Business Management

From Hospitality to Coffee & Education: An Entrepreneurial Journey

Episode 1- Series - Conversations with hospitality entrepreneurs & leaders

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In this webinar May Ruoyun Liu, Industry Relations Officer, Asia Pacific for the EHL Group, is joined by Jiang Wang, EHL Graduate and Entrepreneur. Jiang Wang completed a masters degree in Hospitality Administration at EHL, graduating in 2003. Following her studies she worked in a Casino, a hotel, healthcare and medical industry, before building 2 companies and selling them on.

The EHL Experience and beyond

The EHL study experience was one of the most important experience in my life. I think that time made a lot of changes and enabled a lot of things to happen, and also, most importantly, that changed way of thinking that opened up my mind.1 After graduating, I got many offers in the hotel industry and then I got an offer from the casino which sounded very interesting and different - exotic even, so I took from that that I wanted to experience something different. So I started as a project manager in a casino to manage a pre-opening. I learned a lot there, it's where I realized that the skills and knowledge that I had learned from EHL can apply to a lot of things. Not only to hotels but it can be applied to so much more. I enjoy the work there very much. After that I moved away from Macau, I joined Hilton, did another pre-opening. If you ever come to Beijing, the Hilton hotel is just 20 minutes away from Forbidden City, a very central location in Beijing near the Waldorf hotel. Then after Hilton, I joined the Kempinsky for a short period of time followed by Commune by the Great Wall. Commune by the Great Wall is boutique hotel group which were designed by a group of talented Asian architects. It's nearby the Great Wall of China. From there I I received the invitation from a very big medical company as VP of Operations, which was a big change in career tracks.

What led you to entrepreneurship?

First of all, I think the initial step is that you make a decision to try something different. That's very important. Then after you try the first step and then you are prepared for failure and knowing that failure is not a big deal, you're prepared to take the consequences. Then when you have prepared for that kind of mindset, you can try a little bit of everything.

What are the transferable skills from Hospitality?

Being a hotelier and being trained as a hotelier gives us a lot of advantages. For instance, we are naturally very service minded. We have attention to detail, we are very responsive, we take action and we usually proactive at problem solving. Those are very common qualities in hoteliers, but not very common that you see them in other industry. So in a way, I think I benefited from the training that I gained from the hotel industry.

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