Javier Mendizabal is a Les Roches Marbella alumnus from the Class of 2000 (Diploma in International Hotel Management) and 2009 (BBA in Global Hospitality Management). He currently serves as the General Manager of the Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa in Marbella. The following video is the full speech as delivered during the Postgraduate Closing Ceremony held on January 25, 2019.
The full text of Javier’s speech to graduate students of the Postgraduate Diploma in International Hospitality Management and Postgraduate Diploma (PGM) in Marketing Management for Luxury Tourism is included below.
“I would like to thank Les Roches and its management for inviting me today to deliver this speech. It is a great honor to stand here in front of you today; especially considering I am myself an alumni of such a prestigious institution. I must say, I have the greatest memories of my time spent as a Les Roches student. You are very lucky and privileged to be able to study here and in such a beautiful environment as Marbella.
“Nowadays, there are many options to study a wide variety of careers, and choosing one or the other will determine how you live the rest of your life. You have now embarked yourselves in a career in hospitality. Let me tell you that hospitality is not just a career; it is a way of life. During your time in Les
“This is an industry based on people. We are People that lead other people in order to offer a service to more People. It may seem simple, but it is actually quite complex. Managing people is definitely a challenge. No two persons are the same, nor they think the same or have the same needs.
“It is the same with our customers. We provide services to them, and they expect an experience, and people have different expectations. Whether we are talking about managing people or managing customer services, the line between good and excellent is a very fine line.
“Now, if I may, I would like to give you a few tips that I would have liked to have heard when I graduated back in the year 2000”:
- Do what you like & be Happy
- Not everybody is meant to be a GM, and you know what; it´s ok.
- There are many paths you can choose and all of them are equally good.
- My advice to you, is that whichever path you choose, choose it because you like what you do.
- Being happy is key to a successful career and a successful life
- Be a Leader before being a Manager
- Your staff will thank you for this.
A leader brings direction, a leader has vision, a leader creates, and a leader uses all these tools to manage their team.
- The industry needs more leaders, not
- Job titles in a business card doesn´t mean much. What really matters is how you are perceived by your team and your colleagues and how profitable your work is. That is what´s important.
- Lead by Example
- Your team will look up to you for guidance, and should always have you in mind as an example to follow
- Be knowledgeable about your team´s work, and if at any time you need to roll up your sleeves and help out, do it, the action will repay itself over time
- Listen and give feedback
- Ask your staff how they are. Find out their needs. Provide feedback about their performance. Ask your boss to give you feedback. This is for sure one of the greatest tools to manage people as well as to develop yourself
- Focus on Profit
- When you go for your interviews, instead of focusing on guest satisfaction and service, focus on profit and revenue generation. Do not forget that is a business who´s main objective is to make money for the owners
“So, now here we are, you have acquired the right knowledge while studying at Les Roches, and I trust you will have the right attitude. All you need now is to set your goal, choose your path and work towards achieving this goal.
“A career in hospitality is not easy, and until you reach your goal, you make a lot of sacrifices along the way. But I can guarantee you that the trip will be a hell of a ride, and that once you reach your goal; it will all be worth it.
“Congratulations to all of you, and I wish you all the success in the world.”
Javier Mendizábal Perez