Les Roches International School of Hotel Management alumna in Turks and Caicos

The one-year difference

24 Jun 2015 | by Joan Toano


Les Roches International School of Hotel Management alumna in Turks and Caicos

BBA Alumna Joan Tuaño brings us an update about her progress in her first job – she’s managed to achieve a lot in one short year.

Facebook reminded me today that the same time last year, I had accepted my first job here in Turks and Caicos. It is absolutely unbelievable how time can fly, what you can achieve and how much you have suddenly changed in 365 days. Also, I feel as if it was just the new year, and here we are welcoming June in the next few days, and Christmas is again just around the corner! Ah, #Hospitalitylife.

As I look back on my first year I smile as the changes that have occurred have all been for the better and I feel strong. It is a wonderful feeling to be an actual member of a resort team and not have to leave so soon. You are depended on, there are changes that you can work for, experience and give feedback on. Many challenges arose and will arise, but if there is something I know for sure, as Mandela said, “it always seems impossible until it’s done”. What I love most is getting to know my team. After a year I feel like I actually do know my fellow team members, and knowing how they can work together best to achieve our goals is key. Achieving goals is then amazingly rewarding, and you can challenge your team to keep the fire burning. Then the fun begins! (Just kidding)

I am also ecstatic that a fellow Les Roches alumna joined our Guest Relations team late last year, given her multilingual talents and highly amiable personality ;).

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management alumna in Turks and Caicos
We LRB Alumni working hard but playing hard!

My dad always said to be highly successful in business you must know at least a few languages, the best of which are French (since various organizations communicate in French such as the UN) and Mandarin (official language of China – the world’s most populous and economically dynamic nation) as well as German and Spanish. Hotels do hire for personality and great education, but definitely languages. Be it your ability to speak to many different guests in their languages or to your colleagues, your cultural intelligence or CQ is the new important factor in success, not simply IQ and EQ (Intelligence and Emotional Quotients). Knowing when to offer alcohol, when to smile or even simply accepting a business card with two hands makes a difference in hospitality, and such skills are definitely valuable when you are trying to win your boss over, or even land a job!

On another note, the most important thing I am loving about this one-year anniversary is… vacation! My tickets are booked for the Bahamas and the family visits me in July! Then my very long vacation shall take place in a few months and I could visit a sister property. The world is our oyster! Interns never got vacation 😉 To my fellow fresh graduates: travel now, save later!

Since I am in a reminiscing, contemplative mood for this article, here are a few short fun stories/moments I experienced in the year:

1. Last month I had the honor of representing my property at the TACC 2015, an island conference uniting buyers and suppliers of the tourism industry. It was enlightening to see the different properties and ambiences offered by a range of properties and meeting the people who provide our property such great business. I also met an alumni of EHL which was amazing – what a small world!

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management alumna in Turks and Caicos
Attending the Turks and Caicos Conference (TACC) and meeting a fellow Swiss school graduate!

2. At the beginning of this month, my first complete wedding took place. Meaning that I assembled it (beginning to end). It was the most spectacular, simple wedding with an even more beautiful sunset – so gratifying. And an amazing feeling as the pictures convey, you can check them out here.

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management alumna in Turks and Caicos
Beautiful and much attention to detail at one of wedding buyouts

3. Last week, I did a small tour for some hospitality professionals. They put me in contact with their colleague who is a fellow alumni and apparently came for an internship and never left! We had a mini Les Roches reunion and it was crazy fun talking about the evolution of tourism and life in general in Turks and Caicos, as well as EATING lots of food together!

4. It has been a tough couple of months since Thanksgiving last year at our property and our team were not able to have dinner together to meet and simply get to know each other better ‘out of uniform’. We finally got to do it last week and it was a great opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work as well as an important moment to ‘break the ice’. Do you teambuild at your property? I’d love to know how – drop me a note and let’s share ideas.

5. Yesterday I welcomed a trainee to our property and felt happy, because I was once in their shoes and knew exactly what I wanted to hear when I first arrived to a foreign country. I couldn’t stop talking and being excited for what this person was going to experience! Nothing beats a great welcome.

Hmmm… perhaps training would be a new destination to my hotelier career?

Joan Toano


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