Global Hospitality Business

October 17, 2023 •

4 min reading

EHL’s Master in Global Hospitality Business: Q&A from 3 continents

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EHL’s MSc in Global Hospitality Business (MGH) is a unique hospitality graduate degree program that takes students around the world to live and learn on three continents over three semesters.

As this ground-breaking program enters its seventh year running, we’ve invited three of its distinguished directors to share their insights into the inner workings of the curriculum. Here, we have the answers from Dr. Ki-Joon Back from the University of Houston, Nicole Hinrichs from the EHL Hospitality Business School, and Catherine Cheung from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


What is unique about the program's structure and defining characteristics?

Dr. Ki-Joon Back: Our program delves deeper than the usual hotel and restaurant management syllabi. It journeys through the vast world of hospitality, concentrating on cultural understanding and effective communication with various stakeholders. Each partnering institution brings its individual expertise, offering students a mix of different skills and worldviews. This eclectic approach furnishes them with a well-rounded understanding of the sector, priming them for leadership and enabling them to tackle the intricacies of the global scenario.

Dr. Nicole Hinrichs: Echoing Dr. Back, the tri-semester, tri-continent format stands out. It's not merely academic instruction; it’s about living the experience. Students encounter different cultural subtleties, comprehend distinct hospitality markets, and create worldwide networks. This interaction, merged with our academic business venture, ensures they develop pragmatic skills in devising hospitality strategies. This mix of theoretical and experiential learning guarantees our graduates are both enlightened and prepared for the real world.


How does the three-semester span across Europe, Asia, and the USA enhance the student's learning experience?

Dr. Nicole Hinrichs: This three-continent immersion deepens their understanding of global hospitality. Europe offers a rich history, emphasizing luxury hospitality. Asia, with its diverse markets, focuses on innovation and service quality. And the USA provides an in-depth look into resort and hotel management, ensuring a rounded experience.

Dr. Catherine Cheung: And this immersive approach sharpens their adaptability – a crucial skill in today's ever-evolving hospitality landscape.


What type of student is best suited for this program?

Dr. Nicole Hinrichs: We look for students with a blend of hospitality-related experience and a global mindset. It's beneficial if they have a background in business, hospitality, or tourism. Essential qualities include adaptability, leadership potential, and a genuine desire to engage in hands-on learning.

Dr. Ki-Joon Back: Cultural sensitivity is a must. This program thrives on collaboration, and students should be eager to engage in diverse group settings, learning from various global viewpoints.

Dr. Catherine Cheung: It's about being open to learn, adapt, and innovate. These are the students who truly excel in our program.

EHL Master in Global Hospitality Business  3 semesters, 3 continents, 3 universities!  Master the intricacies of global operations and develop your cultural agility  to forge an international career that sets you apart   Discover our program

This program includes an Academic Business Project. How does that work?

Dr. Ki-Joon Back: The business project is pivotal as it gives students the opportunity to work with global hospitality companies. Some work on strategizing forays into budding markets. Others are synergizing with nascent hospitality tech firms to improve customer experience solutions. These aren't mere academic endeavors; they address pressing industry challenges and often lay the groundwork for industry revolution.

Dr. Catherine Cheung: And it's not just about immediate outcomes. These projects instill an entrepreneurial mindset in our students. They learn to identify opportunities, innovate, and craft actionable solutions. Regardless of the project's scale, they gain invaluable hands-on experience, positioning them as valuable players in the hospitality sector.


What advantages do graduates gain from this three-university degree?

This program leads to an internationally accredited degree (Master of Science HES-SO in Hospitality Management) and alumni membership with all three prestigious institutions: University of Houston, in Texas, USA; EHL Hospitality Business School, in Switzerland; and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. How does this benefit the students?

Dr. Nicole Hinrichs: As students automatically become a part of the alumni network for all three universities, it’s not just about institutional prestige but also about the expanded opportunities and support they receive. Access to such a vast and diverse alumni network across three continents means a wider reach for mentorship, guidance, and potential job opportunities.

Dr. Catherine Cheung: Indeed, being part of three distinct alumni networks means students have a more comprehensive web of contacts in the hospitality industry worldwide. This positions them with an unparalleled advantage when it comes to global exposure and opportunities, something not available in conventional programs.

Dr. Ki-Joon Back: It’s not just about the academic experience but the lifelong connections they form. These trifold alumni networks become their support system, guiding them through their careers, opening doors, and ensuring that they truly have a global reach and perspective in the world of hospitality.


What advice would you offer prospective students?

Dr. Ki-Joon Back: Embrace global immersion. Absorb as much as you can from the cultural differences, participate actively, and nurture connections. These experiences will shape your international hospitality journey.

Dr. Nicole Hinrichs: Remain curious and adaptable. I envision our graduates shaping the future of global hospitality with their insights, innovation, and leadership.

Dr. Catherine Cheung: And always remember, in hospitality, the world is your oyster. The impact you can make is boundless. Seize the opportunities and lead with passion.


Future leaders on their way

The Master of Science in Global Hospitality Management program is undeniably paving the way for future leaders in the industry. With three semesters on three continents, the program develops a holistic mastery of global hospitality business concepts. It centers on experiential and social learning, cultural immersion, and expert industry insights. It includes the added value of field trips, professional certifications, and an applied business project with real global industry partners. All these special qualities make for a truly unique learning experience that opens the doors for a global hospitality career.

Moreover, the program has been awarded several times in educational rankings: Masters Ranking in Hospitality

  • Management (for EHL’s MGH), Eduniversal, worldwide, #2 in 2022, #2 in 2021, #2 in 2019
  • Master in Global Hospitality Business, Ranked #2 in Switzerland, QS Business Master’s in Management Rankings 2023
  • Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business (MGH), McCool Breakthrough Award, I-CHRIE, 2020

For other inside perspectives from this program, check out our interview with a graduate of the MGH program or watch this video interview with an MGH alumnus.

Written by
Nicole Hinrichs
Written by
Nicole Hinrichs

Associate Dean Degree Programs - Associate Professor Strategy & Entrepreneurship

Master in Global Hospitality Business

In three semesters, you will study at three prestigious institutions in Europe, Asia and North America, and learn to adapt your management style, service offers and business strategy to key tourism markets.

Dr. Catherine Cheung: Transitioning from one continent to another, students don't just get a taste of hospitality variations but also come to understand its broader shades. Their learning encompasses Europe’s historical hospitality legacy, Asia’s fast-paced market, and America’s expansive hospitality domain, endowing them with an extensive toolkit for leadership and innovation in this ever-adaptive industry.

Dr. Ki-Joon Back: It's all about perspective. Each continent brings a unique flavor to the table. Experiencing these differences firsthand allows our students to develop a holistic view of the hospitality industry, truly understanding its nuances.
Dr. Nicole Hinrichs: These business projects with real industry partners not only offer students deep industry insights but also an opportunity to make a tangible impact. Such initiatives provide students with hands-on experience, networking opportunities, and a chance to apply their classroom knowledge to solve practical industry problems, making them well-prepared for future leadership roles in the field.