We 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.
Congratulations on the awards! The next question is a must: where does your passion for organizing weddings and other events come from?
While I was studying for my bachelor’s in tourism at HTSI, I got to intern in different European destinations like Barcelona, Brussels and the Canary Islands. I helped organize weddings and other events at luxury hotels from the world’s best hotel chains: Ritz-Carlton, Hilton Hotels, Accor… I also did an internship with wedding planners, and I started working at an events venue in Tenerife.
What made you decide to study tourism?
Unlike most of my classmates, I knew tourism was my calling years before I started studying. I’ve always been eager to learn and enrich myself with other cultures. Even though I didn’t know what branch of tourism I wanted to focus on when I started, I was interested in tourism in general.
What stands out to you about the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi?
It’s the best place to study tourism in Barcelona. You get a really personalized education, since it’s not a particularly big school. Plus, you get the chance to do great internships nationally and internationally throughout your time there. That really helps you to learn and to grow during the four years of the program.
What would you tell current students?
That they should take advantage of their time in the bachelor’s program to do as many internships as they can. That way, they can grow on both a personal and a professional level and discover their passion, what they want to dedicate themselves to in the future. Plus, they’ll have plenty of experience by the time they graduate.
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