AlumniA hospitality career that led to a bestselling book

Hotel Institute Montreux alumna, Nantanittaya Sesaweech (Nant), was on her way to getting a law degree before she made a U-turn to join the family hotel business.

She was a sophomore at Chulalongkorn University when she found out that her dad had stage four cancer. That heart-breaking news led to her decision to join her family business. Her family operates Horizon Village & Resort, a conference resort in Chiang Mai.

Initially Nant was juggling law school, making sales calls and visiting travel agents. Soon after she realised that she was enjoying her work in hospitality and specifically hospitality sales and marketing. She thus decided to join her sister at Hotel Institute Montreux. She liked the city-centre location of the school and was attracted to the Postgraduate Diploma programme, which allowed her to gain a balance in terms of academic and practical experience.

Nant wrote about her experience studying as a hospitality student and working as a hospitality professional in her book, The Secret Life of The Hotelier, which is written in Thai. In the book, she wrote about her life in HIM, mentioning instances like the ice breaking ceremony, doing service at Gate 85 and her experience working at One5 fine dining. She also recounted her transition into the working world and how her experience has helped her contribute more to her family business.

Hotel Institute Montreux alumna, Nantanittaya Sesaweech

 

What encouraged you to write a book?

It was kind of a coincidence. When I was studying in Switzerland, I spent a lot of time backpacking around Europe. Then I heard that an editor of a magazine was looking for a writer who was studying abroad to share their experience about studying and travelling in Europe. I wrote to the editor, recounting my experience of how I got into hospitality, and eventually began contributing to the magazine. Over time, my editor asked me to consider writing a book chronicling my experience as a hospitality sales professional as she found it very interesting.

It’s unlike a regular sales job in an insurance company for sure! Some people think it’s glamourous and all about networking and meeting people, but there’s also of hard work and planning that goes into being a good sales person in hospitality.

Basically, my book is about the life of a person who studied hospitality and reveals the behind the scenes life of a hospitality professional.

You joined the hospitality industry because you had to help out in your family’s hotel business. Was that a difficult decision to make?

Yes it was as I was never planning to work in sales or hospitality. After I found out my dad had cancer, my priorities changed and all I wanted to do was to make him happy.

I genuinely did not expect to enjoy studying and working in hospitality as much as I did! It’s honestly the best thing I could have done for myself and I’m happier now than when I was at law school.

What did you enjoy the most while studying at HIM?

My favorite subject at HIM was Sales & Marketing. I was taught by fantastic teachers like Ms. Helen Garrido who gave us case studies and real-life situations to relate to what we studied.

Nantanittaya Sesaweech studied in Montreux

 

I appreciated the practical experience I gained whilst studying because to me, the only way to excel in the hospitality industry is to keep getting more experience.

I also enjoyed attending the International Recruitment Forum (IRF). It was a great opportunity to engage with hospitality professionals and it provides a platform for students to think about the type of companies they’d like to work for after graduating. I still remember the day before IRF, the school showed us a video about having passion for what you do and the message from that video has stuck with me till now.

What is your day-to-day scope as the Assistant Managing Director at Horizon Village & Resort?

My hotel is a conference resort. I look after the Sales and Marketing Department and in my role I’m always adjusting and looking for ways to improve the organisational structure. The experience I gained from working for other hotels, before joining the family business has allowed me to understand the importance of brand standards and keeping up with the latest hospitality trends. I also often attend trade shows to meet with current and potential clients, customers and guests. I believe the more you keep engaging with your target audience, the better you understand their needs.

Postgraduate diploma in Hotel management

 

What does it take to be a successful hospitality professional in this day and age?

It’s not rocket science - you need to have a passion for what you do. I’ve had many struggles in my job and sometimes it exhausts me. But I love my job and I like being able to help my clients with their problems. Their satisfaction is what keeps me going. If you love what you do, you will persevere.


Postgraduate in Hotel Management in Montreux

Nantanittaya Sesaweech graduated from Hotel Institute Montreux in 2014 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Hotel Management

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