E. Pigem: “Enjoy every moment of your studies and learn from your experiences”

E. Pigem: “Enjoy every moment of your studies and learn from your experiences”


eva-pigem-1We spoke to HTSI alumnus Eva Pigem. She has broad international experience in managing luxury hotels, but the pandemic brought her home to Barcelona. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism (2014) and is currently benefitting from IMPETU, a program for women from the tourism sector who are unemployed because of the pandemic. This is her story.

Right now, you’re benefitting from the IMPETU project (Impact of the Pandemic on Tourism in Spain: Implications in the Employment of Women in a Female Sector). What is it? 

It’s an 8-hour, online training program to empower us and help us find new opportunities. It also includes a mentorship with over 50 professionals who are specialized in different sectors; they help us develop new skills so we can jump back into the job market. The project is designed to help 50 unemployed young women.

Who’s behind it? 

Helsinki España: an organization founded in 1992 to fight for education in human rights.

How will it affect the lives of women in the tourism sector?

The goal of the project is to reduce female unemployment in the sector. The pandemic has left its mark: it may affect up to 21% of graduates. This allows us to start over.

We’ll have to speak again once I finish, but I think this is an opportunity to look ahead, improve our skills and abilities while looking for employment, and create a connection between mentors and participants on a human scale.

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The Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism achieves more than 90% job insertion



93% of 2016 graduates of the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management are currently employed. This is according to “Job insertion of 2020 graduates”, a survey conducted by the AQU—the agency in charge of monitoring the quality of Catalonia’s university system. 

The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (URL) also obtained a 7.1–a higher score than all other universities—in the quality of employment index, or IQO. This index measures how appropriate jobs are to what students studied.

The IQO uses four indicators: contract, job satisfaction, retribution and adequacy. The higher the index, the better the job quality; this means that the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism is the has the highest adequacy of all bachelor’s programs in tourism offered in Catalonia.

Nearly 83% of alumni from the class of 2016 found their first job less than 3 months after graduating. 92.9% work full time, while 73.1% earn more than €2,000 a month. As a result, HTSI is once again the tourism school with the highest average salary.

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Albert Orellana, director of Revenue Management at Iberostar Mexico: “Studying at HTSI makes you stand out as a professional”



We spoke with Albert Orellana, HTSI alumnus and director of Revenue Management at Iberostar Mexico, about the School’s studies programs.

Tell us about your career. How did you come to be the head of Revenue Management for Iberostar in Mexico? Where did you start?

I started working at reception for a hotel in the NH Hotel Group. I spent over three years with them. Next, I moved to Belgium to serve as the front office agent at Brussels Marriott International.

…And then you decided to come back to Barcelona.

Yes. First I was promoted to reception supervisor, and then I switched to Revenue Management. Next, I transferred to another Marriot hotel: Dénia Marriott La Sella Golf Resort & Spa.


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Anna Bellmàs, European tourism expert and HTSI alumnus: “The current situation has its days numbered. The tourism sector will bloom once again”



We interviewed Anna Bellmàs, a marketing project manager for the European Travel Commission, and discussed the international promotion of Europe as a destination.

Bellmàs holds a Bachelor’s in Tourism and Hospitality Management from HTSI. Her professional career has been defined by excellence (she received multiple scholarships) as well as international experience.

We also discussed tourism in Europe after COVID-19 and the measures being taken to address the pandemic and reactivate the sector.

What is the European Travel Commission (ETC)?

It’s an international non-profit that works to promote Europe as a sustainable tourism destination in the main long-distance markets. We focus particularly on China, the United States, Canada and Brazil, but also on Japan, Australia, and others.

The ETC currently has 33 members; they represent the national tourism organizations of 33 European countries. The ETC provides them with a wide range of market intelligence services and works to promote an exchange of best practice.

My main role in the organization is to manage projects and marketing campaigns promoting experiences involving nature, rural tourism and slow adventures in Europe.

You’ve received several scholarships. Tell us about your professional career!

I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management from HTSI in 2015. Soon afterwards, I started working at the central offices of the Catalan Tourist Board. I worked in the operational marketing department, where I found my passion for tourism promotion.

Later on, I was selected by the Spanish Tourism Institute to receive one of their scholarships to promote Spain as a destination abroad. It included a master’s degree in international tourism promotion in Madrid and a one-year internship at their tourism office in Buenos Aires.

After a year in Argentina, I decided to come back to Europe. I was chosen to work in the Catalan Tourism Office in Benelux, so I wound up in Brussels. After two years promoting Catalonia, I started my current job at the European Travel Commission. That’s where I started promoting Europe as a destination internationally.

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The experience of working at a luxury hotel in the Middle East, with alumnus Andrea Reder


andrea-reder-1Andrea Reder, an HTSI alumnus and lifestyle manager at Armani Hotel Milano (Italy), talked to us about her eminently international professional experience after getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality (2013), and the importance of internships. 


Your professional career has been really international. Where and when did it start?

As soon as I graduated, I wanted to go abroad to get experience and see tourism markets beyond my home city. That’s why I accepted the first job I was offered in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates): the grand opening of the St. Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche. I started as a receptionist/guest relations professional and was promoted to supervisor soon after.

Tell us about changing hotel chains. Why did you accept a lower position? 

After a few years, the first Four Seasons opened its doors in Dubai (UAE): the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. I was really interested in joining Four Seasons, so I went to work with them even though it meant becoming a receptionist again. Just two years later, I was promoted to supervisor.

Sometimes you have to take one step back –like accepting a lower position– to take two steps forwards—like soon being promoted by a chain I’ve always wanted to work with.

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The experiences of Odile Vila, a successful entrepreneur and HTSI alumnus


odile-vilaWe spoke with Odile Vila, CEO and founder of Leitmotiv Weddings (The Wedding Planner & Designer). Vila is an award-winner entrepreneur and an HTSI alumnus. She gave us a first-hand account of her achievements and her path to success.

After graduating in Tourism and Hospitality Management, at just 23 years old you founded a company that organizes and decorates weddings and other events: Leitmotiv Weddings. After all these years, what’s the experience been like?

After all this time and after having organized over 80 weddings, my team and I are proud to have won the 2018 Gold Medal of Merit in Labour given by the Asociación Europea de Economía y Competitividad, and the Gold Star given by the Instituto para la Excelencia Profesional. These awards have helped to make us role models in the sector, both nationally and internationally.

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Success stories from HTSI alumni



Hearing from former students can help us understand what HTSI students experience during their time at the university. Plus, it gives us a look at the range of job offers in tourism HTSI’s Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management has to offer.

Our alumni work in a wide range of sectors: hotels, tourism management, events, tourism marketing, technology as applied to tourism, human resources…

Hear the success stories of former students of the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management, or the master’s degrees of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (URL) with the following interviews:


  • TERESA ROIG,  Account Manager at The Hotels Network

“I studied Tourism because it’s a successful sector that’s key to the economy”

“After a family trip to the UAE I got the idea of doing the 4th-year internship of my bachelor’s program in Dubai. I managed to get a finance internship at the Ritz-Carlton Dubai DIFC. That was definitely one of my best life experiences!”

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HTSI alumnus Damià Rodríguez: “With HTSI’s partners, you find great internships in the sector”



Damià Rodríguez obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management (2016) and his Master’s in Events Management (2017) at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi. He currently works as an international account executive at Fira de Barcelona. Rodríguez told us all about his professional career.


What does an international account executive at Fira de Barcelona do? 

I work in the international department with the Cuba Project, organizing trade fairs and professional fairs in Cuba. First I look for international companies interested in the Cuban market, and then I organize fairs in the country.

With this job, I get to travel frequently and discover big businesses, new countries and different cultures. I’ve been doing this job for three years now.

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Alumnus Guille García: “HTSI gives you access to the professional world”



Guille García is a senior software product manager at ReviewPro. This leading app company combines online reputation and satisfaction surveys to use guest intelligence to improve guests’ experiences. Plus, García is an alumnus of HTSI, where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management. In this interview, he tells us about his professional history. 

How did you come to be a senior manager at ReviewPro (Shiji Brand Group)?

I got my Bachelor’s in Tourism and Hospitality Management 6 years ago, and I’ve been working at ReviewPro ever since. I started with a six-month internship as a junior account manager for the British market, and I wound up with an open-ended contract. After two years, thanks to my knowledge of the sector and use of the application, ReviewPro gave me a chance to change departments; I started working in Products.

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Alumnus Cristina Albarrán: “thanks to HTSI, I started my professional career before I even finished my studies”


cristina-albarranCristina Albarrán, HTSI alumnus and director of Public Relations and Experiences at hotel The Datai in Langkawi (Malasia), tells us about her life and work experience since she graduated in Tourism and Hospitality Management in 2015. She also discusses new projects as a result of the global pandemic.


What are you up to now? How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

At the start of the year I moved to Langkawi, on the island of Kedah in Malaysia. There, I got a job at the island’s most emblematic hotel, The Datai, as director of Public Relations and Experiences. As a result of the current circumstances the hotel had to close down for months, and right now there’s practically no work.


What do you do with your time? 

I started a personal project on Langkawi, where I use Instagram to share stories about the marvellous people I’ve met during these months of confinement. With the account @behindtheirmask we want to give visibility not only to Langkawi, but also to the lives of the people we meet in our travels. After having travelled so much, I’ve realized that the most amazing part of the journey is the people you meet.


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