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For Les Roches alumnus Luca Virgilio, the world of hospitality was where he could combine fun with hard work. It’s these traits that have led to a hugely successful career in hospitality, managing five-star luxury hotels and recently giving a speech at a Les Roches graduation ceremony.
“By ensuring you have fun and enjoy what you do, hard work doesn’t feel like hard work,” instructs Luca. “That is the natural way of performing at your best.” Since graduating from Les Roches, Luca has continually done just that, leading to a succession of managerial roles. He is currently working for luxury hotel operator The Dorchester Collection, managing the iconic Hotel Eden in Rome. “My day is spent making sure our guests are having a fabulous time, and that myself and my executives keep relevant and run a profitable business,” Luca says. “I run a guest-centric operation, but it starts with the employees. If they’re happy, the guests will be happy and, in turn, the business will be successful and the owners will be happy.”
Luca chose Les Roches upon hearing of its great reputation. “I heard it would be a great education, plus I liked the idea of the school’s intimacy. It meant there’d be a great opportunity to be really nurtured by the teachers, as the classes would be smaller and more focused.”
Like many Les Roches alumni, Luca has maintained a close relationship with the school since graduating. In December 2017, he was asked to be a guest speaker at the graduation ceremony. “I was so happy and pleased to be asked,” he says. “I instructed the students to choose what they like and build a path from there. Every two years, build a new challenge that’s a step-up. Hard work is also important…there is no way around this.”
Luca believes that Les Roches set the groundwork when it came to needing the knowledge and skills to be a general manager. “It set the pace for things to come,” he says. “From the outset, in lower positions I was able to connect the dots better than other colleagues and had a better understanding of the big picture. It was a great schooling and at the same time great fun. It was a wonderful part of my life.”
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