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Implemented by Mental'O at the EHL Hospitality Business School, the profiling assessment guides the career choices of students and professionals in the hospitality industry.


Implemented by Mental'O at the EHL Hospitality Business School, the profiling assessment guides the career choices of students and professionals in the hospitality industry.

Category: Europe - Switzerland - Careers - Recruitment / Job / Training - Interviews
Interview made by Vanessa Guerrier-Buisine on 2024-02-14

EHL Hospitality Business School

Photo credit © © 2024 EHL, All rights reserved

Choosing the right direction, the right specialisation and the right career path can sometimes be an uphill battle, even when you've entered a prestigious school. To help its students on the Bachelor in International Hospitality Management programme make the right choices and maximise their chances of success and fulfilment, EHL Hospitality Business School has incorporated the Mental'O profiling assessment into its system of support throughout the schooling process, right through to post-graduation follow-up.

This assessment compiles a series of tests, personalised by its creator, Armelle Riou, and offers a holistic vision of each student's profile. Revealing the preferences, personality, and potential of each individual, this assessment quickly becomes a tool that will accompany students, and then professionals, throughout their career. It is also a time-saving, transparent decision-making tool, used upstream of the recruitment process and at every stage of a professional career.

In a joint interview with Journal des Palaces, Armelle Riou, founder of Mental'O, and Émilie Jorge-Costa, Career Centre Manager at EHL Hospitality Business School, explain the innovative nature and benefits of the profiling assessment.

Journal des Palaces: What is the Mental'O profiling assessment?

Armelle Riou: Our aim is to bring out people's individuality in order to develop their potential. As a specialist in educational and career guidance, Mental'O developed its profiling assessment at the request of human resources professionals. In a minimum of time, it provides a complete overview of the individual, highlighting different aspects of personality, so you can make informed decisions about your academic and professional future.

It's a powerful, contemporary tool that appeals to the younger generation. As a result, career coaches, managers, and recruiters have a wealth of relevant material with which to conduct in-depth interviews and advise Singulae. At Mental'O, the person profiled is not a 'candidate' or an 'employee', still less a 'statistical observation', but a Singula, a unique human being revealed in all his or her singularity.

Our profiling assessment combines four tests in one to reveal singularities.
Cognitive functioning, motivations, professional interests, personality: the profiling assessment offers a global, exhaustive and objective vision of the individual. More than an orientation or recruitment test, it offers Singula a positive and precise view of his or her strengths, as well as the framework necessary for personal fulfilment.

What tests are included in this profiling assessment?

Armelle Riou: The profiling assessment includes four tests in one. Unlike many tests that are still in use, the Mental'O tests have been designed recently, after careful calibration with different audiences. They are regularly updated, particularly when the English versions are produced. Because the profiling assessment is offered in two languages - French and English - this is an advantage for the multicultural graduating classes at EHL as well as for the start-ups that use our tool.
In detail, here are the four Mental'O profiling tests:

- Multiple intelligences (or cognitive functioning), based on the work of Howard Gardner: this test enables the dominant intelligences in the student/applicant profile to be visualised and cross-referenced with the type of position targeted.
- A motivations test, which helps to identify an individual's priorities in terms of their working environment, and therefore to understand the types of company in which they would thrive.
- An vocational preference inventory,based on John Holland's model, well known under the name RIASEC (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional), this part clearly highlights what an individual likes to do in their professional activity, what they are passionate about. A must for putting the right person in the right place.
- A personality test based on the Big 5 model, the five traits that define a person's character.

Why have you adopted this profiling assessment for your students?

Émilie Jorge-Costa: The profiling assessment was introduced to facilitate academic and career guidance by helping students to better understand their strengths, weaknesses, interests and aspirations, so that they can make informed choices about their future path. It offers value for money by concentrating efforts where they are most needed.

The process combines four assessments in one, encompassing personality, multiple intelligences, motivations and career interests, to help students better understand themselves and define their aspirations at the end of their Bachelor's degree. The emphasis is on a personalised presentation, with the results presented in a one-to-one meeting with a Career Business Partner.

Why is your assessment interesting for a school like EHL?

Armelle Riou: At Mental'O, we are convinced that the key to success and motivation starts with a good understanding of oneself. Some students, even some of the brightest, lack self-confidence and are very hesitant when it comes to choosing an option during their course, an internship or their first job.

At EHL, the Business Career Partners who have been trained in the Mental'O Profiling Assessment can use these results to provide advice and guidance in terms of professions, functions, types of industry, corporate culture and, more generally, the career choices of EHL students.
In this way, students can take a step back in terms of how they function, their skills and their needs, and embark on a more mature approach to life than many of their fellow students.

At what stage(s) and how is this assessment used at EHL?

Émilie Jorge-Costa: The profiling assessment is integrated into several stages of the student's career path in order to optimise its effectiveness. At each stage, students benefit from personalised follow-up with a professional career guidance partner, who supports them in their reflections on their career path.

Initial orientation: from the start of the Bachelor's programme, the EHL profiling assessment guides students in understanding their preferences, skills, and motivations. EHL offers an integrated approach that goes beyond the academic aspect. Students have the opportunity to join one of our 30 student associations (business, art, sports, etc.) which function as mini-companies and play an active role in human resources, finance or marketing, interact with professionals, and have access to an Innovation Hub. These opportunities allow students to get to know each other better, develop skills related to their career plans and enrich their experience beyond the academic curriculum.

Academic planning: as the course progresses, the profiling assessment is revisited to guide academic planning. The results of the assessment help students to choose courses and projects that are aligned with their interests and career aspirations, thereby encouraging greater commitment.

Internships and work experience: when looking for internships and work experience opportunities, the profiling assessment is consulted to better target the areas of activity that match the student's skills and interests. This contributes to more enriching experiences that are aligned with their career goals.

Preparing for working life: As students approach the end of their Bachelor's degree, the profiling assessment is used in the process of preparing for working life. It helps students to refine their career plans, develop job search strategies and position themselves competitively in the job market.

Post-graduation follow-up: even after graduation, the profiling assessment can be used in post-graduation follow-up to help former students develop their careers. It serves as a basis for personalised career advice and professional development opportunities.

How can students use the results of these tests on a personal level?

Armelle Riou: How many adults have had to go through a series of uncomfortable experiences or failures before understanding how they function and finding their place? A Singula can use the results of his profiling assessment to make informed decisions about his life choices, to know how to position himself in a group, to choose his future partners. For example, to integrate into a structure that will appreciate his qualities and develop his potential.

This vision, which goes far beyond school or academic results, enables very personal choices to be made. It frees students from preconceived ideas about their course and their career, so they don't have to conform to a mould that doesn't suit them.
This is a sign of maturity and confidence, which are also positive points for their future employers.

Émilie Jorge-Costa: Students gain a better perception of themselves, identifying areas for improvement and those in which they excel. Motivated by these insights, they can direct their efforts to further research in their career path. Given the diversity and constant evolution of the professional environment, it is crucial for students to understand their aspirations and develop themselves to improve their employability.

Depending on the various dimensions of personal skills addressed in the outcomes review, students could also be encouraged to take part in individual coaching and personal development sessions. This is designed to encourage the growth and improvement of certain interpersonal skills.

Test results also facilitate educational planning, enabling students to design personalised study plans. This proactive approach encourages balanced and targeted progress in their academic studies.

How can students use this assessment with companies?

Armelle Riou: As the profiling assessment was developed for companies for recruitment and management purposes, it is resolutely geared towards practical applications and action.
In very concrete terms, a creative, technical profile that is open to others could apply for a job as a community manager, a rigorous and methodical profile could work for an international hotel group, and an enterprising profile could join a start-up or consider launching a new concept.

And when it comes to career development, this self-knowledge will help you to be open to certain opportunities and to rule out others that are less relevant to your profile.
We also advise students to enhance their applications by providing the recruiter with a summary of their Profiling Assessment, in addition to their covering letter and CV. This 'enhanced CV', as we like to call it, provides HR professionals, managers, and entrepreneurs with a wealth of material for a more in-depth and interactive interview.

Émilie Jorge-Costa: Adding the Mental'O test to the application offers real added value, enabling companies to obtain an in-depth overview of the candidate's profile and checking compatibility with the position sought. This enhanced CV is a distinctive post-graduation advantage, differentiating students on the job market.

How does EHL use the results of the assessments?

Émilie Jorge-Costa: EHL actively uses the results of the assessments to proactively support each student throughout his or her academic career. Each student benefits from the personalised guidance of a Career Business Partner from the Career Centre, who, based on the student's personality and needs, guides them throughout their studies.

During assessments, if the Career Business Partner observes that the student is under-assessed, this information is passed on to the EHL coaches, who intervene to boost the student's confidence and develop his or her skills. The assessment is regularly updated and developed to reflect the evolution of the academic programme, establishing a dynamic connection between academic and non-academic aspects.

The findings of the assessments are important in guiding students' career choices, assisting them in developing their skills within EHL, and guiding them in the selection of their compulsory placements. This personalised and attentive approach guarantees the academic and personal well-being of each student, thus promoting their personal development.

Do you recommend that students undergo a similar process again once they have become professionals? What are the reasons for this?

Armelle Riou: Of the four tests in the profiling assessment, three reflect the inner workings of the individual and are unlikely to change.
Motivations, on the other hand, change depending on the individual's stage in life. For example, a young graduate may choose a large hotel group to boost his early career, and later opt for a smaller establishment where he will find more autonomy and independence.

It is therefore possible to retake this part of the test only. Because it's very important to be clear about your own motivations and priorities at any given time. This enables you to seize opportunities and make decisions for the right reasons!
Furthermore, as the profiling assessment is a management tool, we recommend that you use it in situations where projects are being launched, to build a team with complementary profiles that will function harmoniously and respect each other's personalities.

The profiling assessment includes the intelligence test

The profiling assessment includes the intelligence test
Photo credit © Mental'O

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About the author

As a journalist and luxury hotel expert inspired by the men and women who embody it, Vanessa aspires to enhance and sublimate the beauty and elegance of palaces through her writing. "In a palace, simplicity serves the quest for excellence" she admires.

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