AlumniArabella Morgan: Finding the courage to go out on my own

Turning 30 in just a couple of months, Arabella Morgan is entering a VERY exciting time in her life!

She is following her life-long dream, packing up her suitcases and setting up her own Events Company in Brighton, England. Arabella has found the courage to go out on her own through the skills she learned from her hospitality education, working for the Swiss Education Group and from being a single mom to her 5 year old son. An impressive young lady, full of ideas and energy, she is not afraid to go after what she wants no matter what obstacle jumps in her way!

"I am definitely someone with a head full of ideas that seem to never end. My whole life I have been writing my ideas down and keeping notes. Recently I started re-reading the letters I wrote to myself over the years and have found that the scattered thoughts are now coming together like a puzzle. It is really amazing how life has unfolded in such a unsuspecting and natural way!"

What is the business you will be starting?
Together with my business partner, I will be launching a niche events company in the near future (name to be announced!). Catering to an exclusive clientele, we’ll be organizing events from lively children’s’ parties, elegant dinner parties to tailor-made cocktail parties and bar mitzvahs featuring surprise pop up locations, live music and obviously scrumptious food!

Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I was born in England and grew up in France. I returned to England after secondary school to attend university but found that the programme wasn’t for me and left to move to Iceland to find a new adventure. While navigating my way through learning the Icelandic language, I studied to become a certified reflexologist, was working as a cook in a Kindergarten and was managing a team at the most well-known live music venue in Reykjavík.

It was during this period that my life completely flipped upside down and I became a Mom for the first time. Becoming a Mom was a completely life-changing experience! I was young, didn’t have a university education and now had a little one depending on me. I decided to return to school and enrolled in the Hospitality & Culinary School of Iceland. After the first year through an academic partnership, I transferred to César Ritz Colleges Switzerland.

What was it like being a single mom and studying full-time in Switzerland?
My time spent at César Ritz Colleges Brig was definitely one of the most important parts of my life. Arriving in Switzerland without a support network, I found family in the César Ritz Colleges staff who helped me through what was possibly the most tricky part of my life balancing the challenges of being a newly single mom with my studies.

How has your education helped support your dreams?
I have always wanted to start my own business and knew that food would play a big part in it. Even though I worked in the Food & Beverage industry for 6 years I didn’t have the business background needed to start something of my own. The Bachelor of International Business in Hospitality and Tourism Management degree at César Ritz Colleges suited my ambitions and gave me the practical skills I was missing.

Was there a moment in your education that you can attribute to where you are today as an entrepreneur?
Absolutely! It was winning 1st place at the International Business Competition with my team at Washington State University – an opportunity provided through César Ritz Colleges. I remember clearly the flight over never once imagining that 1st place was in our reach. It was an incredible experience to have experts from international corporations validating our work and sharing with us their ideas. This was huge for me! This was definitely the big stand out moment for me where I felt that I had the competences and confidence to start my own company.

Additionally, it was through the business plan competition that I was in direct contact with the Chief Operations Officer and Executive Director of Operations of the Swiss Education Group. When I graduated, I turned to them and pitched a new position with the company based on projects that I wanted to work on. Together we negotiated a very interesting role that has helped me grow professionally and prepare me for this next phase of my career.

As a start-up company, how will you use your networks to grow your business?
I think one of my key strengths is my ability to connect and collaborate with talent across the industry. I always look to try and bring out the best in others and as an entrepreneur I place great value in the networks I have cultivated through my professional experiences, travels and education.

I have already been talking to fresh Culinary Arts Academy graduates who will provide catering services for my company and I will without question turn to fellow César Ritz Colleges alumni when we are ready to start hiring. I trust their training and education and know that with a César Ritz Colleges graduate I can count on them to have clear industry experience, cross-cultural awareness and skills in multiple languages.

Based on your experiences, what important advice will you pass onto your son?
I don’t want him to hide from what he thinks he’s not good at or the mistakes that he makes. I want him to know that every experience positive or negative is an opportunity to learn, build and grow.

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