Marie-Laure Fleury (EHL 1992)Resident Manager at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Region VII - Central Visayas, Philippines
Marie-Laure, how would you describe EHL in 3 words?
Lifetime, industry, relationships/connections
What are you most proud of when you talk about EHL ?
That it is one of the most well-known hotel schools in the world, highly regarded and respected as a result. It’s a trademark for us when looking for opportunities and for those that we recruit from the school thereafter.
What is the one thing you learned at EHL that you use almost every day in your professional life?
Hospitality – to be hospitable!
There are many facets to our industry one needs to master including strong financial business skills and new skills such as social media amongst many others. However, one should never forget the essence of what a true hotelier is, which is to welcome his/her guests and make them feel special.
In which way has EHL changed your personal life?
My dream of joining EHL quickly vanished after Mr Barakat explained the 10 year long waiting list. But the new entry exam was unveiled a few months later and the adventure soon began. EHL changed my life from that point on and taught me life in a community, the nature of events planning, the love of wine, the passion for cuisines and different cultures. It taught me you have to work your way up, in order to understand each layer of the industry. I made friends for life whilst at school and through the alumni network afterwards. It was tough, but so much fun, I remember the 3.5 years as some of the best years of my life!
In your mind, what is special about EHL compared with other schools?
The sense of belonging to a very large family of like-minded people, the closeness in which we all lived alongside each other for a few years that bonded us forever, but beyond that, it’s that instant worldwide recognition from alumni all over the globe, welcoming each other as we were all born from the same roots. The alumni network is extremely powerful in every part of the world. Also the age of the school means that wherever you go, you are bound to bump into an EHLien.
When parents of potential students ask you for advice about EHL and hospitality, what do you say?
That it is a unique and unbelievably enriching experience. That it is hard, challenging, fun and exciting. That these are years of learning that will stay anchored in their teenagers’ lives forever. That it will certainly teach them the foundations and more of what makes a great hotelier, but that beyond the tuition that perhaps other schools can match, it is the amazing network of the 120 year old school, that will and is differentiating EHL from all other schools. I have lived in Asia now for 21 years, and the EHL network whether in China, Hong Kong or Thailand cannot compare to any other schools in my mind.