Ecole hôtelière de LausanneBy Asian Correspondent Feb 14, 2013 3:50PM UTC
Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) may be the world’s oldest hotel school, with more than a century’s worth of tradition behind it, but it continues to set cutting-edge industry precedent. As such, graduates from EHL are primed for high-powered careers in the quickly evolving hospitality and tourism industry.
Given its legacy and prestige, this hotel school can afford to be selective. Successful applicants to EHL’s programmes join an elite, hand-picked student body of roughly 1,800, representing more than 80 nationalities, and their career opportunities are more diverse than ever before. General Director Michel Rochat cites the increasingly important role hospitality plays as “an essential function in every industry”. In his words, recruiters are eager to work with EHL graduates “because they combine financial savvy, strong customer focus and expertise in guest relations.”
Two-year hotel management diplomas, four-year undergraduate degrees and postgraduate offerings in hospitality administration are all on the table at EHL. The Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management programme follows a course of progression similar to that encountered in hotel hierarchy, ultimately seeing graduates off to senior management positions and international business careers. Meanwhile, the 12-month Executive MBA in Hospitality Administration prepares students with existing professional experience for niche markets and special opportunities.
Students are paired with mentors who help them further develop the fundamentals learned in class. This is further enhanced with hands-on training and internships, adding real-world experience to first-rate credentials. Recent graduate Clara Bellellis had this to say about her out-of-the-classroom experience while earning a Diploma in Hotel Management at EHL:
My final internship was an extremely enriching experience. I started as an assistant on a cruise line in South East Asia. At the end of my internship I was hired as a manager. I felt well prepared and was confident accepting the post because of what I learned at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.
Students also benefit from EHL’s strong industry links. Projects undertaken at the hotel school are sometimes applied to real-industry situations, which means students may have already tackled pressing industry concerns by the time they graduate. Consider the following example cited by recent graduate, Selima Benchenaa:
I loved our Student Business Project, which was a mandate from a major hotel chain to evaluate their management training programme. Corporate headquarters was so interested in our proposals that they assigned a large sum in their operational budget to put our ideas into practice! There have been other benefits, too – I accepted a position in their accelerated management training course!