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The Swiss Hotel School 2014 Graduate, Corey-Lee Killian.

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Hospitality has always been my dream, I travelled around South Africa quite a bit during school as I was a drum majorette for St.Dominic’s. We were very fortunate to stay in hotels across the country, and this is where my love grew, however little did I know all that it entailed.

I went to an open day at The Swiss Hotel School in February of my matric year, and I was in a dream world. The words flashing through my mind was travel, travel, travel. I was so excited and within days my application was sent (never mind that I didn’t apply anywhere else, so I literally had all my eggs in one basket).

I stayed in res in my first year at SHS, I had the best roommate in the world and we had the most fun and loads of study sessions too, of course! I started wanting to be a pastry chef, however as my time went on, I realized that I wasn’t the greatest in the kitchen, and there was fantastic people in my year that were much better at it then I was, and I actually loved being with people, meeting their expectations and providing the “wow” factor.

In my second year, I did my 6 month Food and Beverage practical in a country club in Florida, America. I was 20 years old and facing the “real” world for the first time. There were so many of us young and inexperienced at life South African’s that took on this new adventure and had the time of our lives.

A few months after we returned, we graduated and I found myself looking for a job. I remember having to go to SHS on a Friday morning and Mr. Martin being very concerned that I hadn’t found a job as yet, by the time I had got home, I had an email from Mr. Martin notifying me that I had an interview on Monday morning at 10am at The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa.

I spent four years in total at The Saxon, from a guest relations agent, to a reservationist and then promoted to a reservations supervisor. I worked with an incredible team, amazing guests and The Saxon couldn’t have been a more perfect starting block for my career.

I am currently living and working in London, within two weeks of being here I had 4 job offers (I thank SHS and Saxon for grounding me for this) and I landed a dream job as a Sales and Marketing Executive at The Lanesborough, one of London’s top hotels in February this year.

I have always said that people in hospitality were born to be in hospitality, the long hours, going the extra mile all the time for guests and taking everything with a pinch of salt is not for everyone.

I was truly blessed The Swiss Hotel School came up in my search for “Hotels schools in South Africa.” There aren’t many tertiary education establishments where every lecturer knows exactly who you are, and how you are doing years after having graduated. Thank you SHS for paving my way to great opportunities, I’m excited for what is yet to come!