Last month it was reported that The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) is ranked amongst the top 10 hospitality schools in the world, alongside the likes of Cornell University in New York City, USA (School of Hotel Administration) and Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland. John Carter is a student at EAHM and currently, as part of the curriculum, is commencing a six-month internship with DMG Events Middle East, Asia and Africa, organisers of industry-leading The Hotel Show Dubai. Carter, originally from California, USA has left his world behind to start afresh in Dubai, UAE. Here is his story…
In September 2016, I decided to pack my bags and move across the world from Los Angeles to Dubai. While a 16-hour flight to a new destination 8,500 miles from home was hard to grasp in the beginning, I am now pursuing my passion of working in the hospitality industry in one of its most active and exciting markets. Prior to making the move, I went to visit The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) and I was thrilled because it was exactly what I was looking for, a University that strictly focuses on hospitality management whilst also providing students practical experience along with the theory aspect. The practical approach is crucial, as it allows me to get a taste for and gain personal experience on what the real world is like.
From a young age, my family and I would travel and we stayed in some luxurious hotels. I was always fascinated by the atmosphere, the hustle and bustle, everything that hotels offer. I would even disappear from my family and go on my own to explore the properties, which reminds me of when I got lost in Hawaii at the Hyatt Waikiki at the age of 10. The hospitality industry for me is one of the most exciting out there, because every day you are exposed to something new.
Prior to moving to Dubai, I was travelling around the world whilst managing my own hospitality and tourism blog, TravelsByJC.com. I was working closely with hotels and tourism boards highlighting their latest innovations. I travelled to destinations like Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Thailand, Japan, Turkey and throughout Europe. Travelling the world opened my eyes to different cultures and how the hospitality industry operates in different destinations. I was also heavily involved in the fitness industry. I created my own fitness DVD, and contributed to more than 300 magazine features.
My ultimate career choice post-study is something that I think about daily. I have always loved being an entrepreneur and creating more rewarding businesses that will make an impact on people’s lives. However, the hospitality industry has given me the urge to eventually become a general manager of a top property.
EAHM also provides presentations from industry professionals which are particularly interesting. They run a yearly career fair which I found to be extremely helpful as it led me to find my ideal internship, with DMG Events Middle East, Asia and Africa as part of the Public Relations (PR) team for their hospitality portfolio. I will now be working to support the teams behind The Hotel Show, The Leisure Show and the Middle East Hospitality Awards, which shows me a different side of the industry, and is a great chance to meet some of its biggest names and learn all about the latest trends.
Working with DMG Events was something that really stood out to me. Being one of the biggest events companies in the Middle East, it is exciting because it’s something new that I haven’t done before. Being a PR Intern has lead me to create exciting stories and get more involved with hotels across the globe to get to know more of what makes them unique and what future plans they have coming, including for The Hotel Show’s Talk About Hospitality blog. The team at dmg events has been great and welcoming since day one and I am excited to be a part of The Hotel Show Dubai which will see thousands of industry peers coming together.
One of the special things about studying at EAHM is the relationship you are able to build with the professors. I don’t see them just as my professors, I see them as my supporters and advisors. The open-door policy is something that the academy stands strong behind and for that I am grateful because the backing I have received from the faculty members has been outstanding since day one.
EAHM also provides fantastic accommodation within the university with direct views of the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Jumeirah’s newest property, Al Naseem. Living on campus fascinates me because having those prestigious hotels around me gives me the daily boost to work hard towards my goals. The accommodation is also close to where my classes are and it provides comfortable amenities like a pool, restaurant, fitness centre and a mini market. The surrounding area is calm and easily accessible to Dubai’s hot spots and recreational areas like Jumeirah Beach, Wild Wadi, Kite Beach and Souk Madinat.
One of the highlights throughout my time in the academy has been the kitchen and service classes. I had three of the best mentors in the industry, Chef Michael Kitts, Chef Helen Morris and Maximilian Rauch. I learned how to cook some great dishes, starting by cutting veggies on week one and ending week 10 by cooking six main courses and creating my own concept, inspired by Italian cuisine. I created special dishes along with the help of Chef Kitts who mentored me throughout the process. On the service side, Max challenged me with a variety of duties, one of them was serving a private fine dining dinner full of executive chefs from all over Dubai where I was working alongside celebrity Chef Paul Gayler. These are memories and experiences that I will never forget and they couldn’t be done anywhere else than at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.
It comes as no surprise to industry insiders in the region that The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management was named among the best in the world.
ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Hotel News Middle East caught up with the institute’s director of culinary arts, Michael Kitts to find out his take on the news.
“It’s been a great journey for all the team and it is really paying off now,” he says.
“Our name is getting out there more and more. We are making some serious inroads in terms of getting the information about what we do out there.”
Kitts says one of the advantages that The Emirates Academy has over other similar universities is the application of practical elements.
“A lot of them don’t do quite as much as we do. It really gives us that hands on approach, especially for students in the first year to get a grasp of the mechanics,” he says.
“We are also living in a country that is an Aladdin’s cave in terms of hospitality. It’s fortunate here that you don’t have to go too far afield. We are very lucky because of what’s going on right here.”