A strong academic team with extensive industry experience allows students to learn with confidence. Providing students with the best possible foundation to start their career has been synonymous with Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) since its first intake 25 years ago.
I sat down with Assistant Director of Operations and lecturer, Ms Ariane Lellmann to gain insight into her career prior to BMIHMS. I wanted to delve into her industry experience to understand how students could benefit academically.
Ms Lellmann has over 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, primarily in housekeeping and rooms division. Having worked in 8 countries throughout Europe, Asia and Australia she is a valuable asset to BMIHMS.
Ms Lellmann’s first impressions of a career in housekeeping were that it was one of the hardest and most demanding in the hospitality industry. Housekeeping did not rank highly as her preferred department to work in, however, upon completion of her studies in Germany she was offered a trainee housekeeping supervisor role at the Savoy Hotel in London. The UK was a place Ariane really wanted to live, so grasping the opportunity she hasn’t looked back since!
Early in her career Ms Lellmann was fortunate to have a supportive executive housekeeper as her mentor – allowing her to see what it takes to be a successful housekeeper. She soon became accustomed to providing tailored service for high-class guests, celebrities, political figures and royalty. It didn’t take long for her attitude towards a housekeeping career to vastly change. Ms Lellmann had found her passion.
With her new found passion Ms Lellmann worked her way across Europe. Her passport quickly filling with stamps as she worked her way up through various rooms division positons in Geneva, Paris and London. Brands that Ms Lellmann worked for include Hilton Worldwide, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and the Barkley Hotel.
When the opportunity came along for Ms Lellmann to relocate to Asia, she again seized the opportunity. This adventure saw her working for Peninsula Hotels, at their head office in Hong Kong. Traversing her way throughout Asia on regional assignments and assisting with the opening of several properties, Ms Lellmann quickly made a name for herself.
Ms Lellmann said, “Working my way up through various roles in rooms division, across two very different continents gave me a wealth of knowledge with a rounded perspective of the hospitality industry.”
Ms Lellmann had the pleasure of opening the Raffles Grand Hotel in Cambodia, large golfing resorts in China and conducting training courses at the Hotels Association in Hong Kong.
When asked why she thought lecturers with industry experience were a valuable resource to education providers and their students, Ms Lellmann replied,
“It makes them authentic! They are able to deliver content to students that is contextualised for the real world. Students better understand why the course content is relevant, and what challenges they are likely to face upon graduation.
Also, having work experience helps to better engage students in a way that technology is unable to. A real life scenario is better than any eBook or video.”
As a BMIHMS student, I am fortunate to have learnt from this academic whose professional integrity I have learnt to treasure. Many of my lecturers are still actively involved in the industry. This is something that I value immensely.
Until next time, ES
Liz, Undergraduate Event Management Student and Marketing Ambassador 2016