Interview with César Ritz Colleges graduate Tautvydas
Five years after graduating from César Ritz Colleges, the now Hotel Operation Specialist Tautvydas met with us to share some of his life changing experiences studying in Switzerland. In this interview, Tautvydas lets us in on how he found the – at first unapparent – passion for hospitality, talks about the exclusive internship opportunities at César Ritz Colleges and reveals how he is currently preparing for upcoming life and career adventures.
Read the full interview with the Swiss Education Graduate (SEG) below.
Hi Tautvydas! Hospitality wasn’t your immediate choice of studies. Could you tell us what led you to finally study at César Ritz Colleges?
I was studying Economics and Politics at ISM University in Lithuania when I realized that it was not the professional path I wanted to follow. I did numerous personality tests, which pointed out that customer service, Hotel & Tourism industry was a better fit for me. Looking back, those tests didn’t lie!
At that time, I already knew Switzerland was regarded as ‘the home of hospitality’. I did not want to wait any longer and, while I was still working on my bachelor’s thesis, I moved to Switzerland to start my Hospitality studies at César Ritz Colleges. That was one of the best decisions I have made so far!
How did you find the transition from Lithuania to Switzerland?
As a teenager, I traveled a lot with my family and attended quite a few summer English schools abroad, so moving to a new place wasn’t difficult at all. Not to mention, Switzerland is excellent at accommodating, so from day one it felt like home.
How did your parents react to your decision to quit your studies at home in order to study Hospitality in Switzerland?
After long and careful discussions, my parents came to realize that I would benefit greatly from a world-class education that César Ritz Colleges offers. We share a view that an investment in education brings new opportunities and that by learning we broaden our mindsets, which ultimately leads to an improved quality of life. Of course, my parents want the best for me, so they were happy and supportive with my decision to study in Switzerland.
What did you like the most about being a student at César Ritz Colleges in Switzerland?
The fellow students from all over the world, the breathtaking views of the Swiss landscapes that I got to wake up to everyday, and the harmonious rhythm of the whole study process – all three were indispensable ingredients of my incredible experience while studying at César Ritz Colleges.
What about the classes at César Ritz Colleges? Did you enjoy any in particular?
I mostly enjoyed Built Environment, Tourism in a Global Perspective, and, not to forget, Wine and Beverage course with beverage tasting activities. Who would not like that?
What was the most valuable thing you gained while studying at César Ritz Colleges?
It is hard to pick just one. There, I was introduced to the philosophy of hospitality, I learned to embrace teamwork and diversity, I developed a passion for the French language. The most important of all, perhaps, is during my time in César Ritz Colleges I broadened my perspective and I now have confidence that everything is possible with the right attitude!
What do you think makes César Ritz Colleges unique?
César Ritz Colleges place great responsibility in assigning the right placements for student internships. I have never imagined there would be such a serious and well-planned systematic process when it comes to internships as there is at César Ritz.
To give an example, twice a year there is an International Recruitment Forum held in Montreux, where students from all Swiss Education Group (SEG) schools gather for quick interviews with leading hospitality industry companies. Not only is it a great networking opportunity, it also helps students land the most compatible internship positions.
Could you tell us about your experience with the internships?
My first internship was at a two-star Michelin restaurant in Geneva. It was a strict and demanding experience which allowed me to build professional confidence and solid foundations for my future career endeavours.
As expected, I had to work long hours, withstand the stress of constantly having to solve unexpected problems, and, of course, strive for perfection in delivering flawless customer service. It might sound scary to many, but personally I found it exhilarating!
Definitely not a job for everyone! What can you tell about your second internship?
I had my second internship at Hyatt Regency Amsterdam in Amsterdam where I had a position of a Front Office Host. It was an extraordinary experience as I joined the hotel at the pre-opening stage.
After only one year, I was offered to transfer to another Hyatt hotel, called Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht – a splendid luxury boutique hotel in the heart of a city. It only goes to show – if you do a job well, new opportunities arise!
What are your future plans?
I want to stay in a competitive and international environment. Since French is the language of hospitality, I have decided to move to southern France, where I am currently intensively learning the language.
At the moment, I am patiently waiting for the industry to recover and, in the meantime, preparing myself for the next exciting path in Hotel World.
To wrap up, what advice would you give to the fellow Balts who are preparing to study in Switzerland?
If you are thinking of studying hospitality, you should use every opportunity to socialize and engage. Every moment at César Ritz Colleges is an opportunity to learn something useful, so be proactive, stay present and observe every detail!
Thank you Tautvydas for the interview and good luck with your French!