Discover the interview of Carla Lopez, Receptionist at the Hotel Vatel Bordeaux.
“Hello Carla, could you introduce yourself?”
“I’m Carla Lopez, I’m 23 years old. I’m a receptionist and non-officially a management assistant at Vatel Bordeaux. I help Ricardo, the Room Division Manager, with all the reception and back-office tasks”.
“What’s your background?”
“My background is a bit chaotic because I went to general secondary school and did a literary baccalaureate, not because I liked literature but because I always loved the English language. I think that’s a bit of a common thread running through my career and even through what I’m doing now. Initially I wanted to be an English teacher and then I went to language college, but I didn’t like it at all, so I didn’t finish the year. So, I took half a year to think about what I wanted to do and reorientate myself. As I have family who work in the hotel industry, I was able to talk to them about the hotel and catering sector, because I was interested in cooking and more particularly pastry-making. After thinking about it, why not do a BTS in hospitality? I liked the idea, so I changed direction and did a refresher course, of course, coming from a literary baccalaureate. Then I did my BTS in 2 years and ended up not in cooking or pastry-making but in accommodation. I discovered hospitality in the first year of my BTS. I liked it a lot more than the atmosphere in the kitchen.”
“What are your tasks?”
“I wear two hats. I have all the duties of a receptionist, whether it’s a check-in or check-out, answering the phone, welcoming customers, and directing them, so everything you can do at the front desk. I also have all the housekeeping tasks, so checking the rooms, etc. And there’s all the Vatel-related work, which I think is what I enjoy most. raining the Vatel Bordeaux students in housekeeping and reception when they’re here, supporting them, teaching them about the job and the anecdotes that go with it. Lastly, the tasks related to the executive assistant involve figures, cash desk management, price management if we need to lower prices, always with the objective of supporting Ricardo.”
“Which students are concerned by this course offered by Vatel Bordeaux?”
“It depends on the period, we have a lot of first years, because they are positioned in the established by the people in charge of the practices, so if the students are sent to Vatel, they are obliged to do it there. That said, they don’t have to come back because they can choose which practice, they want to do. Sometimes we can have second years and occasionally 3rd years.”
“What do you like best about your job?”
“As there are two co-existent bodies, as far as the job of receptionist itself is concerned I like customer contact even though I tend to say that I don’t because I’m a shy person. There’s nothing more satisfying than satisfying a customer and being thanked in return. When it comes to the services you offer, the reception and the rooms, it’s always pleasant to get good feedback from your customers.
The training and day-to-day work with the students is obviously very important in what I do. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with the students, and we generally get on quite well. I like to give them advice, and I don’t have an incredible amount of experience in the field, but I still have things to teach them.”
“Why did you choose Vatel Bordeaux?”
“Basically, I was just looking for a job, something to start with. I did some research and Vatel Bordeaux contacted me. What convinced me to work at Vatel Bordeaux was that I wanted to teach, which is the closest I’ve ever come. I also liked the international aspect of Vatel. It’s an opportunity to do what I love most in life, speaking English, practising English, and training students. Then there’s the hotel and accommodation side, which I really appreciate. In a structure that’s not necessarily big, with only 12 rooms, to start with it could be a good experience and very comfortable for me, to be more at ease with my course.
“Why would you advise a student to come either as a student or as a professional?”
“In both cases, it’s a good experience. As a student, they are well looked after. I can already see that in my field, Ricardo is a great teacher and has a lot to offer, even to me. I think that the Vatel Bordeaux concept of 2 weeks of practical work and 2 weeks at school is a huge asset for them and gives them a lot of experience. Theory is all very well, but the most important thing is practice, just the fact of observing it gives them a lot as future professionals.
For professional coming to work at Vatel Bordeaux, we have a very good team, there’s a good atmosphere, we’re very cohesive, and that’s something to cherish. Overall, the departments get on very well with each other.”