FCSI associate Segolene Sansom of Hospitality Management Australia talks to Michael Jones about the value of her internship with FCSI EF and future career
When I was younger I loved singing, dancing and being on stage and I thought I was definitely going to be either a pop star or a musical actress. I still love doing those things, just maybe without the big dream attached.
I studied at the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon because I loved cooking and wanted to learn from the best. But I quickly found that my forte was not in the kitchen itself, but everything around it. One of the reasons I wanted to become a consultant was that I wanted to help the industry become more sustainable.
I haven’t been an FCSI member very long, but the most important part of FCSI for me is its Educational Foundation. Its most important work is making sure new consultants are trained and ready to go into the market.
Some of the biggest challenges for the foodservice sector are sustainable outcomes for all parties. Employees are still not paid what they are worth. And finding quality employees is getting harder. The biggest challenge for consultants is the value for money to time spent ratio. For it to be financially viable for consultants, with a quality outcome for clients, they need to have a charge-out rate that many businesses cannot afford. So it’s critical for consultants to develop systems that will allow fast-tracking of certain tasks, without losing the quality.
The biggest eye-opener has been the skills you must have as a consultant to satisfy client needs. Did you know there was a science to queuing? I didn’t.
I am very lucky to be working in Hospitality Management Australia, where each member of the team is teaching me so much, especially Stephen Kelly FCSI and Lew Gemell FCSI. However, I wouldn’t be here without Institut Paul Bocuse.
Learn as much as you can and be a sponge, is my advice to young consultants. Use your youth and tech-savvy mind to help improve what exists, but do not discount processes because of their age.
I’d like to keep my options open in management advisory services (MAS) but if I had to choose a speciality, it would probably be the improvement of processes.
I am one of those people who is happy if I can learn something new every day. Foodservice provides that with its breadth of operations. I get to use all the skills at my disposal, from pure analytical to creative and everything in between.
I am lucky that I get my weekends free. I spend time with my husband, read fantasy and teach myself different crafts via YouTube (crochet at the moment). I make my own ice cream, pasta and yoghurt, because after all, I still love food.