What made you choose Hospitality Management?
There are different aspects that have attracted me to the hospitality industry. I have always enjoyed travelling and discovering different cultures, customs and cuisines and was fascinated by the ambience and service at grand hotels. In this industry, you work and deal with people from different backgrounds.
Also, the hospitality industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in the world, developing and evolving at a fast pace. This compels businesses to constantly innovate and re-invent themselves to stay relevant, which makes it a fascinating field to work in. Combining my hospitality expertise with a passion for education, I have the great privilege of sharing my experience and accompanying students on their way to becoming the next industry leaders.
Why would you advise students to take up hospitality as a discipline in their undergraduate or postgraduate programme?
Hospitality management education is unique because it combines both practical with theoretical learning. The traditional Swiss model of education lays the operational foundation of kitchen service and reception already on campus to prepare students for mandatory internships, where they apply and develop their skills in a real-world environment.
But hospitality management education also imparts a wide range of soft skills that graduates later apply in their leadership roles or transfer to other industries. Some of these skills develop through the unique practical aspects of hospitality management education, such as teamwork and management of others, while cross-cultural communication and understanding flourish in an international student or work environment.
How do you think Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education is serving students globally?
Across our network of campuses, we always focus on student experience and ultimately student success. Employability goes beyond course completion, but is synonymous with preparing, coaching and empowering students by giving them the tools and skills to make their own way and become the next generation of leaders in the hospitality industry. Every year, over 100 companies visit our campuses to offer internships and entry-level positions for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Through mandatory internships we aim to introduce students to the real-world hospitality environment step by step. This way, they are already familiar with the industry upon graduation and ready to take on responsibility. Internships are an essential part of the curriculum and the learning experience and crucial for students to test and develop their skills, but also their confidence, attitude and professionalism.
How is your institution coping up with the changing needs of the students as well as the industry?
Thanks to close connections with the hospitality industry, we constantly update and innovate our curriculum. For the coming semester at Les Roches starting in September 2018, we are launching a new set of specialisations for our Bachelor students to choose from Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing, Finance, available in Switzerland and Resort Management in Spain.
But, it is not only the course content that needs constant innovation to stay relevant in the dynamic hospitality industry. Also, the course delivery needs to be adapted to the preferences and behaviours of today’s students. Through a dynamic flipped-classroom approach, we allow students to acquire theoretical knowledge online and in their own time to engage in group work and discussion in the classroom.
How postgraduate diplomas, available in Switzerland and Spain with different specializations are offering the opportunity to earn an MBA degree by just one additional semester of studies?
The Les Roches Postgraduate Diploma in International Hospitality Management is an intensive one-year consisting of one academic semester and one semester-long internship providing the skills for students with no previous relevant professional experience to launch their careers in the hospitality industry. Once they complete their coursework and internships, successful graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma have the opportunity to join the MBA in Global Hospitality Management at Les Roches Switzerland and directly enter second semester.
The MBA degree develops innovative, globally aware leaders through a curriculum of strategic management theory and real-world problem solving. The core courses transfer essential skills for business management, while individual research projects and electives allow students to personalize their educational experience.
What kind of job opportunities would it produce in next few years?
With 100 million new travel and tourism jobs by 2028, as predicted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), there is a strong demand for hospitality talent. However, the sector is already facing a shortage in many regions, meaning academics and professionals will need to work closely together to address the prevalent skills gap. Academics need the inputs from industry leaders to adapt and make course content more relevant, while companies need close need to maintain close relations with schools to secure and retain the best available talent.
What is the core focus of this industry and where do you see this industry to reach in the next decade?
The hospitality industry is among the most affected by technology, innovation and digitalisation: within one decade, the distribution of rooms has moved completely online and sharing economy models have become a real alternative to traditional lodging and transportation. At the same time, the basic services of welcoming guests and providing accommodation services remain the same and technology cannot replace meaningful human interactions, but in fact make them more important than ever.