The best hotels make you feel like stepping into the home of a close friend who cares and knows enough to feed, entertain, and welcome the way you love them. Attention to detail counts in the hospitality industry and Kevin J. Abramowicz, Vice President of COMO Hotels and Resorts, knew it from a young age.
He was blessed to travel abroad with his parents and knew what it was like to stay at many top hotels. None, however, was as inspiring as the hospitality of small hotels or one’s own family’s home.
When his grandparents threw family reunions and parties, they never failed to impress the guests. From the decoration of the house to the landscaping of the garden, every intricate detail has been taken care of. There were immeasurable spreads of fine cuisine, where every dish was prepared from scratch. Most importantly, they took pride in being great hosts.
“It is the passion for hosting with attention to detail and creating memorable experiences for clients that continues to motivate me in my career, whether in the field as a practical leader or as a supervisor. a group of hotels, ”he told Study International in an email interview.
Abramowicz would later win a Bachelor’s degree in international hotel management at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), known as one of the best hotel management schools in the world.
He then joined Delamar Greenwich Harbor in Connecticut, then Setai in Miami Beach, then traveled to Bali to be General Manager of Legian & The Club at Legian Bali. There he led the team to several hospitality awards and recognitions. Today, he is Vice President of Operations for COMO Hotels and Resorts. Below, we tell him about his experience in EHL and what they brought:
Tell us about your career at COMO Hotels and Resorts since graduating from EHL.
Since graduating from EHL, I have had the privilege of benefiting from various exhibitions and experiences in the United States and Indonesia. It helped me fit into my role as Regional General Manager in Thailand and Bhutan when I joined COMO Hotels and Resorts.
I like to take on new challenges that come with a new role. It offers an opportunity to show my abilities, to gain new experiences and I am determined to do my job well. I suppose when you are able to prove your capabilities, the management or the employer will have the confidence to entrust you with more.
How are you using the knowledge and skills acquired in your course now?
An EHL education not only gives you key quantitative skills for a career in the hospitality industry (such as the science of business operations management and sustainability), but also qualitative elements. Not to mention soft skills like communication and leadership through learning the language and culture to deliver the art of hospitality.
These soft skills are a necessary asset for everyone working in the hospitality industry. Soft skills are considered to be character traits or interpersonal skills that affect a person’s ability to work and interact with others.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen that soft skills have been integral to the success of a business or an individual. Traits such as resilience, empathy, communication and adaptability have become increasingly important.
At EHL, these soft skills are taught through a mix of experiential and educational techniques that include things like relationship management, cultural agility, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness. All of these are necessary in both a business and social environment, as they are transferable from one situation to another and from one industry to another.
Can you apply the practical elements and theories you learned during your studies in your current position?
As part of the preparatory year for EHL, all students undergo practical training to develop hotel expertise. Taught by professors and industry experts, students learn practical elements through a variety of different courses such as stewardship, enology (the study of wine), cooking, serving and baking. to acquire applied hotel skills.
On the EHL Lausanne campus, students have the opportunity to acquire these skills inside or outside the classroom. One of the venues was the Berceau des Sens, EHL’s Michelin-starred student training restaurant as well as other housekeeping, mixology and front-of-house workshops.
I always apply the skills I learned from these courses in my role at COMO Hotels and Resorts drawing on knowledge and experience from all areas to please our guests. Two internships are an integral part of the program and students are encouraged to complete six months in operations and administration.
This is how you can understand and experience the ins and outs of the hospitality industry. These internships provide real-time learning experiences by working under pressure within a diverse team of qualified professionals. In my opinion, a vital experience defines the path one will take after graduation.
What skills or knowledge would you like to acquire more during your studies?
Today I would say digital marketing and social media (which at the time were only in their infancy) because it is now one of the most powerful and essential tools for any business.
Why did you decide to get a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University in 2019?
Mainly with the aim of supplementing my knowledge and improving my understanding of shareholders and their interest in the industry, in particular hotel real estate investment and asset management. Having worked primarily for management companies, I find it crucial to understand the goals of your counterparts to create a win-win for all parties.
What advice do you give to international students who are considering pursuing a career in hospitality?
For those considering a career in the hospitality industry, furthering your education will give you the best knowledge and experience. Being one of the best in hospitality management, EHL gives you a chance to accelerate your career in this field of hospitality and beyond.
For those wishing to study in Singapore, the new EHL (Singapore) campus offers you the prestigious Bachelor of International Hotel Management, an EMBA and a range of short courses for professionals to hone. The curriculum and learning outcomes are the same as in Switzerland, but supplemented with case studies and Asian examples to ensure relevance.
It’s also important to realize that the hospitality industry isn’t all about glitz and glamor. There are many sacrifices you must be prepared to make, and having the tenacity to persevere is crucial. The first few years of your career can be tough and there will be a lot of steep learning curves! However, with the right frame of mind, overcoming these challenges builds and refines your character, making you a better leader in the time to come.