Emma Lalonde from Montreal holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Administration. Since 2015, she has had the opportunity to work in the hospitality and tourism industry and in 2020, she decided to pursue the International Master in Tourism & Hospitality Management. After graduating she went back to her home country and since November 2021 has been working as a Revenue & Reservations Manager at the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal.
We caught up with her and asked about her career path and her experience in EADA. This is what she told us:
Tell us about your current position at Ritz-Carlton in Montreal. What are your daily responsibilities as a Revenue and Reservations Manager?
No day is ever really the same but typically, on a daily basis, I manage the hotel’s room inventory and pricing, I make sure that we are selling the right amount of rooms at an optimal price. I also conduct many analyses and forecasts to evaluate where we stand with our budget, which market segments are the most profitable, which offers we should be promoting more, etc. Then, since I’m also managing the reservations’ team, I make sure that they have all the information and tools that they need to deliver great customer service to our guests.
What is the most challenging and the most rewarding part of your job?
So far, I think the most challenging part of my job has been to familiarize myself with all the different programs, tools and specificities of such a giant hotel chain like Marriott. They have their own software for yield management, sales and catering management, reservations, etc. which requires some time to get acquainted with. On the brighter side, I think that revenue management is one of those jobs where you truly get to see the impact that you have on the company. It’s always rewarding to see revenues go up following a decision that you took.
What attracted you to the position/company? How did you find out about this unique professional opportunity?
After finishing my master’s degree, I knew I wanted to keep developing my analytical and managerial skills but I wasn’t sure exactly what position I was looking for. Finally, a professional of the hospitality industry I was in contact with told me that she knew a luxury hotel in Montreal that was looking for a revenue manager and that she would happily send them my resume. One thing led to another and within a week I was hired by the Ritz-Carlton Montreal for the Revenue and Reservations Manager position.
What are your future career aspirations?
I have many plans for the future! For some years I would love to work in hotel consultancy/development. Then, I definitely plan to start my own business in the sustainable tourism and hospitality industry since this is something I’ve always been passionate about and where I believe I could make a difference.
Why did you decide to study in Barcelona and choose EADA’s International Master in Tourism & Hospitality Management?
Apart from the good rankings of EADA, I chose to come here because I liked that it was a school that recognized the importance of developing yourself as an individual in order to become a good manager. I don’t recall seeing another business school that has a campus dedicated to personal skills’ development. I also liked that the structure of the program allowed us to learn about the different specializations of the hospitality and tourism industry without having to choose only one.
What was the most valuable takeaway from the International Master in Tourism & Hospitality Management?
For me, the most valuable takeaway from the International Master in Tourism & Hospitality Management was to learn to be more multifunctional and to adapt to changes around me. With the current world we live in, I think it’s very important to be able to quickly react and adjust ourselves to new challenges because they will only keep coming. Being multifunctional also means to be willing to let go of your preconceived ideas and to be open to new ways of doing things.
What advice would you give to future students interested in working in the industry?
Network, network, network. Honestly, don’t be scared to contact people on Linkedin and to ask them for a quick chat. It’s a great way to see if the industry or a certain position/company is a good fit for you and it’s a great way to get your name known out there. Chances are that only one person out of ten that you contact will answer you, but sometimes that’s all it takes.