Maud Richard, Projects Director at Alboran Management, is an Alumna of the MSc in Hospitality Management (IMHI), 2004. Seventeen years after graduating from ESSEC Business School, Maud is still very involved with the ESSEC family… And she is the class mentor for the 2021 IMHI batch!
Can you tell us about yourself?
Maud: I am a French native but quite a well-travelled person. I have indeed lived and worked in various countries across the world: Senegal, Belgium, French Polynesia, Egypt, UAE, Mauritius, UK, Thailand... and more recently Bordeaux. Well, Bordeaux is in France, but still!
I love to challenge myself on a regular basis, whether it be with new jobs, new horizons. I don’t take life and things for granted. Some consider me as a hardworking person, but I always manage to dedicate quality time to my family and friends. I am very detail oriented, I always try to deliver the best work or service, I am kind to others and always treat people the way I would like to be treated. I love to feel helpful, either by sharing my experiences, or by connecting people together.
You are the Mentor of the class of 2021, what does that mean to you?
Maud: When they reached out to me last year and I was offered to be the IMHI 2021 class mentor, I was extremely surprised and honored. Although my agenda was very busy, I thought it was important to give back and promote the school, as well as guide, support, motivate and advise IMHI students, by sharing my experiences, skill sets, and by passing on my expertise and passion for the industry.
Thank you for your trust. I really hope that the time and dedication I have put into this year will be helpful.
What is your profession?
Maud: I'm a Projects Director at Alboran Management... a company founded by 2 other IMHI Alumni. I am in charge of renovating our hotels, whether they need rebranding or refreshing, but I also work with contractors to build new assets, and therefore I help developing the Alboran growth strategy. It's hard work, but it is also extremely interesting.
How did the MSc in Hospitality Management (IMHI) enable you to reach where you are today?
Maud: Thanks to the IMHI program, I had the tremendous opportunity to work with top managers who gave me my chance as a young woman. I will always be thankful for that. They helped me acquire knowledge, competencies and their guidance helped me to reach the position I have today.
More specifically, and in regards to my current position, I had the honor to work for Yann Caillere at Accor (and now President, Chief Operating Officer at Disneyland Resort Paris), and to meet Eric and Jerome...The 3 founding partners of Alboran. Thanks, guys, for believing in me! I first met Eric and Jerome in 2003 at IMHI. They were in the 1st year while I was in the 2nd year. I met Yann in September 2007 when he hired me as project manager in Accor, directly reporting to him. I had spent 3 amazing years working for him. Very proud of being part of this incredible adventure.
What was the most valuable aspect of studying IMHI at ESSEC?
Maud: The fact that it's an international program, the teachers, the lectures, the ESSEC Business Network...
Why do you think studying hospitality management is still relevant today, and especially after the year we have had? ?
Maud: Covid had definitely impacted our industry, and especially small businesses, but hospitality and tourism are resilient and always seek new opportunities. I truly believe that we will adapt and recover, and find a new way of welcoming our guests providing hotels where they feel good and safe. After several months without being able to travel or to share time with friends or family, people are in need to explore new horizons and gather together again.
What advice would you give to the current cohort?
Maud: Always challenge yourself, fight for your ideas, don’t take things for granted, push your limits, be patient, train and trust your teams, treat people the way you would like to be treated, and explore outside your comfort zone.
Your advice to future applicants?
Maud: Companies are always looking for motivated, trustful and talented people, so don’t be afraid to knock on doors, to ask questions, ask for advice, … and keep being passionate. Be yourselves, don‘t be the “email click and forward guy”, never lose sight of your objectives, don’t panic with workloads, be a multitasker...and never give up!
#ADAPT #SURVIVE #OVERCOME
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