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Intended for graduates with a Bac+2 (BTS, DUT…) or Bac+3 non-management diploma, or without professional experience, the 1-year Prepa program enables students to increase their knowledge of management and discover or deepen their understanding of the professional hospitality culture. It enables students to brush up their knowledge of the sector and acquire a Bachelor degree in International Hospitality Management, before integrating serenely into the MBA program at Vatel Bordeaux.

1. The Prepa program admission process at Vatel Bordeaux

Find out about training

At trade fairs, Open Days or zoom interviews, the admissions team is available to present the school in more details to applicants and answer any questions they may have.

The application form

The first step in the Vatel Bordeaux Prepa program admission process is to complete the application form online, or download the form and return it to the school by post. To complete the information on their academic background, candidates must attach :

  • Bac results
  • Bac +1 results
  • Bac +2 results, if available

The entrance exam

In the days following receipt of the candidate’s application, he will receive an e-mail confirming admission to the Vatel entrance exams. The exam can be done at school or online, and is divided into two parts.
The exam begins with a 30-45 minutes interview to assess the candidate’s experience and knowledge of the hotel and catering sector, as well as their motivation and career plans.
The second part of the exam lasts 2 hours 30 minutes, with autonomous time management. During this period, the candidate will be assessed on :

  • Management aptitude tests (French, English and logic)
  • Personality tests
  • Writing a cover letter

Following these tests, the candidate receives confirmation of admission to Vatel Bordeaux within 24 to 48 hours.

Feedback from a student

“The recruitment team was available and reactive throughout the process and very caring during the interviews. I think the autonomous time management for the written part of the competition is a very good idea, as it makes approaching the tests in a less stressfulway. Personally, I found the personality tests a little long.”
Elise Bénat, a Prepa student at Vatel Bordeaux

Picture of Elise Benat, a student in the Prepa program at Vatel Bordeaux.

2. A year of Prepa program

The pace of courses

In Prepa, the pace alternates between two weeks of classes and two weeks of professional practice. During the classroom periods, students are generally in class from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and they cover a wide range of subjects.
The work experience enables them to discover jobs in the hotel, restaurant and tourism industries, and to apply the theory they have learned in class.
Finally, students have a week of mid-term exams at the end of each semester to assess their knowledge.

Subjects taught

During this year, students in the preparatory class study as many hospitality-related subjects as possible. Here is the list of courses:

  • taxation
  • accounting
  • marketing
  • human resources management
  • IT
  • legal culture
  • business economics
  • wine
  • self-image
  • practical management
  • nutrition
  • professional culture
  • intercultural management
  • negotiation
  • English LV1 / Spanish or German LV2
  • tourism and travel
  • hotel environment
  • F&B environment

The internship

To validate their foundation year, students must complete a 4 to 5 month internship abroad, between May and October. At the end of the internship, students do not have to write a report, as they are graded by professionals. Students can work in a wide variety of positions and locations. They depend on their career plans, experience, desire and language skills. For example, they can work as receptionists in Bora Bora, or in human resources in Saint-Barthélemy.

3. The benefits of a Prepa year

The foundation year enables students with different educational backgrounds to reorient themselves without difficulty, and to validate a bac +3 while upgrading their skills. The Prepa also reserves a place in the MBA program at Vatel Bordeaux for its students.

Moreover, students have access to a very professional training program, with numerous practical courses, and an international outlook thanks to the end-of-year internship.

Also, for better learning, students in preparatory classes are divided into classes of around 15 to 20 people, and into half-groups for the second foreign language.

Finally, Vatel Bordeaux enables its students to meet with companies throughout the year to expand their network, enrich their professional culture, and find internships, work-study programs, jobs…

4. Elise Bénat’s experience at Vatel Bordeaux

Originally from Biarritz, Elise is a 20-year-old Prépa student at Vatel Bordeaux. She shares her experience of the program with us.

Her educational and professional background

“During my final year of high school, when I was taking a general baccalaureate specializing in mathematics and sciences, I started working as a waitress at Miremont, an historic tearoom and restaurant in Biarritz. After this first experience which I really enjoyed, I continued to work in catering every summer.
After my baccalaureate, I decided to study for a Bachelor degree in management at Sorbonne’s University in Paris, which gave me a solid grounding in management, accounting and finance. In parallel with my studies, I worked as an assistant manager in a parisian brasserie.
As I’m passionate about the hospitality industry, I started looking for a MBA degree in management specializing in hotel, catering and tourism. So I went to the Open Days at Vatel Bordeaux during my 2nd year to find out about the work-study MBA. That’s when the teaching staff introduced me to the Prepa program, which seemed to me to be the right compromise because it was a gateway to the MBA and highly professionalizing.
Now, I’m at the end of my foundation year, I’m going on a 4-month internship in Crete from June as Guest Relation in a 5-star resort hotel, then I’ll be continuing in MBA at Vatel Bordeaux in a work-study program as a Sales person at the Thalazur in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, a 4-star thalasso hotel.”

His professional goal

“I would like to work in business tourism, first as a Sales person, and later have a position of responsibility as Sales & Marketing Director, and why not, in the future, manage my own establishment.”

Her opinion of the preparatory year

“Vatel Bordeaux is a very familial and professional school. We are always supported, whether in teaching, finding an internship or looking for a work-study program.
What I liked most about the foundation program is that there are as many weeks of classes as there are weeks of work experience, enabling us to discover all the professions linked to the tourism sector. During my work experience, I had the opportunity to work as a barmaid in a 5-star hotel, to take part in the preparation and management of competitions at Exp’hôtel, to work as an Assistant Housekeeper in a 5-star hotel, and as a Communication Assistant at Vatel Bordeaux.
In addition, the courses offered are very diversified, from Tourism and Travel to Taxation. For my part, my favorite subjects were Intercultural Management and Negotiation. Finally, the many topics covered this year give us a global view of how the hospitality industry works, a good culture of the sector, and above all the knowledge we need to be able to manage an establishment.”

The foundation program in a nutshell

“In my opinion, the biggest positive point of the Prepa is the fact that we alternate courses and professional practice. Furthermore, the program gives us a certain distance and a global view of the hospitality industry and its different professions, thanks to the approaches seen in class and the many professional practices.”

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