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Old-school hotel glamour sparks lifelong hospitality passion

Seeing the old-school glamour of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai as a teenager inspired Ketaki Warudi to pursue a management career in luxury hotels. Graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Adelaide in 2015 with a Master of International Hospitality Management, today Ketaki works as Front Office Manager for InterContinental Adelaide.

As one of the oldest hotels in India, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel ignited Ketaki’s passion for hospitality management, leading her to undertake an internship at the luxury hotel in the early days of her career.

With her sights firmly set on front office management in five-star hotels, Ketaki’s first role in India was at Grand Hyatt in Mumbai, followed by an incredible opportunity as a Supervisor with the pre-opening team at luxury hotel Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. Living in the staff accommodation (40 minutes from the resort), Ketaki had her own studio apartment, and enjoyed the hectic pace of managing up to 750 departures each day over 15 reception desks.

After moving to Abu Dhabi to work in the pre-opening team for Aloft, Ketaki returned to India to get married. Having already spent seven years building her career, Ketaki decided it was time to take her management career to the next level and fulfil her lifelong dream of studying at Le Cordon Bleu. The many hoteliers she had worked with in the past had highly recommended Le Cordon Bleu, and after researching different options Ketaki ultimately chose to study her postgraduate hospitality degree at Le Cordon Bleu for its excellent reputation, and the benefit to her long-term career.

She started planning a move to Australia, and chose Adelaide as her study destination where she completed a Master of International Hospitality Management at Le Cordon Bleu. Ketaki is proud of her decision to study in Australia, saying: 

It was a huge challenge to leave behind everything I knew about the hospitality industry in India to start again in Australia, but I’m so proud of doing it, because now I can work anywhere in the world as I have a much broader understanding of the industry.”

Meeting and interacting with other students during the master’s degree was a highlight for Ketaki, who says: “In the master’s degree we got to share our experiences and learn from other students which was so enriching. The lecturers had so much hospitality experience, and went well beyond the text books, sharing real industry experiences.”

During her Le Cordon Bleu Master’s degree Ketaki thoroughly enjoyed her Work Integrated Learning (WIL) industry placement at Mayfair Hotel as Assistant Front Office Manager, and wrote her research assignment on front office operations, SOPs and team behaviour.

Having lived in Adelaide now for five years, Ketaki says more international students should consider South Australia when choosing a study destination. “Adelaide is a very under-rated city, it has some of the most beautiful beaches, everything is so close. It is better to start in a smaller city like Adelaide because it gives you a chance to get used to the people and the culture. It is also safe here and the cost of living is cheaper than many other cities.”

Ketaki’s future looks bright, she is well on the way to achieving her next role of Rooms Division Manager within the next few years, while cherishing a long-term goal of being General Manager or Operations Manager in a luxury hotel.

If you are an international student, keep an open mind as you might have to start your career from the beginning, but you will learn a lot. Australia has so much to offer, the people are very friendly, you will enjoy endless opportunities and experiences in Adelaide.
CRICOS 02380M / RTO 4959