Student Resources

Antonin Soussan - Innovation in nutrition

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Undergraduate School

In this series of the EHL Next Steps podcast, we hope to inspire and inform you about the many different master’s degrees and career options you could choose to pursue after you finish your bachelor’s degree at EHL.



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Here’s a taster of the latest episode with Antonin Soussan. After graduating from EHL in 2020, Antonin took a Master's in Integrated Innovation for Product and Business Development, otherwise known as InnoKick, at the HES-SO in Lausanne. He is currently a project manager for the EHL Institute of Nutrition, R&D, as well as a lecturer in Management Information Systems at the school. 


    Combining hospitality and tech through innovation

    Growing up in Geneva, Antonin Soussan was drawn to two of the area’s famous universities – EHL and EPFL – both in Lausanne. EHL won out, but he always thought he would eventually get back into technology somehow. This desire was strengthened during his time at EHL when he undertook an administrative internship at a start-up in Berlin which was developing data analysis tools for hotels. “I knew already that I wanted to make a link between data or technology and hospitality, because they are two subjects that really interest me,” he says. After he graduated, he came across Innokick, an innovation-focused master’s programme that could help him forge that link.

    What’s the aim of the Innokick master’s?

    The big thing about this master’s, it's interdisciplinary. Basically, they put people from business, from design and from engineering together, and they say, ‘we have a problem, get an idea and do a prototype’. You have many projects like that where you have different clients, they will come with a problem, and then you'll follow the methodology of design thinking: let's think like a designer and solve problems that are not necessarily design problems like a designer.

    What did you like about it?

    Two things. In innovation, the first thing that we like to find is a problem. I've heard a lot of people say, ‘we want solutions, not problems’. I think for me, the most important thing is the problem because we want a solution that replies to a problem, otherwise, we come up with a product that has no interest. I think this is an interesting point in this methodology. Also, [I liked] the fact that you exchange with people from different backgrounds. Somebody from business doesn't think like somebody from tech, or somebody from design, or, as in the institute I’m in now, somebody from cooking.

    Did you find that fulfilling?

    It can be really challenging at some points. But yes, I think it's the key to a great product. During the master’s, you learn to speak a language that is understandable by everyone and to have things in common. This is what I do in the institute now. When I talk with our researcher, he doesn't have the same way of thinking as someone from business. That's a great thing. But you need to understand why he thinks this way.

    Can you explain your role at the Institute of Nutrition?

    Basically, I'm a project manager. The idea is that I ensure that all projects are done on time and on budget. I also coordinate the business part of the institute. The institute is interdisciplinary, which I think is definitely the future. We have people from business, from tech, we have a chemist, and we work also with chefs. The idea is to put gastronomy as a driver for innovation. I will meet the different people and try to build a project.

    Did your master’s directly contribute to you getting this role?

    Definitely. When I was hired, they told me it was because I had this master’s.

    Besides taking this master’s, what could bachelor’s students at EHL do to better their chances of getting into the field of innovation?

    I think the thing that EHL [students] have and business people have that an engineer doesn't have and a designer doesn't have, for example, is that we understand the market. The best way to do good innovation is by understanding your client. I would say focus on doing your research, having proper data, asking proper people instead of going, ‘I have the impression that we should do that because I like that’. One of the first biases of innovators is doing a product for themselves.

    Would you recommend doing a master’s, in general?

    I think it's really dependent on what you want to do. If the idea is to do a master’s in the exact same subject you did your bachelor’s, I don't really know if there is a value to it. The idea of a master’s is to specialize yourself. You need to understand first what you like. Find your interest and specialize. Whatever the subject, it needs to be something more precise than the bachelor’s.

    Check out the full list of student profiles and their diverse career paths. 

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