-star hotel has stars such as Maria Carey.

“Today I’m a personal concierge for my final internship.  I create an exclusive relationship with some guests, who can call me on my professional phone when they want to know if I’m working at the hotel.”

There’s no room for mistakes here! All guests are Very V.I.Ps., making it a necessity to acquire all knowledge: know-how as well as proper conduct in all situations.

As for her personal and professional future, she sees herself in the United States or in Bordeaux.

Each time she has a long vacation, she goes right back to Bordeaux, the French capital of the Nouvelle Aquitaine.