Meet Tanvi, an ambitious student hailing from the vibrant city of Mumbai, India. Tanvi's journey in hospitality education took an unexpected turn when she discovered EHL Passugg, a hidden gem nestled in the serene Swiss Alps. We asked her 12 questions about her experience at EHL Passugg. Let's delve into Tanvi's experiences and insights as she navigates through the world of hospitality at EHL Passugg.
Charting New Horizons: Tanvi's Journey to EHL Passugg
1. What motivated you to pursue a degree in Hospitality Management at EHL Passugg?
Recognising the need for a globally recognised education in this field, I looked for overseas opportunities that would offer a blend of theoretical knowledge along with practical experience, where I found EHL, ranked as the number 1 school in the world for this field.
Although EHL Passugg is part of the larger EHL group, it offered a unique proposition – a personalised education in a family-like environment. Coming from the bustling environment of an Indian city like Mumbai, this offer was irresistible. This combination of top-ranked educational standards, bespoke learning opportunities, and a peaceful mountainous setting solidified my decision to embark on the Swiss Professional Degree at EHL Passugg.
2. How did you find the transition to studying in Switzerland?
Tanvi: As an international student from India, the transition to studying in Switzerland was both exciting and challenging. The multicultural environment at EHL Passugg was profound, adapting to the various customs and traditions was initially a shock. Being able to work with people from various parts of the world was challenging but exhilarating.
Navigating this new social landscape taught me the value of cultural sensitivity and I learned to accept and embrace differences. This led to an increase in my ability to function effectively in diversified teams.
3. What aspects of the Swiss Professional Degree stood out to you?
Tanvi: The Swiss Professional Degree stands out for its balance of theory and practical application. The hands-on experience gained through internships and the emphasis on Swiss hospitality prepared me well for the industry.
4. How did the faculty contribute to your academic and personal growth?
Tanvi: The faculty and the overall staff were more than teachers, they were mentors and experts from the industry. This meant that the learning extended far beyond textbooks and lectures. They brought real-world insights and examples into the classroom, bridging the gap between academic theories and the practical realities of the hospitality industry. Their willingness to share their experiences and knowledge not only added depth to our learning but also inspired us to strive for excellence.
Additionally, the learning environment at EHL Passugg has been a significant aspect throughout my education, being highly collaborative, and encouraging us to work together on projects and assignments. This setup mimicked real-world scenarios where teamwork and collaboration are essential. It taught me how to approach problems creatively and make decisions in challenging situations.
5. Could you highlight any specific cultural challenges you faced as an Indian student?
Tanvi: Transitioning from India to Switzerland, I encountered several cultural challenges that tested my adaptability. The initial challenge was the language barrier; although English was widely spoken on campus, the local community primarily spoke German which made everyday interactions outside the campus a learning curve. This was supported by the language courses offered as a part of the course, which helped bridge the communication gap.
Furthermore, the social norms and etiquettes in Switzerland are different from what I was used to back home. For instance, punctuality in Switzerland is treated with much more seriousness. Adjusting to this precision in timing for both professional and social engagements was a small but significant adaptation for me.
Another area of cultural challenge was the food. Coming from a country known for its spice-laden cuisine, the milder flavours of Swiss food were initially less appealing to my palate. I missed the familiar tastes and smells of Indian cooking, and finding ingredients for Indian dishes was a task in itself. The kitchen team cooked multicultural dishes accommodating the needs of all the cultures on campus, which fostered the spirit of inclusivity.
Most importantly, the faculty and staff were always accessible and understanding. Right from the front office staff to the head of the campus were considerate. They recognised the unique difficulties faced by international students and were patient in providing extra help or advice wherever needed.
6. In what ways did EHL Passugg help you connect and network with industry professionals?
Tanvi: EHL Passugg has played a crucial role in connecting me with industry professionals and helping me build a strong professional network during my studies and after. The school’s proactive approach to career development was evident through the personal involvement of faculty and staff. They go beyond academic teaching to make introductions to their personal contacts in the industry, tailored to match our skills and career interests.
Additionally, the career fairs on campus along with the ones in EHL Lausanne were significant avenues for networking. These events bring together a wide range of industry representatives and provide a dynamic environment to seek internships and jobs and engage with potential employers.
Furthermore, the alumni network of EHL is a gateway to a global community of industry leaders. The school encouraged us to utilize the alumni portal, which became an essential tool for networking.
7. Can you share any memorable experiences or projects that you worked on during your Swiss Professional Degree?
Tanvi: During my Swiss Professional Degree, I had the opportunity to work on several projects, but two stand out as particularly memorable experiences.
The first is under the course of project management. It included the task of publishing a cookbook in collaboration with a Swiss company – Albert Spiess AG - Bündnerfleisch. This wasn't just any cookbook; it was a creative challenge to incorporate the company's signature product—dry meat—into a multitude of cuisines from around the world. As students, we contributed recipes, researched culinary techniques, and learned about publishing. Seeing our collective work come together in a published cookbook that showcased the versatility of a traditional Swiss product was incredibly rewarding.
The second experience that I hold close to was creating a real-life business plan for a client who wanted to develop a glamping resort. This project was comprehensive. We conceptualised the resort from scratch, considering the client's vision. We conducted market research, designed the customer experience, and even delved into the legalities that would govern the project, including environmental regulations and zoning laws. It was an exercise in thoroughness and applied learning, and it gave me a profound appreciation for the intricacies involved in bringing a hospitality venture to life. Both these projects not only enhanced my project management and entrepreneurial skills but also deepened my understanding of how to blend traditional products with innovative hospitality concepts and the importance of detailed planning in the realisation of a successful hospitality business.
8. How has your education at EHL Passugg shaped your career aspirations?
Tanvi: My education at EHL Passugg has been instrumental in shaping my career aspirations within Hospitality Management. It has broadened my perspective, revealing the vast scope of the hospitality industry. The multifaceted curriculum and the exposure to industry experts have uncovered opportunities in areas I had never envisioned before. Through various courses and practical experiences, I've come to understand the intricate layers of hospitality, from luxury hotel management to the nuances of food and beverage operations and even beyond to event management and tourism economics.
"This holistic view has allowed me to see the potential for innovation and leadership in each of these areas. I've learned that hospitality isn't just about providing services; it's about creating experiences."
My time at EHL Passugg has also instilled in me a passion for sustainable practices, which I see as the future of the industry. I am now keenly aware of how hospitality can play a role in promoting sustainability, from eco-friendly operations to supporting local communities.
In essence, the education I received has not only equipped me with the necessary skills to excel in traditional hospitality roles but also inspired me to explore innovative pathways and consider how I can contribute to the industry in a meaningful way. It has opened doors to possibilities that I had never imagined, setting me on a path to pursue a career that is dynamic, fulfilling, and aligned with the evolving landscape of global hospitality.
9. What do you think makes EHL Passugg unique?
Tanvi: EHL Passugg's unique selling points are particularly aligned with the needs and aspirations of students from India, who are looking to broaden their understanding of hospitality beyond the traditional concept of hotel management. The school's commitment to Swiss hospitality excellence, renowned for its precision, quality, and service provides a strong foundation for students eager to learn the best practices in the industry.
One of the most significant selling points is how EHL Passugg transitions the concept from hotel management to a more expansive view of hospitality. This broader perspective is essential for introducing and integrating global standards and innovative practices into the burgeoning hospitality sector in India.
EHL Passugg's curriculum is designed to open students' eyes to the myriad possibilities in hospitality, from event management and luxury brand strategy to culinary arts and wellness hospitality, moving beyond the stereotype of hotel management to encompass the entire hospitality ecosystem.
Additionally, the location of the campus is an exceptional feature. Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the setting offers not just a picturesque backdrop for education but also a tranquil environment conducive to learning. The natural beauty of the mountains and the serenity they offer can be a huge draw for students from the urban landscapes of India.
Furthermore, the smaller class sizes at EHL Passugg allow for a more personalized education. Unlike the often overcrowded classrooms in India, EHL Passugg’s approach ensures that each student receives individual attention, which greatly enhances the learning experience. This personalised touch is not just about academic support; it extends to personal development and mentorship, providing a nurturing environment that can be rare to find.
The pace of education at EHL Passugg is also thoughtfully designed to accommodate the learning styles and well-being of students. Rather than pressuring students to conform to a rigid and stressful educational framework, EHL Passugg emphasizes a balanced approach. This is especially appealing to students from India, where academic pressure can often be overwhelming.
10. In what ways did your time at EHL Passugg strengthen your connection to both Switzerland and India?
Tanvi: My time at EHL Passugg has been a bridge between two distinct cultures, enhancing my appreciation for the global nature of the hospitality industry and the unique contributions of both Switzerland and India. The Swiss hospitality model, with its emphasis on precision, quality, and impeccable service, has provided a template for excellence. It's a model that I have seen admired and emulated across the world, and my education has allowed me to understand the meticulous attention to detail that underpins this reputation.
"Concurrently, my Indian heritage, known for its warmth and deep-rooted tradition of 'Atithi Devo Bhava' which translates to 'The guest is God,' has always informed my approach to hospitality."
The amalgamation of Swiss precision and Indian warmth has given me a dual perspective on hospitality, allowing me to appreciate and incorporate the strengths of both.
In sum, my studies at EHL Passugg have not only reinforced my personal connection to both Switzerland and India but have also equipped me with a global mindset. This mindset is critical in today's interconnected world and is a foundation upon which I plan to build my career in hospitality, bridging the best of Swiss precision with the intrinsic Indian approach to guest service.
11. You are now continuing with the Bachelor's degree. What factors influenced your decision to continue your education at EHL?
Tanvi: My decision to continue with the Bachelor in International Hospitality Management at EHL was influenced by several key factors. The comprehensive curriculum provides an in-depth understanding of the global hospitality industry. The stellar reputation of EHL as a leader in hospitality education assures me that I am receiving a top-tier education that is respected worldwide.
The opportunity to study alongside a diverse cohort, with students and faculty from across the globe, also played a significant role in my decision. This multicultural environment offers a wealth of perspectives and is a microcosm of the global industry itself, preparing me to work effectively in an international setting.
12. Looking ahead, how do you envision the bachelor’s further shaping your career goals?
Tanvi: Looking ahead, I believe the bachelor’s program will refine my business acumen and leadership abilities. I anticipate that it will offer advanced insights into strategic management and operations, as well as exposure to the latest trends and innovations in the field. With a focus on global hospitality, I expect to deepen my understanding of different markets and how to successfully navigate the challenges of an international career.
This program is not just about enhancing my knowledge; it's about building a platform from which I can make a significant impact in the hospitality sector. I envision leveraging the skills and connections gained from the Bachelor's program to contribute to the growth and transformation of the industry, fostering sustainable and responsible hospitality practices worldwide
Tanvi's journey from Mumbai to EHL Passugg is a testament to the transformative power of a Swiss Professional Degree in Hospitality Management. The article explores her motivations, challenges, and memorable experiences, highlighting the unique aspects of EHL Passugg that resonate with aspiring students in India. From cultural adaptation to global networking, Tanvi's story illustrates how EHL Passugg shapes not only careers but also a profound understanding of hospitality on a global scale.