American Hotel Academy alumni achieve their dreams. They shared their journeys with us to help inspire others.

Bianca Barabas graduated from American Hotel Academy in 2017 and currently is the Talent Coordinator at D&D London, a group of luxury restaurants, bars and hotels based principally in London , also with venues in Leeds, Paris, New York and Tokyo.

Hello, Bianca!
Bianca: Hi!

Welcome back!
Bianca: Thank you!

What can you tell us about your time at American Hotel Academy?
Bianca:
So, I have just graduated from American Hotel Academy and, unlike some of my colleagues, I did the full-time program, studying 3 years with 2 internships, both in Spa (Belgium) and a lot of extracurricular activities. It has been an amazing experience and, to be honest, there is no other college that I wish I had graduated from. There is this thing about my experience at American Hotel Academy that everyone asks about: “If you were to start all over again, after graduating high school, would you choose American Hotel Academy again?”, I always say “Yes!”

It is a big pleasure for us!
Bianca: It is something that I have recommended to everyone who was interested in the hospitality industry and I am proud of everything American Hotel Academy has helped me achieve. It has been quite a life-changing experience.

We are so proud of you! What can you tell us about your current job?
Bianca:
At the moment, I am a Talent Coordinator for D&D London. We have 39 different restaurants, mainly in the United Kingdom, but also properties in Paris, Tokyo, New York. My goal is to attract and to retain the best global talents into D&D London, so I am in charge with the recruiting and retention of our employees.

How many students did you interview today?
Bianca:
I think we had around 50 students and they were pretty amazing. Some of them were obviously a bit shy and for some of them it was the first experience, which reminded me of myself. It is quite interesting when you get to come back as a recruiter and you are on the other side of the desk.

What are your long-term plans?
Bianca:
Well, this is a tricky question because you never actually know what is about to happen. If you had asked me this question before graduating, I would have said: “I want to be an Events Manager!” Right now, I would say that in the future, I am going to be a Human Resources Manager and I am working to get there. You’ll never know where you are going in life so, obviously, I am working hard, being committed to develop and to grow. It might be a Human Resources Manager or it might be something else.

Can you give our students 3 tricks or 3 pieces of advice for their future career?
Bianca: T
hey need to brand themselves properly. It all comes down to your image, to your brand, to how you inspire other people. After graduation, before having my first contract signed and starting my first real job, I participated in 23 interviews. Some of them were amazing and some of them I had second thoughts or doubts about, so you need to have something particular about yourself. Like “I am Bianca, I am a food blogger and I love the hospitality industry, writing about my travels and about restaurants.” You need to have that spark that totally differentiates you from the other candidates. My advice would be: whatever you do, do it so well and speak about it so passionately that the recruiters will have no other choice than to hire you.

Choosing your career is such a difficult process and I am sure it is going to be challenging and tough, but students need to realize as soon as possible what they want to do. If you want to work for Hilton, go work for Hilton from the very beginning, start your internship there.  Find the things that suit you, if your goal is to become an executive chef, do your culinary apprenticeship in the culinary industry. Find out what you want to do and start doing it as soon as possible.

What can you tell us about your challenges? Which was your most difficult decision that you had to make?
Bianca: Obviously, it was a very important decision to decide where to go because I had some opportunities, in the Middle East, in London, some across Europe, as well as going back to Silva Balmoral, in Belgium, where I have had my first internship. I had to put everything in balance and to decide where I want to live and even now, that I am in London, it is still quite challenging because it is such a big city. It surprises you every day. It was a cultural shock at the beginning. I had to learn how to behave and how to speak…you need to adapt, that was the challenge.

You are an example for our students, so can you tell us which your favorite motivational quote is?
Bianca:
My favorite quote… the best one I have ever heard and it is quite a true one: “Your attitude determines your altitude” and it is one of the most accurate things I have ever heard, at least in the hospitality industry, where it helps you realize that it is all about attitude.

Thank you very much!
Bianca: It has been my pleasure!