When Rebekka Frost started her studies, she had a clear goal on what she wanted to accomplish: a career that enabled her to travel and interact with people from all around the world. In her current position as Global Head of Corporate & TMC Relations at Design Hotels AG these goals have become reality.
Before I knew what I wanted to study, I set some criteria to what I wanted to experience and accomplish through my Bachelor’s Degree: I wanted to study in English, have a career which enables me to travel and interact with people from all around the world. These narrowed down my search quite a lot. After looking at the handful of options where to study a Bachelor’s Degree in English in Helsinki, I set my mind to Hospitality, Tourism and Experience Management at Haaga-Helia UAS and the Haaga campus.
The mixture of different backgrounds brought depth to the studies
Everything felt new when starting my studies at Haaga. It was eye-opening to sit in the classroom with many whom already had a number of years of work experience in hotels and restaurants, while others like me were complete newbies to the world of hospitality. Haaga gave us a crash course of the fun and intensity ahead of us if we ended up with a career in the industry.
Having such a mixed group of people from multiple backgrounds and experiences brought an additional depth to our studies and projects. It gave us some fun cultural experiences as well as drama! The studies included a great mix of theory and practical studies which helped to set us all up for the working life. Some of my personal favorites (in addition to the wine lessons) were feasibility studies where we got to put theory into practice with real life assignments.
Haaga helped to get a foot in the door
Hospitality being a relationship driven industry, my time at the Haaga campus really helped me to get my foot in the door. I completed my first internship at Hilton Helsinki Strand which lead into a part-time job during my studies. Through connections from Haaga I also managed to score a second part-time place at A21 Cocktail Lounge.
While approaching the second half of my studies I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent Haaga-Helia at European Mise en Place Cup - a European hotel school competition. This opportunity further connected me with other international hospitality management students, some of which I have ended up working with in the past years.
Towards the end of my studies I grasped an opportunity to talk with a keynote speaker at one of our Haaga-Helia hosted events, which enabled me to secure an internship at Mandarin Oriental in London. This lead to a permanent position and now, almost 10 years later, I have worked for a couple of truly inspiring hotel brands.
Achieving the goals
The goals I set myself and which lead me to study at Haaga have become reality. My current position at Design Hotels takes me travelling around the world (at times too much) and I now have a global network of friends and industry contacts, including those study buddies who we experienced so much with!
Hospitality is about the people and without the fellow students and faculty at Haaga, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It is a tough industry and a lot of work, yet it gives so much back. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
Read more about the Degree Programme in Hospitality, Tourism and Experience Management