HOSCO / Blog
Chatting with Christina Bonnard
Operations Analyst at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Posted on: September 06, 2011
Christina graduated from Switzerland’s Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in 2007, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management. She specialized in marketing, and is fluent in French and English. While at EHL, she completed her internships in F&B operations at the Lausanne Palace & Spa, Switzerland, and in Brand Identity and Quality Control at Club Méditerranée, Djerba, Tunisia.
Upon graduation, Christina worked as a Business Analyst for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Hong Kong. Her daily tasks included conducting market research and competitor analysis to help identify investment opportunities in new destinations for the brand. After completing this training, she moved to the marketing department of the group’s flagship property in Hong Kong, where she gained further valuable experience in hotel operations. In February 2011, Christina moved back to the group’s headquarters as an Operations Analyst where she is now supporting the Group Financial Controller, Operations.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is an international hotel investment and management group with luxury hotels, resorts and residences in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The group began with the opening of its flagship property, The Mandarin, in Hong Kong in 1963, and now operates, or has under development, 41 hotels representing over 10,000 rooms in 26 countries. The group aims to be widely recognized as the best global luxury hotel group, providing 21st century luxury with oriental charm in each of its properties. On June 28, 2011, the latest addition to the group’s portfolio opened its doors in Paris on the famed rue Saint Honoré.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, a multinational corporation based in Hong Kong. With roots dating to the end of the 18th century, Jardines is a Fortune 500 company with interests in retail, real estate, financial services, shipping and aviation, engineering and construction, automobile manufacture and distribution
Your day-to-day at MOHG?
As an Operations Analyst for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, I work closely with the Group Financial Controller, Operations. His job involves visiting our various properties in Asia and meeting with each hotel Financial Controller (or Finance Director) to review and improve the financial outlook of the properties. My day-to-day varies a lot depending on the support needed. I spend most of my time conducting financial analysis on past, current and future trading results, compiling standard operational policies and assisting the Group Director of Operations on other ad hoc projects from conceptualisation to project implementation.
What do you like the most about your job?
I like being part of a luxury hotel chain that aims to expand oriental heritage. I also enjoy working with top managers while being part of strategic decision processes.
Your best achievement or memory since graduation?
I recently handled a key project on next year’s hotels budgets, normally performed by someone much more senior than me. While I really enjoyed it, I was quite surprised and pleased to see that my work was shared with top executives.
And your worst?
My worst memory was my first week in Hong Kong, where I was lost in an area trying to find a Western Union branch. There no English speakers and hanging in restaurant windows were strange things like chicken feet and beef intestines. I must admit that I felt really far from home. To make a long story short, I never found the Western Union branch but I did manage to pay my rent on time (and even tried the food at one of those restaurants a few months later).
Your advice to the young talents of our industry?
Be motivated and take challenges. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your career will be the same. There will be ups and downs, but benefit from everything you can and look at the positive sides (networking, work experience, cultural experience, personal development, etc.) as these will all be part of you as a future leader.
Don’t be afraid to start your career abroad, even though it might mean compromising on some things (friends, family, salary, title, etc.). You will realize that the cultural experience and opportunities are worth it and will enable you to grow professionally and personally, which, in my opinion, is key for a good leader.
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