(The Free Press Journal publishes articles by study abroad consultants, Consulates, foreign universities, international students, and much more every Saturday to give its readers a glimpse of the world of overseas education.)
Born and brought up in India, I have seen that hospitality management is not given much importance. To date, my relatives believe that I'm doing a culinary course or that I'll be working as a waiter in a restaurant after graduating. Hospitality is so much more than that; let me try and paint a picture for you with my experience.
First and Second year opens students to a world of opportunities
In February 2019, I started my 4-year Bachelor's in International Hospitality Management at EHL Hospitality Business School in Switzerland. The first year, split into 2 semesters, focuses on the operational aspect of hospitality – be it in events, hotels, fine dining, quick-service restaurants, or the bar. This year is crucial as it builds a foundation of knowledge and skill set that you'll need in order to succeed in any role and, especially since about 50% of graduates continue out of the hospitality industry stricto senses – in luxury, finance, and real estate.
In the second semester, we are required to complete an internship in operations, mine was a cross-training role in luxury serviced apartments in Geneva. Having a look into the real working world of hospitality has allowed me not only to discover a passion for coordination and organisation but also to realise what parts of the industry didn’t interest me.
In the second year of the Bachelor’s degree, management classes make their entry - from marketing and accounting to CSR and leadership classes – all with a human-centric approach that stays true to the DNA of hospitality. Throughout the curriculum, I gained knowledge I could use in real life including as a student assistant at my university and on various student committees.
Creating content, internships, Hospitality’s horizon endless
For example, I organised an event on campus for over 1,000 students called 'Fête Universelle' - celebrating 127 nationalities. I created content for social media channels, and planned gatherings for the Indian community on campus.
In the second semester of the third year, we are required to complete a second internship – but this time in the administration field. I found mine in London where I worked in business development and events coordination. There, I was able to create a vast professional network as well as enhance my research and communication skills.
As time passes, I realise that everything I had learned inside and outside the class all came together and made perfect sense. Next semester - the final one - we will work as consultants on a project related to brand awareness or product development for a real client. The horizon of where you can work after this course is endless. You cannot practise medicine but you can well be the head of communication of a hospital, you cannot be an engineer at Google but can handle their whole marketing department or even organise their corporate events.
I have seen the side of hospitality that most people don't realise exists, only then you can fathom the extent of opportunities it provides.
The author is a final year student, Bachelor in International Hospitality Management, EHL Hospitality Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(FPJ's My Space column gives a platform to Indian and international students abroad to relay their experience which can prove to be helpful to many other students. Stay tuned for more!)
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