A 2010 graduate, Camille Hougnon knows exactly what she wants and does everything possible to succeed. After having led marketing activities for five 4 and 5 star hotels in Paris, she’s now ready for a new challenge: attracting future clients to the Meating Bistrot à Viandes, a type of “French-style churrascaria” in Sao Paulo, Brazil! You want to know more? Read more here...
“My mom, who worked in tourism, was influential in my choice to work in this field. In high school, I was sure that I wanted to study to work in the international hospitality industry, but also to quickly begin working in a real job. Vatel’s formula “theoretical courses - practical application - internships” was really what I was looking for.
At that time I lived in Rouen. But I applied to the French Vatel Campus that was the farthest away from me, because of two things: cross-cultural enrichment that the diversity of students attending Vatel Nimes - 47 nationalities in all - as well as the myriad of experiences that I would be able to have in its application hotel, the Vatel 4* Hotel & Spa.
My week of practical applications in the Sales department of the hotel’s “Special Events, Banquets and Seminars” was the trigger that helped me decide which department I wanted to work in. So I chose to do my final internship in this field, because of this. I went to the Novotel Marseille Vieux Port Hotel, which had just been renewed, as the Sales Assistant.
Still sure of my choice, then I went to Paris where I was hired as the Assistant Sales Manager - World, Sales Manager - France and external sales representatives of the hotel group Concorde Hotels & Resorts. A really interesting job, as this allowed me to discover everything connected to the Sales department.
After that, my next job allowed me to learn about the strategic interest of the latest revenue management methods. At that time I was in charge of marketing for 5 Parisian hotels Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide:
- The Meridien Etoile 4*
- The Westin Paris Vendome 4*
- The W Paris Opera 5*
- The Prince de Galles 5*
- The Sheraton Paris Airport and Conference Center 4*.
So with sales, and special events, I had already met two goals that I had set for myself, but I was still lacking the 3rd one: working abroad. I had been thinking about Canada or Latin America for a long time, and finally I had an opportunity in Brazil. Discovering and learning a new language made this challenge even more interesting.
I arrived at the beginning of April, 2015 in Sao Paulo and I’m already training teams of the Meating Bistrot à Viandes in the “French Art of Hospitality” and preparing the upcoming special events in this restaurant. A French-type “Churrascaria” or a magical link between two cultures.
In Brazil and Portugal, a churrascaria is a restaurant that is specialized in churrascos: grilled red meat, chicken or pork. Brazilians love this type of restaurant, and in general, really appreciate good meat. My work consists in bringing in the French Touch, my experience in organizing special events and my skills in sales and marketing strategies.
So I’m going to start by approaching customers - in Portuguese of course, that’s the best way to learn a language - and presenting them with all my special events that I’m currently setting up: a cook-show area, cocktails for their meetings, etc.
The French art of hospitality has a really good reputation here, like it does all over the world. So it’s my job to draw up marketing strategies that I will be able to present to my current and future clients."