In our new “internship of the month” series, we’re highlighting some of the unique opportunities our students get to explore as they move into their professional lives. Today, we’re thrilled to introduce our student Novi Kartikasari, who has just joined the European Sustainable Hospitality Club as a Business Development intern.
Let’s get to know her, and find out more about her exciting internship opportunity – which in fact, she found through the help of one of her professors at ESEI.
Novi’s story: putting sustainability first
Novi is a few months away from completing her Master’s in Tourism and Hospitality Management at ESEI. She’s come a long way from home to chase her dreams – 12,000 kilometres, to be exact.
Novi is from Indonesia, and before moving to Barcelona to study with us, she worked in the hospitality industry there for three years. She had a thriving career and received several awards for her work in operations at various hotels. But she wanted to take things a step further. And so, she decided to study management in Europe.
While hospitality is her main focus, Novi is deeply passionate about sustainability and social responsibility. Having worked with several NGOs in Indonesia, she’s well-educated on environmental and social issues in the country. This is why, as her final thesis, she’s putting together a business plan for sustainable accommodation in Bali – meant to strengthen the resilience of local communities.
Her dream is to run a sustainable boutique hotel built on stilts; she imagines having a garden that grows fresh ingredients for the kitchen and a pond that collects rainwater to be filtered for drinking.
“I think that sustainability is not an option anymore: it’s a must,” says Novi. She feels it’s everyone’s duty – no matter what industry or sector they work in – to prioritise the good of our planet and society.
In addition to promoting a noble cause, Novi’s business plan also responds to a clear trend in global tourism. Due to the climate emergency, travellers are increasingly looking for more sustainable alternatives. According to a recent survey conducted by the online travel agency Booking.com, 73% of global travellers intend to stay at least once in eco-friendly or green accommodation. Even more, 68% would like the money they spend on travel to go back into the local community.
Now, Novi’s internship at the European Sustainable Hospitality Club is the next step in her journey to making her dreams come true.
An internship at the intersection of hospitality and sustainability
Novi first met Dan Pontarlier, the co-founder of the European Sustainable Hospitality Club, at ESEI; in fact, he was her Revenue Management teacher. When Novi reached out to him to learn more about an internship opportunity, Dan offered her the position of Business Development Assistant.
The aim of the club, Dan told us, is to “build a community of like-minded professionals in the hospitality industry who see sustainability as a core value, and are continuously working on improving their CSR [corporate social responsibility] – in order to inspire trust in their customers, and society in general.”
Dan co-founded the European Sustainable Hospitality Club with Maribel Esparcia Pérez to encourage hospitality companies to reevaluate their practices, and ultimately improve the industry’s environmental and societal impact. The company operates on a membership model and offers various perks to hotels that want to grow their sustainable practices.
“Besides creating a hub for hospitality companies to learn about new sustainability trends and technologies, we also want to reveal the many ways in which sustainable practices can positively impact businesses and increase the value of the services they offer. The end goal of our strategy is to build up the interest of European hotels in sustainability and boost investor confidence in sustainable hospitality businesses,” he says.
And once the tourism industry begins to recover from the global COVID-19 crisis, Dan believes people will care more about sustainable hospitality than ever before. The crisis has pushed people to reevaluate their lifestyles, acknowledge their faults and find new ways to live without compromising our planet for future generations. As demand for more conscious business grows, ideas like Novi’s are likely to garner a lot of attention.
Dan believes that Novi is an excellent fit for the role. She has a ton of great experience, and she’s driven in her commitment to sustainability.
For Novi, the internship is a great opportunity to learn more about responsible hospitality, CSR and the European hotel scene. Her first task was to research eco-friendly hotels in Europe that have been recognised for their success in sustainability. The goal is to map out industry leaders that aspiring sustainable hotels can look to as examples.
“I feel very privileged to be regarded as a part of the team already,” says Novi, whose photo and bio are now on the ESH Club website.
She has joined an international team which brings together people with different backgrounds to contribute to a common cause. We wish her success in her internship, as well as in her future career!
We strive to give all our students real-life experiences that help to further their careers. If you’d like to join us and kickstart your professional life, check out our Master’s courses.