Tell us about yourself and your studies ...
My name is Antonin Barrault-Baudy, I studied on the Bachelor in Tourism and Hospitality Management at Excelia from 2015 to 2018. It’s a programme combining academic lessons and real-life experiences. As part of my studies at the School, I carried out many internships in France and abroad (Ireland and Italy). One of my most memorable experiences was the humanitarian project Humacité©, for the local branch of the French Red Cross in La Rochelle. This type of experience makes you humble and you realise just how lucky you are to have a quality university education.
Why did you choose this programme?
I chose this Bachelor because I knew that all the international experiences would make me more open-minded. Following High School, I wanted to study tourism with a programme combining both traditional university lessons and real company-based experiences. I was not disappointed... far from it! My choice of programme was also influenced by the high quality of the lessons offered by the School and the cultural diversity of the teaching.
What’s your best memory?
The graduation ceremony without a doubt! Yes, even though my studies were interspersed with many wonderful experiences, this day will remain THE most memorable moment of my time at Excelia. I am very proud to have succeeded, especially as I had never for one moment imagined studying at a Business School after finishing High School.
How did the experience of being part of a multicultural campus benefit you?
I feel most fortunate to have studied in a multicultural School. I discovered new ways of working and a different vision of the business world. It was a really enriching experience for me personally to work alongside international students. Today, I am more open-minded about the world and its different cultures.
What made your years in La Rochelle so memorable?
La Rochelle is a perfect city to study in, both in terms of the education on offer and student life. I benefitted from a high-quality living environment with reliable and frequent public transport, shops close to the campus, high speed internet, etc. La Rochelle is a medium-sized city with all the amenities of a large city, but with a village atmosphere... everyone knows each other! It is a city that has exceptional facilities for both residents and visitors alike, the perfect place to study tourism! For instance, one of the initiatives in La Rochelle in which I participated was Café Linguistique, round tables for chatting in foreign languages with native speakers. This enjoyable experience enabled me to improve my language skills and strengthen my professional network.
Tell us about what you’re doing now…
Tell us about your job
I currently work as Head of Communications and Marketing for the EPCC Abbaye de Saint Savin sur Gartempe, an incredible abbey in the French Department of Vienne which is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
In what way does your job have an international focus?
One of my tasks is to create and develop different tourist offers aimed at an international clientele. I therefore have to use all the skills and knowledge I acquired during my 7 months of internships abroad. Today, these international experiences have helped me to create tourism products that meet the expectations of international visitors. Furthermore, I also have the opportunity to form partnerships with cultural sites abroad and therefore have to converse with companies in English and Italian, which is very rewarding! In addition, I am responsible for organising the welcoming of foreign journalists and tourism professionals.
Does your job involve working with others? Does it involve teamwork?
Including my internships, I spent 5 years in direct contact with clients, but now my job is office-based. In this role, I manage a communications department. As a result, the projects I manage are diverse, which means that I still have to take into account visitor expectations.
Of the lessons and experiences you had at the School, which ones are useful on a daily basis?
The Marketing and Communications lessons are of course very useful in my everyday life. I implement certain theoretical concepts, which brings to life what I was taught in class. The teaching method used was based on group work, which has enabled me to adapt relatively easily to my new work environment, where working together is essential! In my final year of study, I chose to specialise in Events and Human Resources. My first specialisation has enabled me to create and manage my projects in the best possible way. I also acquired a certain HR expertise through the other lessons I took and this has been very useful to me in negotiating employment contracts.
How did you find your job (following your internship, apprenticeship, etc.)?
After my Bachelor, I went to St Tropez on the Côte d'Azur to work in a holiday park for a season. As a trilingual receptionist, my job was to welcome the holidaymakers. It was such a wonderful and enriching experience! At the end of this season, I returned to my home region and was recruited by the company I work for today.
What are your interests outside of work?
Languages! I’m naturally very talkative in French, so speaking foreign languages is not a hardship... on the contrary! I am fascinated by the fact that we can make ourselves understood in a language that at first may seem incomprehensible to us. I regularly converse in English, Italian and Spanish in both my private and professional life. My latest challenge... to learn German! I love travelling whether in France or abroad and I regularly do sport. This is important for me, to help manage all the stress and fatigue associated with my various responsibilities.
What advice would you give to a future student (someone thinking of applying or looking for a change of direction)
Although everyone tells you the same thing, and even if it is not always easy to do when leaving High School, it really is true... you have to do something that really interests you, something that excites you!
Another piece of advice, don't give up and always have faith in your plans. Nothing is impossible. As I mentioned before, going to Business School was certainly not on the cards for me... and yet I did it! To study tourism, you have to be ready to challenge your preconceptions, as well as opening your mind to other cultures and other people. And, of course, you have to enjoy travelling and be intrigued by other cultures and different ways of thinking.