Alexandre Font is a student in his final year of the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management. He is also currently serving as an events intern at the Manchester City Football Club, where he works alongside HTSI alumnus Anna Palà, the events manager for the team.
Font, a student of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (URL), speaks with us about his professional trajectory and his impression of Manchester: “a fantastic city; small but lively, and full of great people.”
We can’t help but ask: how did you get a chance to do your internship as an events planner for Manchester City?
Football has always been one of my biggest passions, and I knew I wanted to find an internship related to it. When I got the chance to work at Manchester City through Anna Palà, an HTSI alum, I didn’t think twice. When you get the opportunity to experience something like this, you can’t say no. Once I was put in contact with the club, I went through several HR interviews before being accepted as an intern.
What role do you think the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (URL) played in all this?
HTSI has played a huge role in this whole process thanks to alumnus Anna Palà, among other things. When you study at a school with such a great network of professional relationships, you have to take advantage of it and use your strengths to find the best possible opportunities when deciding on your international internship.
What’s your day-to-day like at work? What do you do?
Our department is in charge of all the events that take place within the club. Preparing match days takes up 90% of our time: we organize match days for the Men’s Team (at Etihad Stadium, which seats 55,000), the Women’s Team and the Sub23 Team (at Academy Stadium, which seats 7,000). Since these are such big events, we need to spend most of our time on them. During the week, we get everything ready to make sure everything runs smoothly the day of the match—then, on the weekend, we make it happen.
The team I work with is great. It’s really satisfying to see the things you spent all week working on become a reality when the weekend rolls around.
What do you like most about the experience?
I have the luxury of seeing what a football club is like on the inside. It’s really incredible seeing the sheer size of an institution like Manchester City firsthand. And witnessing how well they work and how the different departments coordinate with one another is great, too. All the success the team has had over the last few years is no coincidence.
On a professional level, I really enjoy match days. English football is really different from what we’re used to. When I work, I try to be mindful of how lucky I am to be where I am, to do what I do. I feel privileged.
What’s your least favourite part?
With such a gratifying experience, it’s hard to find any negative aspects. But if I had to choose, I’d say the weather. The week I got here, in mid-August, I didn’t see the sun for 5 days; I didn’t know what to do with myself! And since November, the sun has been going down by 3:30. In the end, you get used to it—but it isn’t easy. Being so far away from my family and friends is tough, too.
Where did you get the idea to study for the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management?
My family has always been involved in the sector, and I started to get interested in it at a really young age. When it came time to choose, I was torn between Business Administration and Tourism and Hospitality Management; but I knew what I wanted to specialize in from the beginning.
What brought you to study at HTSI?
When I decided on this bachelor’s program, I decided the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi was the best option. I think things like the chance to do internships or to learn from the professors we have here are what make our School a point of reference for studies in Tourism and Hospitality.
What advice do you have for 1st– and 2nd-year students of the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management?
Training and starting an internship before your 3rd year is key. Previous experience gives you a background and knowledge that is really helpful for the internships during your 3rd year. With the schedule and the possibilities HTSI offers, we get the chance to study and do an internship at the same time.
You should also be sure to take part in the Study Tours, which are really fun and enlightening.
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