“I really enjoy the multicultural environment.”
Xavier, a native of Alsace, joined LSG Sky Chefs while still working as an intern and is now Head of Sales & Business Development Train Services. He has a master’s degree in international organization management from The Strasbourg Graduate School of Management (EMS).
How did you begin working for LSG Sky Chefs?
As part of my studies, I had to do an internship and get experience working abroad. I knew about LSG Sky Chefs already and it was top of my list I started in 2006, working as an intern for the inflight management solutions department at LSG Sky Chef’s headquarters in Neu-Isenburg. It was a great way to start and I learned a lot about how the operation works for supplying Lufthansa’s first and business classes. After a year abroad in the UK, I was taken on full-time and moved to Paris, working on inflight management for a French charter airline. After three years in France, I moved back to Neu-Isenburg, where I started working in the train business.
Can you describe your job?
I run project management for new tenders for European train operators. First, I determine the exact customer requirements then I define and allocate tasks to the tender team and manage the project until it is submitted. If we win the contract, I oversee the project handover to the local team to start up the new business. I work closely with our product-marketing department – that’s given me invaluable experience in defining holistic on-board service concepts.
What’s been your greatest challenge at LSG Sky Chefs so far?
In 2011, we won our first ever train tender for a service between France and Italy – that was something of a milestone for the company. We had to start the business up from scratch – hiring people and developing concepts, all within a very restricted time. That was tough, but my biggest career highlight so far – I really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot about the company, my colleagues and myself.
Another challenge has been working with different cultures. We always have a wide range of international projects running, so I need to try and understand the way our customers think – that means getting a feel for their culture and the way their companies operate. It can certainly be challenging, but it’s fun too.
What do you like about working for LSG Sky Chefs?
My job’s very diverse with so many different projects that come with their own challenges, so the work never becomes routine, which is important to me. I also really enjoy the multicultural environment and have the occasion to meet lots of different people. These are the reasons why I came to LSG Sky Chefs in the first place!