Versatile management competence paired with sound practical training. These are the two basic principles of the EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality in Passugg (SSTH) to prepare students for a successful career in the hospitality industry.
The best way to gain practical experience is through concrete tasks
The times in which a study was primarily completed by lectures belong to history. Today, students are expected to gain experience and skills through real, practical examples. The practice-oriented approach is one of the core values of SSTH, on which the education is based. Thus the students should not only be introduced to the forthcoming professional challenges by means of theory books, but also by means of concrete practical examples.
The practical task: developing a profitable business plan
An example of this practical training is the development of a business plan in the 6th semester of hotel management studies at the SSTH. The initial situation in the current semester is to develop a gastronomic and/or tourist offer for the property of the Lernstatt Känguruh in Malix that can be self-financing in terms of costs.
Lernstatt Känguruh is involved on behalf of the disability insurance funds in the training of young people who need a little more support in certain areas. The students had the opportunity to examine the possibility of involving both the professional beginners and their supervisors in the company.
The hospitality students have various learning goals to fulfill
As part of the case study, the hotel management students had to create an operating concept. They were asked to develop three ideas that were thematically independent of each other, which contained both gastronomic and hotel-specific components and took into account the touristic integration in the region. This was followed by a feasibility study and the financial plan for a period of 5 years.
Not only the written business concept was judged by an expert jury, the presentation techniques of the various groups were also critically examined and evaluated. However, this semester the hospitality students were able to benefit from additional training in presentation techniques and this did not fail to show an effect:
"The client as well as the expert jury and lecturers were really enthusiastic about the quality of the presentations shown," says Andreas Stump, responsible lecturer.
The client draws a positive conclusion
The groups approached the implementation of the theoretical knowledge, which up to now had primarily been based on the practical case, creatively and in a variety of ways.
The conclusion of the Känguruh Lernstatt, the client, was very positive:
"We especially liked the commitment and heart blood of the students. We can well imagine taking some of the elements from all the proposed concepts. We were also particularly pleased that the students took into account the integration of the vocational learners in their solutions and embedded these in their planning."