Student Resources

Cassandre Pene - Where Consulting and Hospitality Meet

Produced by

Undergraduate School

In this series of the EHL Next Steps podcast, we hope to inspire and inform you about the many different master’s degrees and career options you could choose to pursue after you finish your bachelor’s degree at EHL.



EHL Insights


Here’s a taster of the latest episode with Cassandre Pene. After graduating from EHL in 2021, Cassandre took a Master's in Economics and Strategy at Imperial College London. She is currently a Consulting Evaluation Analyst at hospitality consulting firm HVS in London.


    Finding her strategy for life

    During her bachelor’s at EHL, Cassandre Pene was interested in many aspects of the hospitality business, but it was the marketing classes that sparked her fascination with strategy. “We were studying international marketing, talking about how to decide whether to expand your company and create a new product; how to market a product based on the target market, how to market it differently, taking into consideration the culture. I think that's when it clicked.” Understanding how strategy could be applied not just to business but to every aspect of life, she decided that a master’s in the subject would be useful, whatever job she later wanted to pursue. “I thought that would always be worth it, having a degree in that specific area.”

    Now, you’re a Consulting and Valuation Analyst? Can you explain what that is?

    “Put very simply, we value existing hotels and we do feasibility studies for proposed hotels. There's also a little part that is asset management, but it's not most projects. What's very interesting is that the main office is in Europe, so we handle projects everywhere in Europe, which makes it very varied and very interesting.” 

    How does the job link to your master’s in strategy?

    “When I did my master's, I thought I would go into a big four type of firm – PWC, Deloitte – to do hardcore consulting. Then I figured it was a bit of a shame not to use my background in hospitality and my expertise in hotels. So I found this job that was actually the meeting point between my bachelor's and my master's. Basically, I use my expertise in hotels, but it's also strategic. We help [the hotels] because they need our expertise. We can tell them, okay, we think that you should go more for a pricing-driven strategy or a volume strategy based on your location and all the elements that we have and our expertise. It's a bit different from a consulting job at PWC, but the skills we develop are very much the same.” 

    Why did you choose to take your master’s at Imperial College, London?

    “When I started looking into masters, the big schools were mostly about management programs, which basically were the same classes as at EHL, or a finance-related program, which was very, very focused on finance, and I was not that fascinated by finance. [Imperial had] one of the only programs that had a focus on strategy and also on economics.”

    What did you like about the program?

    “You have quantitative classes, very theoretical courses, but you also have case studies, group projects, a lot of applied modules. You also have a real-life consulting project like the one that we had to complete at EHL. So I feel like you develop hard skills but also soft skills, and you actually have things to put on your CV. The classes were very interesting, that's for sure, but I also feel like I grew up a lot by being surrounded by people with different backgrounds. At EHL I was in the French section, so we were not as exposed to international people as I was at Imperial. It was very enriching to be surrounded by those people. It's definitely a big added value.”

    What was the careers support like at Imperial?

    “I personally was very lucky with the Career Center. I had an advisor that was always available to help me. One of the big strengths of Imperial as well is that it's not only a business school, it's also very tech-oriented. You not only get to meet those people, but you can also attend those events that are very different. It allows you to explore a lot of industries, a lot of options, rather than being solely focused on the business aspect of the university.”

    How do you think your master’s will help your career?

    “I think it will help me more in the future because the job I'm in now, EHL played a big part [in getting that] because we need the hospitality background and expertise. A lot of my colleagues don't have a master's, but I know it will come in handy in the future. And Imperial’s reputation is definitely an added value.”

    What’s your biggest wish for your career?

    “I wish to learn. I really do. I think the learning curve is very steep, and I'm so excited to develop that expertise. Even within the last four months, I've learned so much. I'm very grateful for this. I think I'm going to keep learning and developing skills.”

    Check out the full list of student profiles and their diverse career paths. 

    Redefining Hospitality Leadership  Learn more about all programs and courses at EHL Hospitality Business School Discover

    Got a story to share? Become an EHL Insights contributor