PositionDirector of Finance, Grosvenor House Suites, London
SchoolHotel Institute Montreux
ProgramBachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management
Latvian-born Jan stumbled into hospitality in a unique way when he came across a novel about a fictitious character working for a luxurious hotel. “His life seemed so mysterious and glamorous that it really got me thinking about pursuing this sort of lifestyle for myself.” Though this had been his only exposure to hospitality, it was enough to inspire him to enroll at Hotel Institute Montreux.
“I knew that Switzerland was known for having a highly developed hospitality culture as well as some of the best programs for hospitality management. I can now confirm from my own experience that a Swiss diploma is truly valued by employers. Hotel Institute Montreux not only prepared me for a career in the hotel industry, but also provided me with the strategic thinking and emotional intelligence that could be applied across multiple professional sectors.
"I was clueless about hospitality and business when I first came to HIM. However, after completing my two internships, I was able to graduate, confident that I had a solid understanding about how the industry works and what was expected of me as a future employee.
"For my first internship, I worked in room service and banqueting at the Ritz-Carlton Abama hotel in Tenerife. I also did my second internship at a Ritz-Carlton hotel, but this time in Ireland, where I worked in accounting, as an Assistant to Accounts Payable. I was given tasks such as paying invoices and entering financial information into the system. This experience had a tremendous impact on my professional career because I got to see how the backhouse operates.
“Internships are a very good way to get your foot in the industry. If you do your job diligently, it doesn’t take long for your managers to notice your potential and give you new, more challenging tasks. Case in point: after I graduated from Hotel Institute Montreux in 2011, the Ritz-Carlton, where I had done my second internship, offered me a permanent position as an Accounts Payable.
“This was just the beginning of a career in finance: from Income Auditor and General Cashier, to Finance Supervisor, Assistant Director of Finance, Financial Controller, and Director of Finance, I have worked for both lesser-known brands and established luxury hotels such as Bulgari and the Jumeirah Group.