Voices of the future: Kristina Nikishova, Les Roches. Tropical Transformations: How does working in the Maldives shape your professional journey?

The Maldives is the dream destination that is well-known for white sand beaches, blue lagoons, and unforgettable experiences. According to Hotelier Maldives, the tropical island is predicted to be the world’s leading luxury destination for investors, so there is huge potential for future hospitality leaders to gain unique work experience that helps them to grow as professionals.

Asad Riza, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Tourism, has reported that for the last four years a record number of 33 new resorts have opened in the Maldives. The fast-growing number of resorts and significantly increasing number of tourists attract hoteliers from worldwide. Working here provides a unique opportunity to be surrounded by breathtaking views, enjoy the tropical climate and explore local culture. Think what you are ready to give up to work in such a heavenly place.

It might seem like work in paradise. Not only because of the stunning destination, but also the island lifestyle, the ability to explore marine life, and meet professionals from all over the world. However, the hiring process for the Maldives is a bit different compared to other destinations.

Recruiters must ensure that new employees will be able to adapt to an island life and manage stress. The future employee needs to be ready for giving up city life and transform into a laid-back lifestyle, which might be difficult in the beginning, especially if their hotel is located far away from the capital island Malé and requires taking a seaplane. Staying on the island for a long period of time might cause ‘Island Fever’ for those living there.

Problem-solving is a must-have skill here because guest requests may vary from asking where to purchase exactly the same carpet that they have in their holiday villa to arranging a romantic proposal by seaplane. In remote areas, where most things are imported, you have to be creative on how to solve even the craziest requests. However, crystal waters and the sun compensate for the long-working hours, and help to maintain wellbeing.

In addition, the Maldives is a great place to develop cross-cultural skills. The cultural diversity of both staff and guests provides an opportunity to gain more knowledge about various nationalities. Understanding guest backgrounds is crucial in the hospitality industry and the Maldives gives hoteliers hands-on experience to quickly pick up the necessary skills and knowledge. After spending six months in a paradise, I learnt how to understand, communicate and exceed customer expectations no matter where they are from.

Furthermore, the Maldives, by virtue of its fragile ecosystem, embraces sustainability. Working on the island provides an unrivalled opportunity to contribute to the conservation of the natural environment. All resorts refer to an individual ecosystem, starting from the desalination of water and waste recycling to coral cultivation. The main goal is to minimise human footprint, preserve nature and reduce operational costs. For hospitality professionals, it is a great destination to deepen their knowledge in this area because resorts strive to implement sustainable practices.

Working in the Maldives brings a wide range of opportunities that can shape your career development from many different aspects. The hospitality industry is a key sphere for the Maldives, therefore there are many possibilities to refine your skills in management, communication, customer service, and much more. It will help to develop your critical thinking and become more creative by working in a restricted area.

Multicultural team and inspiring landscapes offer an unparalleled platform to learn from professionals and develop your own career path. If you are ready to dive into the paradise life and challenge yourself, the Maldives is a perfect place.

My name is Kristina Nikishova and I was born and raised in Russia. I am currently studying the third year of a BBA Global Hospitality Management at Les Roches, Switzerland. As part of my degree, I completed a placement in the Maldives. I believe that international experience in hospitality and world-class education has prepared me to become a future leader with unwavering passion for the hospitality.