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We have had the pleasure of speaking with Matthieu Mioche, the Head of Talent Acquisition and School Relations in France at HRC International. As a leading hospitality recruitment agency, HRC International specializes in offering J1 visa program opportunities for aspiring professionals in the hospitality industry. Matthieu will share insights into the Management Training program, a unique opportunity designed to provide young graduates with a transformative experience in the U.S.

Matthieu, could you explain why management training is a great opportunity for our students/readers?

I think it’s a great opportunity because it offers young professionals unparalleled exposure to the international hospitality industry. Through the Management Training program, participants can immerse themselves in some of the world’s most renowned hotel brands, working in diverse hospitality sectors like Food and Beverage, Rooms Division, and Culinary/Pastry. This not only gives them hands-on cultural experience but also a comprehensive understanding of how different departments operate, which is crucial for anyone aspiring to leadership roles in hospitality.

Can you elaborate on the eligibility criteria for students who wish to participate in this program?

Absolutely. The Management Training program has specific eligibility criteria to ensure participants are well-suited for the opportunities it offers. First, candidates must have either an associate or a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or a related field. This educational foundation is crucial because the program is designed to build upon the knowledge and skills they’ve already acquired during their studies. The programs are also accessible for candidates with either a lower degree in hospitality education or none, but they have to demonstrate a continuous and stable professional progression in Food and Beverage, Rooms Division, and Culinary/Pastry for a period of 5 years minimum.

In terms of age, the program targets young professionals between 18 and 30 years old. This age range allows us to focus on individuals who are relatively early in their careers and eager to gain hands-on experience in the hospitality industry.

Additionally, the program is best suited for individuals who have a genuine interest in international hotel brands and the hospitality sector as a whole. We look for candidates who are enthusiastic about roles in Food and Beverage, Rooms Division, Culinary/Pastry, and similar areas, as they will be exposed to a variety of these operations through their rotations.

Lastly, participants need to be adaptable and open-minded with at least an advanced/intermediate english level, ready to embrace the challenges of living and working abroad. They must also be financially prepared for the initial costs, such as visa fees, health insurance, and travel expenses, which HRC International helps outline and support throughout the process.

Our eligibility criteria aim to ensure that the participants we select are set up for success and able to engage with the unique opportunities this program provides fully.

Since you have just mentioned the fees, could you provide an overview of the costs associated with the program, including visa fees, health insurance, and other expenses?

Certainly, understanding the financial aspect is crucial for anyone considering the Management Training program. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the costs involved:

The cost of the J1 visa, which includes application fees, SEVIS fees, and assistance, is $1,500. This ensures participants have guidance throughout the complex visa application process.

Participants must have health insurance throughout their stay in the U.S. In addition to our Wecare program (assistance throughout the US stay), we offer a comprehensive insurance plan that costs $275 per month. This provides essential coverage for medical needs during the program.

The cost of flight tickets to the U.S. varies depending on the departure location and season. On average, participants should budget between $500 and $1,000 for round-trip flights.

Participants need a minimum startup capital of $2,500 to cover initial expenses before receiving their first salary. This amount is intended to support them during the initial weeks, covering costs like accommodation deposit, transportation, and basic necessities.

It’s important to note that HRC International is committed to supporting participants through the entire process. We provide guidance and resources to help them budget effectively and make informed financial decisions. Additionally, once in the U.S., participants will have the opportunity to earn a salary, which can help offset some of these costs over time.“

Okay, perfect, thank you. Let’s move on to the types of roles and responsibilities participants can expect during their 12 to 18 months of management training. Could you elaborate? 

Participants in the Management Training program can expect to take on a range of roles and responsibilities that are designed to provide a comprehensive learning experience across different hospitality departments. Here’s what they can typically expect:

Rotational Training: Participants rotate through various departments, such as Food and Beverage, Rooms Division, and Culinary/Pastry. This rotational structure ensures they gain a holistic understanding of hotel/restaurant operations, from guest services to back-of-house functions.

Supervisory Roles: Participants are often given supervisory responsibilities, allowing them to develop leadership skills. They may oversee junior staff, coordinate schedules, and ensure that their teams deliver high-quality service.

Operational Duties: Depending on the department, participants may handle tasks like managing inventory, coordinating events, optimizing guest experiences, and ensuring compliance with brand standards. These tasks help participants understand the day-to-day intricacies of hotel operations.

Customer Interaction: Direct interaction with guests is a key aspect of the training, as it helps participants understand the importance of customer satisfaction and provides practical experience in addressing guest needs, handling complaints, and enhancing overall guest experience.

Administrative Work: To understand the business side of hospitality, participants might engage in administrative tasks, such as budgeting, financial analysis, and preparing reports. This helps them understand how decisions impact the hotel’s financial health.

Overall, the goal is to provide participants with a well-rounded experience that enhances their skills and prepares them for future leadership roles in the hospitality industry. By the end of the program, participants should have a solid foundation of industry knowledge and a network of valuable contacts to help advance their careers.

Which international hotel brands does HRC International collaborate with, and how do you match candidates with these employers?

HRC International collaborates with several of the world’s leading international hotel brands, including IHG, Auberge Resorts, Accor,  Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, Four Seasons,Viceroy and LHW, among others. These brands are recognized for their high standards in hospitality and offer a wealth of learning opportunities for our program participants.

Matching candidates with these employers is a carefully curated process. Here’s how we approach it:

We start by thoroughly assessing each candidate’s profile, including their education, work experience, skills, and career aspirations. This helps us understand their strengths, interests, and the type of role they would excel in.

We also maintain a close relationship with our partner hotels to understand their specific needs, corporate culture, and the kind of talent they are looking for in different departments. This ensures we have a clear picture of the type of candidate that would thrive in each environment.

Our goal is to align the candidate’s aspirations with the opportunities available at our partner hotels. We aim to place candidates in positions that will not only utilize their existing skills but also help them grow professionally in line with their long-term career objectives.

Once a suitable match is found, we coach the candidate for the interview process with the prospective employer. We provide guidance on how to present themselves effectively, understand the brand’s expectations, and communicate how they can add value to the team.

After preparation, we introduce the candidate to the employer. This often involves multiple rounds of interviews, where both parties can assess the fit. We remain involved throughout, facilitating communication and addressing any concerns.

Our objective is to create the best possible match, ensuring that both the candidate and the employer benefit from the relationship. This approach has consistently resulted in successful placements, where candidates receive valuable experience and employers gain motivated and skilled individuals.

You have mentioned HRC International’s role quite a few times. Could you summarize what kind of support HRC International provides during the placement process, from coaching for interviews to securing accommodation?

Certainly. HRC International offers comprehensive support to participants throughout the entire placement process, ensuring they are well-prepared and confident at every step. Here’s a summary of the key support services we provide:

We offer personalized coaching to help candidates excel in their interviews. This includes tips on research, understanding employer expectations, and effectively communicating their skills and fit for the role. We ensure that candidates are well-prepared to present themselves confidently.

From the moment a candidate shows interest, we guide them through the eligibility criteria and program structure, helping them understand what to expect and how to align their career goals with the opportunities available.

Based on the candidate’s profile, we match them with the most suitable employers from our network of international hotel brands. This involves considering the candidate’s experience, preferences, and career objectives to ensure the best fit.

As an official J1 visa sponsor, we assist candidates in navigating the often complex visa process. We handle the paperwork and provide instructions to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

Finding suitable accommodation in a new country can be daunting. We assist candidates with finding accommodation options, considering factors like location, budget, and convenience. This might involve securing accommodation on staff campuses or guiding them in finding their own place in major cities.

Once candidates arrive in the U.S., we continue to support them with practical needs like setting up a bank account, obtaining a social security number, and connecting them with our local offices for ongoing assistance.

We foster a sense of community by connecting current participants with alumni through programs like buddy systems and flat sharing. This helps new arrivals feel welcome and quickly integrate into their new environment.

Our goal is to provide end-to-end support so participants can focus on making the most of their training experience, confident that they have a reliable partner in HRC International.“

Thank you, Matthieu, for sharing such valuable insights into the Management Training program and how HRC International supports aspiring hospitality professionals.

Those interested in learning more about the program or wishing to connect with Matthieu directly can find more information on the HRC International website or contact him through his LinkedIn profile

Once again, thank you, Matthieu, for your time and for providing such comprehensive information about this exciting opportunity.

Interview with Matthieu Mioche, Head of Talent Acquisition and School Relations at HRC International