2020 applicants
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Dimitri Lera, Lecturer at Edge Hotel School

  • Date

    Tue 4 Sep 18

Dimitri's ambition to teach and his passion for hospitality led him to take up the position of lecturer at the Edge Hotel School at the University of Essex. 

 

Having successfully submitted his Masters dissertation, Dimitri is applying for a doctorate in the Sociology department at Essex. He also takes part in charity sport events and is participating in the 70.3 Iron Man in Mallorca later this year.

Dimitri Lera is an alumnus of the Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne in Switzerland. When he was 27 he oversaw the opening of the first ever river cruise ship operating in Italy, as hotel manager. At 30 he was deputy hotel director on award-winning Silversea’s Silver Shadow cruise ship in the United States.

When did you become interested in working in hospitality?

My passion for hospitality stems from an innate curiosity for different cultures and a love for food, which originates from Italy’s rich regional culture.

My professional experiences range from restaurant manager to food and beverage manager, deputy hotel director to hotel manager. Having gained professional experiences abroad, in several European cities including the USA and Eastern Europe, I settled in London where I was managing a well-established restaurant. Our clientele included HRH Prince William, HRH Prince Harry, Prince Michael Duke of Kent, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands,Tina Turner, Sting, Mike Jagger, Tom Cruise and Antonio Carluccio.

Is a career in hospitality as exciting as it appears?

To be successful in hospitality, passion and professionalism are crucial and these should manifest in all you do.

  • You have to be passionate about people.The hospitality industry is full of interesting people. You have the opportunity to work with guests and colleagues from a wide range of cultures, coming from many different places. Hotels and restaurants welcome an incredible number of international travellers from all over the world.
  • You have to be passionate about helping others. The main objective of an hotelier is to please people, making sure they are enjoying their stay, feel at home and enjoy one of their best experiences. You want to help them dream, disconnect from their usual existence and be at their service as customers expect consistent standards during their stay.
  • You have to be passionate about getting things done.If you are practical, straightforward, systematic and like getting things done, you will be in the right place.People working in hotels, usually prefer to work a problem through by doing something, rather than talking about it, or sitting and thinking about it.
  • You have to be passionate about action. You will work in a fast-paced environment that is awake 24/7. It’s an industry that never stops, it never sleeps.It’s always moving and because of that, many more possibilities arise.
  • Finally you must enjoy the sense of urgency that unpredictable situations constantly create.

Why did you decide to move into higher education?

Managing a well-established restaurant is rather rewarding, yet demanding. After seven years I decided I needed new challenges. I have always been interested in education and I have frequently led or implemented training.

I learnt hospitality and administration services in Italy, where I finished my A-levels, and I now hold a BA (Hons) from the Edge Hotel School and have just completed my Masters dissertation.

I have published two articles so far. One is a peer reviewed contribution on the Association for Language Learning and the other is on the University’s Sociology and Sustainable Consumption blog.

Here at Essex, I can finally fulfill my passions both for the industry and helping young individuals attain their full potential in an exciting global industry.