First Things First
Sophie and Lauranne
As November nears an end, it is due time to introduce our featured members of the month! The two students who volunteered this round have something in common: Sophie Weiss and Lauranne D’Haene were our first-recruited Head and Assistant members, respectively. As early members of the team, they have played a crucial role in building the committee to what it is today. This blog post will give you a better insight into their positions in YHS, as well as the personal interests that make each of them unique.
If humble confidence and hard work were a person, it would be our cherished YHS member Sophie. Sophie is a third-year student at EHL, currently completing her internship semester in Vienna, Austria. After taking on the role as Head of Human Resources in May of 2021, she was the very first person the Cores recruited, and therefore helped build the committee from scratch! Since then, she has been essential to the team’s growth, recruiting the best talents for each of the committee’s nine departments. When Sophie heard there was an opening for the Head of HR position earlier this year, she figured it would be the perfect way to get more involved – not only within EHL, but within the worldwide community at large. She says that beyond her interest in the committee, it was really the specific role in HR that attracted her. Sophie’s curiosity for psychology, her care and interest for others, and her (somewhat odd) enjoyment of administrative work are what led her to seek a role in this department. Even outside of YHS, her initial administrative internship in 2021 began in HR at a start-up company in Vienna. Though the role itself interested her, she felt mismatched in the company, and therefore made the very brave decision to resign and search for another internship. During our interview we laughed at the irony of her situation: looking for a new internship, while being responsible for recruiting the team members for YHS 2022… Anyway, within a couple of weeks, she was back on her feet and in a new role that she enjoyed much better. Now, she is happily working in the Events department at Raiffeisen Bank, in Vienna. After EHL, Sophie intends to go into event planning—specifically, wedding planning. Thus, her current internship and her role in YHS are giving her useful skills that are applicable to her future career ambitions. For example, she says that her position as Head of HR has given her a great overview of the essential components of planning a long-term event, just like organizing a wedding!
When Sophie isn’t organizing YHS candidate interviews, preparing onboarding sessions, or working at her internship, she is probably listening to or playing music. She began taking piano lessons at age six, and in the last few years fell in love with singing and performing jazz music. Curious about her go-to song? It’s the George Gershwin classic Summertime! She says it’s the perfect song to perform, since it’s relatively simple in terms of melody and pace, yet still leaves you space to get creative with the embellishments. Otherwise, as you may expect from a proud Swiss (Sophie grew up in Winterthur), she loves spending time in nature. Her passion for the outdoors, along with her care for others and her interest in other cultures, also brought her to Thailand in 2018, where she spent five months volunteering at an elementary school. There, she taught English, sports, arts, and music, and says it was an incredibly enriching experience. We’re so glad to have Sophie on our team, and stay tuned—you may even have a chance to hear her sing at the next summit in March 2022!
Our next featured YHS member for the month of November is Lauranne! A meticulous and determined person, she is our Finance Assistant for this year’s summit. In fact, Lauranne was the first assistant to join the committee last Spring, and has therefore seen the whole team really come together over the last few months. When Lauranne first learned about YHS, the idea of joining the largest student-run hospitality event left a big impression on her. As a Finance tutor, the role of Finance Assistant naturally interested her, since she enjoys problem-solving, analytical thinking, and dealing with numbers (fun fact: she is incredible at quick mental math!). Having been in the committee for six months now, she says it has been amazing to be part of a team of motivated students who are all working towards the same goal: to organize an impactful and thought-provoking hospitality summit next Spring.
Lauranne is currently living in Barcelona, Spain, where she is completing her administrative internship semester at an innovative technology company called The Hotels Network. Her role as Client Success Intern allows her to apply a large part of the theory learned in her courses at EHL, with regard to revenue management, benchmarking, marketing, and so on, to real life projects. With this role, Lauranne is also gaining tech competencies, teamwork skills, and learning more about the hotel industry from an administrative side. After completing internships in Food & Beverage and Housekeeping at various hospitality outlets over the years, she says it is extremely interesting and valuable to now view the hospitality industry through a non-operational perspective.
Beyond university and her internship, Lauranne has many hobbies to keep herself occupied. For example, she is a huge sports fan: skiing, football, field hockey, gymnastics, basketball – you name the sport, and she is most likely playing or watching it. Out of all the sports that interest her, tennis is her greatest passion, as she has been playing since she was four years old! Even though Lauranne was born and raised in Belgium, her favourite tennis player is Swiss athlete Roger Federer. This, along with her love for the Olympics (which is headquartered in Lausanne) and her passion for skiing in the Alps, make her choice to study in Switzerland feel like destiny. That said, she still claims Belgian chocolate is superior (hot topic for debate…). Regardless of her chocolate preferences, Lauranne brings so much to the team: with her attention to detail, her enthusiasm, and her finance skills, we are lucky to have her!
While Lauranne and Sophie are currently in their internship semesters abroad, their commitment to the Young Hoteliers Summit keeps them grounded in Lausanne. As they build their skills and work experience through their internships, they continue to support the efforts of the YHS committee. Stay tuned for next month’s blog post, to learn more about YHS’s remarkable members!
A Few Words From the Author - Zora Lehrer-Keil
I am Zora Lehrer-Keil, a third-year EHL student and a member of the PR & Press Team for the Young Hoteliers Summit. Born in Canada to Swiss and German parents, and having lived in six different countries, I love learning about different cultures. Beyond that, I enjoy going to concerts, practicing yoga, and skiing!