Thomas BOCCARD is currently Deputy Operations Manager at Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events in Paris.
Thomas Boccard graduated from Vatel Nimes in Mai, 2013 and he already leads a team of 55 as the Assistant Manager for the INSEAD facility in Fontainebleau for Sodexo Prestige Sports et Loisirs. And Thomas’ daily jobs are HR, Accounting & Finance, and Sales & Marketing!
How did you get this job Thomas, and what do you do?
Just a month after I got back from my Management Training in China, I started working with Sodexo Prestige Sport & Loisirs, as the Assistant Manager on the INSEAD site in Fontainebleau, near Paris. They were looking for a senior executive for this position, but my profile and enthusiasm convinced the recruitment officers.
Sodexo Prestige Sport & Loisirs operates in prestigious venues such as the Lido, the Roland Garos Tennis Open restaurants, the PSG, OM and OL soccer stadiums, the Industrial Arts Center, the Polytechnique Engineering facility, restaurants in the Eiffel Tower, Paris yachts and many other exceptional sites. INSEAD (The European Business Administration Institute), even though it is not well known by the general public in France, is one of Europe’s leading business schools with facilities in Fontainebleau, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Just like in Vatel Nimes, there are a large number of foreign students and over 70 nationalities work together on the campus during their schooling. Daily management of a team of 55 on four very distinct profit centers is certainly a challenge.
In Insead, Sodexo Prestige has:
- A self-service cafeteria that serves on average 950 meals per day and where Insead students and faculty members make up the vast majority of our customers.
- A bar and a snack bar.
- Venues pour seminars.
- More traditional and intimate restaurants.
We’re also in charge of huge events where we can seat up to 1,200 such as Alumni meetings, Insead employee seminars or Career Fairs.
So I have varied and quite transversal tasks:
- Monitoring managerial schedules and those of their team members.
- Preparing quarterly team meetings, and writing the minutes.
- Operational presence.
- Going over the goals to be met and setting up actions plans and processes to meet them.
- Dealing with unions.
Accounting and Finance:
- Participation in drawing up Forecasts  and going over end of the month operational costs with the site manager.
- Optimization of production and sales with the CEO.
- Analysis and statistics of profitability, monitoring the various ratios and rolling out action plans and corrective measures.
Sales & Marketing:
- Creating and following special events schedules with department managers.
- Taking part in drawing up our sales strategy with the site manager.
- Price quotes and following up special events services.
- Benchmarks and prospection.
- Parameterization and updating our internet offers.
- Procedures and compliance with HACCP Standards.
- Following up surveys and quality control in order to ensure customer satisfaction.
What do you think you will be doing in a few years, or in the long term?
I certainly couldn’t have started off my professional life better, as this job combines everything that you have to do when you’re running a business. It’s a big challenge with lots of responsibilities, which allows me to use everything I learned at school, in my internships and other jobs to correctly carry out my missions as the site’s Assistant Manager.
In the short term I’d like to continue working here and gaining experience so that in the mid-term I could be a General Manager, either here or elsewhere. In a much longer term I’d like to manage an entire sector, meaning that I’d be in charge of several group sites. I hope that as I have an entrepreneurial spirit and love innovation, I’ll be able to fulfill my dream one day, which is to imagine and design my own concept. More to come...
You were talking about your professional experience in Shanghai where you had your other internships?
When I was at school I had the opportunity of acquiring quite a bit of knowledge both in France and abroad, either with my internships or my summer jobs. Here are the main ones:
- Assistant General Housekeeper at the Hotel des Neiges**** in the Courchevel ski resort.
- Captain & Barman at the Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon on the Gold Coast in Australia, and then in theEcurie du Castellas in Saint Tropez, in France.
- Sales & Marketing Assistant at the Hotel Les Organgeries*** in Lussac les Chateaux, the first European Ecolabel hotel in France, promoting sustainable development.
- Special Events and Seminars Sales Manager in the Les Hotels de Paris (HDP) group, the leading independent hotel group in Paris with a network of 27 three and four-star hotels.
- And finally my Management Training as the F&B Assistant in the Sofitel Hyland Shanghai which for me was the opportunity to discover a “heavyweight” with 450 rooms and four restaurants. When you work at a Sofitel in China, you have to know how to keep your “French touch,” and fine French lifestyle, while adapting this to Asian customs and their hustle and bustle. Shanghai is a city where everything is so much bigger than elsewhere, and where some gourmet codes have been overturned.
Being French, I was like an unofficial ambassador of French know-how in the hotel and also the main contact between guests/staff and management. One of my main responsibilities was to check and apply the processes imposed by a luxury hotel chain in order to ensure customer satisfaction. An unbelievable multicultural managerial experience! In my opinion, students in our sector must have had some experience in Asia. For me it was a great lesson in life where opening up to others and their cultures is necessary to transform your experience into a real springboard to launch your career.
You just left Vatel Nimes and its classrooms and hotel a few months ago; can you tell us what you think about the curriculum?
Vatel’s curriculum is very demanding and teaches us to strive for excellence, while also teaching us that this is hard to do when you’re alone! Team spirit in our courses, in the kitchens, and student life were key points.Beyond the excellent courses given at Vatel, it has become like a second family for me and I’ve got many fond memories. What I’ll remember above all is all the great people that I met as well as the friendships with both students and faculty members that have continued up until now.
Realising your career aspirations has never been closer to home. Your bright future awaits now at Pierrefonds Campus, an inclusive lifestyle student experience to make you thrive within a supportive, green and diverse learning environment.Read more
Becoming a chef cannot be improvised.Read more
Vatel Business School enables young entrepreneurs to live their passion.Read more
After Covid and despite the postponement of the HSC exams, we are relaunching the Vatel Quiz Inter Collèges.Read more
My journey at Vatel Mauritius started back in 2017 as a novice in hotel industry. As I went around and kept discovering the hotel operations and the industry - my path at Vatel rhymed with an overall reassessment of myself.Read more
Passionate about travel, gastronomy and new encounters, I have naturally focused on the hotel industry. The perfect balance between studies and practical internships is what attracted me to this institution.Read more
I am 26 years old and a Alumni at Vatel Mauritius, I studied in culinary arts in Perth and I’ve worked in fine dining establishments such as ascot Perth racing, Crown Perth, bistro 2I, silk road, Bentley pines restaurantRead more
A soul of hospitality and a heart of humanity is a house full of love, growth and peace. I have always been passionate about the hospitality industry and to be a Rooms Division Director is a dream that I have been carving for years.Read more
I have always been attracted by the hospitality industry since a young age. I decided to pursue my studies in this proactive sector as I know it would allow me to meet new people every day and learn about new cultures to open myself to the world.Read more
This last week of November, 339 5th year students competed in English for 1st place on the podium.Read more
Hi everyone. I am Ganeshwaree Sumbhoo, a third-year middler at Vatel Business School Mauritius. I am someone pretty positive about every aspect of life.Read more
Sister beauties are a rare find in the fashion industry, more so with wit and intelligence. This week, our "we are" series gets bolstered up by the appearances of model siblings - Anaïs and Felicia Lagrosse, both from Vatel Business School Mauritius.Read more
Hello everyone. I am Yashil Naga, a first-year junior at Vatel Business School Mauritius. I am particularly thankful to the editorial team of 'The Vatelian' for this marvellous opportunity given to share a few words with you all.Read more
Blessed are those students who earn themselves an internship not only challenging but inspiring. Whilst, on a roll and enviable, are those who get the possibility to learn and evolve alongside their revered mentor.Read more
Vincent Berthelot, just another third-year middler of ours, is no brick-and-mortar retailer. Yet, contrary to others, he already aces his line of production founded only last April.Read more
Hello, world! I’m Shania Rampersad, a third-year middler at Vatel Business School Mauritius. Join me as I describe my experience as a Vatel student, how I was open to a rich and thriving journey full of challenges and opportunities so far.Read more
Generous, lively, charming, bright.. we might probably run out of superlatives to best describe the soul about to come to light.Read more
Hello. I am Zubeir Burkutally, a third-year bachelor degree senior at Vatel Business School Mauritius.Read more
There's Nicolas Quin, an 18" BA/ MBA alumnus of French origin; then there's Luvesh Dhurmea, a fourth-year senior from Mauritius itself.Read more
Deux semaines après que l'Université ait annoncé que le personnel non-enseignant pouvait se présenter au bureau, les autorités locales ont decrété l'état d'urgence suite aux conditions météorologiques défavorables qui prévalaient alors depuis mercredRead more
Some 110 students will start university term as from Monday 19th April 2021 and would return to campus for face-to-face learning sessions, as guidance from local authorities allows…Read more
Since December 2020, Vatel Business school Mauritius has launched a new concept called "Be our guest".Read more