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Testimonial from a 3rd-year student on her participation in the development of the new Program+ at Vatel Bordeaux

As a 3rd-year student at Vatel Bordeaux, I wanted to learn about support functions in the field of hospitality. That was my goal when I decided to do all of this year’s professional practices with the Promotion & Communication Department, alongside Alexandra Gomez and Fabrice Glorieux, to assist with the formulation and promotion of Program+, an innovative concept launched last September.

What is Program+?

The concept ? A  completely optional, free monthly program for students, on top of their classes, of course.

It is divided into three categories, #IStayPro, #IStayCurious and #IStayRelawed, and is managed internally by several members of the Vatel Bordeaux team, Charline Monthel, Sonia Renault, Lucile Moreau and Alexandra Gomez.

This program offers a variety of activities, workshops, conferences and meetings, naturally related to the different areas of our studies – Hotel Management, Restaurants and the world of Wine & Spirits – in order to monitor new developments and take what we learn a step further.

It also gives us a chance to work on our soft skills, so it will be easier for us to land an internship or a job and build our networks by meeting with alumni and professionals in the sector, but also to improve our day-to-day well-being by learning to use new personal development tools and methods.

Did you participate in any of the workshops? What concrete benefits have you enjoyed, as a result?

I personally participated in:
– a workshop that focused on emotions and how to transform them into a real tool for self-affirmation
– a workshop on feng shui, a Chinese art designed to help people feel better in the spaces they inhabit. When going through a lockdown, that means virtual classes and, during this difficult period, it was essential to learn how to live and study in a warm, calm environment.

These sessions boosted my self-confidence, my tranquility and my peace of mind, and helped me to relax. I really needed that, especially this past year, just like many of my classmates, for that matter.

Also, it’s important to remember that, as students, it isn’t easy for us to gain access to personal development disciplines, because of the cost, so the fact that this has been made possible at Vatel Bordeaux is a real advantage and an initiative that is widely appreciated.

At the end of the day, thanks to Program+, we are able to:
– deepen our knowledge in our fields of study
– have a good time with our classmates
– build our networks
– discover new disciplines, especially those related to wellness and personal development…
all of that, for free!

workshop: our emotions a tool for self-affirmation

What actions did you take to help set up Program+?

During my eight weeks of professional practices within the department, I often assisted the department head Alexandra Gomez with the organization of monthly serenity activities. This meant the most to me because, in my everyday life, I enjoy discovering new relaxation and wellness techniques.

In this area, my work involved multiple steps:

– I produced a table listing various activities that could help students relax and also entertain them both in class and remotely, once the pandemic had struck. I also surveyed my fellow students about their needs. Once the topics were confirmed with the team, I started to look for the right speakers and trainers, which wasn’t always easy, especially for virtual sessions.
–  Then, I contacted them by email or phone. With each one, I discussed the subject matter and structure of the session, the date, their fee, how to go about organizing the session, and so on.
– Once all of the information had been compiled and the speaker confirmed, I designed the content for the activity’s promotion, to ensure as many people signed up as possible, in both French and English.
– I created registration forms in French and English, which our students used to sign up for the activities.
– I created category-specific templates for Instagram Stories and the visuals for each activity, in order to communicate all of the relevant information to our students.

What is your overall assessment of your practicums in the Promotion & Communication Department?

I appreciated having the opportunity to suggest activities that were in line with the students’ needs and interests. Frankly, I was in a very good position to do that. I also enjoyed producing visuals designed to promote the different Program+ activities and make the students want to participate.

In addition, the discussions that I had with the speakers in advance, while preparing for the activities, were highly beneficial to me, because they gave me self-assurance and allowed me to work on my people skills, both of which qualities are necessary in our sector. And, because they are dedicated professionals who enjoy sharing their knowledge with students, it was also very enjoyable. Finally, I was able to improve my organizational skills and become more thorough in how I go about my work.

So, I would say my practicums in the Vatel Bordeaux Promotion & Communication Department were very positive. It was a wonderful and extremely enriching experience that allowed me to improve my hard and soft skills. Now, I’m even considering continuing my Hotel Management studies with a specialization in Communication.

Annabelle BELLEC a 3rd year student from Vatel Batel, class of M3D