NAME: Ricarda Pietschmann
EDUCATION: Bachelor in Hospitality Management at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management
JOB TITLE: Accor’s School of Excellence Management Training (focus on Rooms Division)
Describe yourself in 3 words
Friendly, outgoing, motivated.
What’s your story?
I grew up in Stuttgart, Germany where I went to International School. At the age of 14 I felt like I needed to try something new and moved to an all-girls boarding school (Cobham Hall), where I skipped 9th grade and completed my GCSE’s within a year. After this experience, I was longing to go home to Germany and decided to move in with my stepfather in Munich, which is where I completed high school (IB). As my stepfather owns a Bavarian Restaurant he introduced me to the restaurant business which later on motivated me to study Hotel Management. After completing various internships I am now in Amsterdam working as a management trainee and hoping to pursue a career in HR.
What influenced your decision to go into the hospitality industry?
I definitely think my stepfather played a huge part in my decision to work in the hotel industry. He started his career as an apprentice in a Holiday Inn and grew from there. Now he owns his own restaurant. I was astonished by his success and constant hard-work. He inspired me and taught me various aspects of his job. So, I traveled to Switzerland, the place where “the best hoteliers are born”, to look at various schools.
What does your job entail on a day to day basis?
My program starts with a 6-month cross training through departments of my choice. I am currently in the fifth month of the traineeship working in the Finance department. I would say that every day is different, which is what I love about my current position. The company gives me the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the hotel (reception, night audit, housekeeping, guest relations, butler service, reservations, finance, HR).
What do you like the most about what you do?
My favorite part of the job is working with people. Although I always preferred completing individual tasks at university, I really enjoy working with a team and feeling a part of something.
What was your ever first work experience?
My first ever work experience was at the Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich, where I worked as a Roomservice attendant. Back then I had no clue about hotels, service or how to handle guest complaints. Although I realized that Food and Beverage is not my passion I learnt a lot and grew professionally as well as personally.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about learning. That is also the main reason why I went for a trainee position rather than a direct entry job. I believe it is important to take the time to learn about various aspects of the industry and try out multiple positions to not only understand all the processes required for a business to be successful, but also figure out what job suits one best.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope to find myself in a job that I am passionate about and love doing. Of course, I want to be successful and have a management title but more importantly I strive to find a job that I view more like a “hobby” rather than a “necessity”.
What’s your proudest moment?
My proudest moment was being voted president of Eta Sigma Delta (ESD) honor society in Les Roches. I was in charge of the top 20% academic achievers in my batch and had to hold a speech for our ESD ceremony. Speaking in front of a large audience is one of my main fears, so I practice loads, aiming to deliver a speech that would not only make people laugh but “feel” what it is like to be a graduating student at that university. The speech was a great success and looking back I believe it reflects everything I have learnt at university. So it is probably my proudest moment as I did not only achieve the goal of becoming part of the society (I had been working towards this goal from day 1) but also that I was voted president by my classmates and successfully spoke in public.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Before I finished my internship at Mandarin Oriental Corporate Office in London my manager told me “Ricarda, you need to know what you want and learn how to ask for it”. I will never forget those words as they taught me that you need to push and ask for things in life, as they won’t come flying at you! It changed the way I work and see things and caused me to stand up for myself, following and reaching my own objectives rather than some else’s.
What message/tips would you like to give to young women with similar aspirations?
One thing I am still working on is confidence. I believe that it’s an essential characteristic that every woman needs in order to achieve her goals. If you are not confident in what you do, people will try to manipulate you to help them achieve their dream, stopping you from following your own path.
Ricarda is an amazing person and here at Spectra we’re convinced she’ll go far! If you’ve been inspired by her story and want to get in touch with her, please contact us and we’ll make the magic happen.
If you’d like to share your story with Spectra just like Ricarda, go here and we’ll be in touch.