Consumer trends reflect need for highly specialised MBA in Hospitality
Updated on Nov 10, 2016 - 3:47 p.m. IST by Tenzin pema

For students with passion for hospitality and management, what could be better than an opportunity to combine hospitality with valuable management skills? If you are looking to add managerial skills to your passion for hospitality, then Hospitality Management is apt for you. Hospitality management is a highly specialised programme, which aims to prepare you for a career in hotels, sports companies, restaurants, and most importantly in your own business.

Dr. Jon-Hans Coetzer, Chief Academic Officer at Glion Institute of Higher Education, talks about hospitality management and how it has expanded its reach from just hotel management to luxury and brand management.

Read the full interview below:

Q. A lot of students have confusion between the two programmes -- Hotel and Hospitality management. Can you explain the difference between the two?

A. The answer to this question is very simple- where do you see yourself in five years? If you see yourself as a manager or a department manager then hotel management is for you. But if you don’t see yourself working in hotel industry, and you see yourself managing sports team, casinos, setting up your own business or organising an event, then hospitality management is what you are looking for.

Hospitality management includes wide range of industries and it is for individuals who are not yet sure what they want to do. In terms of recruitment, hospitality management gives you more options, while hotel management is for those who want to pursue a career in hotels.


Q. How important is training in the hospitality management field?

A. As a future manager you must know the service part, which is the essence of the traditional hotel management programme. Even though you know the theory, but most of it are out dated and are unlikely to be translated to the cultural and business context. Even the first six months of your studies at Glion for both UG and PG follows applied learning, where students do the basic chores, including back office, the front office, rooms division, cooking and dishes , among others. Therefore, the six months of applied learning is fundamentally important for both UG and PG students. It does not matter whether you are a managing director of your company or an entrepreneur; everyone has to go through the experience.


Q: Many students are exploring programmes like Luxury brand management? How different is it from traditional management programmes?

A: The market is being saturated by MBA programmes where students have a lot of business administrative and finance knowledge, but they don’t necessarily have skills to apply the theory that they have learnt. This is why the market has driven the need for these highly specialised MBAs.


Besides, there is a difference between the business model of a normal brand and a luxury brand. For instance, there is someone who spends $100 for a regular watch, while the other spends a whopping $150,000 for a high end luxury watch. Now to understand what led individuals to make such purchases, we have luxury brand management. 


For example- there are many luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel and Fendi, but you know why you would pick LV over the other brands. This is one of the reasons why it is important for managers today to be able to understand consumer behaviour with surgical precision. And to understand how you function, emotional intelligence is important for future managers.


Q: Tell us about Glion? What kind of courses does it offer in the hospitality domain?

A: It is a school that has existed for more than 50 years and it continues to be recognised as one of the best hospitality management schools in the world. The market today has grown and become so sophisticated that there is such a demand for highly competent qualified individuals. We have UG programmes like Event Sports and Entertainment (ESE), Luxury Brand Management, Hospitality Management, while PG programmes include PG diploma in hospitality, Master of Science Hotel Management, Master of Science Hospitality inance and MBA Hospitality& Service Industries.


ESE programme is similar to sports management but it integrates hospitality and service components to it. The programme focuses on accommodation, food and beverage, diplomatic conferences and entertainment.


The masters programmes can be done in a hybrid model -- on campus or online. We also offer pure online programme -- MBA in hospitality management. It targets specifically busy working professional and mature students, who are in a career changing phase. These programmes are for those who find the regular MBA very restrictive in nature, as it does not allow one to move away from its path.


50% of the programme looks at real life case studies of business and industries. If student is not able to translate the theory, it is dead as the paper. It is important that the aspiring managers can take the theory and know how they can add life to it. So that knowledge can be applied in real life.

Q. Glion offers online courses in hospitality as well. Do international students show any interest in the online programme?

A. There are two types of international students -- the young international students who want to be totally submerged into their studies, the one who are likely to come to the campus, while the other type of international students are those who have already worked and are somewhere involved in the family business. Such students do not have three and a half years but what they have is six months or less, for which Glion designs individual study plans for students. Therefore, we offer the hybrid courses, so that you can study part of the programme online and part of it on campus.  On campus programme offers exposure to 90 different nationalities and business models that they bring. Aspirants come to Switzerland for 3-6 months and rest can be done online.


Q. Can international students look forward to any financial support from Glion?

A. Glion offers  25% fee waiver to applicants based on their academic record. The institute looks forward to international students that display elegance, dedication and insight. Applicants who want to join hospitality industry must be dedicated and motivated to make it big in such industry as it is really tough out there.


Apart from which students at the end of the three and a half years have at least two firm jobs in hand. Today, the fundamental responsibility that educational institutions have is to provide a stepping stone for a professional career.


Also read:

‘I have become stronger and more responsible’

‘Live independently and expose yourself to new cultures’


Stay tuned to www.studyabroad.careers360 for more news and updates on Study Abroad


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