Employment at Hospitality Schools

Posted on 24 February 2007 by pit

International Hotel School in Lausanne In most countries hotel management is part of a more general program or set of programs at universities. In contrast, Switzerland has entire schools which are dedicated to training students to take up demanding work in the hospitality and tourism industries. The coursework undertaken in these programs usually includes both practical and theoretical training. The schools further then require internships in industry, leading up to their professional careers. The major Swiss hotel magagement institutions run actual hotels themselves that both provide students with their own accomodation and then also serve as an on-campus laboratory providing students with a total hotel immersion experience.

Wide range of Employment possibilities
These Swiss hotel schools employ staff for various positions such as lecturers and operational staff or receptionists, coordinators for student internships, or even librarians.

To work in the operations and administration department —for example as a chef preparing meals for the in-house restaurants, or as a duty manager, etc.— both experience and references are required.

Lecturers have responsibilities for language courses –teaching French, German, or English– or various subject matter relating to the hospitality industrys, the nature of which might bring a smile to those with diplomas in Chemistry or Sociology: course titles such as “wine and spirits,” “general housekeeping,” “food preparation,” “banqueting,” etc.

In order to be a credible candidate for a teaching position in the Swiss hospitality industry, one usually has to hold a degree from a Hotel School and have at least 3 years of experience in the hospitality field, as well as several years teaching experience. A good strategy to get an interview with the academic dean is to highlight your experience in supervisory roles as well as in client contact, and demonstrate a strong familiary with industry technologies.

Instructors at Hotel Schools usually have thirty or more students in a class, though practical classes tend to be smaller and come with assistants. Hotel Schools in Switzerland often expect teachers to design new classes so you should be prepared to come with your own ideas.

The trend at Hotel schools has been toward a diminution of full-time permanent positions and a marked increase in the number of part-time contract positions, which are repeatedly renewed if the teacher is well-appreciated. Usually such renewals lead to a permanent position.

Salaries average around CHR 5,000 / month for full time teaching positions. While this is a fine salary for a single person, and is more than enough to cover living expenses and even generate savings, it is, comparatively speaking, not very well remunerated. The hospitality industry, along with nursing, are among the poorly paid professions in Switzerland. (Of course, the general managers of large hotels, as well as highly sought-after restaurant chefs, are well paid, but if you are reading this article, it is statistically unlikely you are among them.)

Those who enter the hospitality industry tend to be attracted by the lifestyle rather than the financial rewards: for the prestige of being associated with an illustrious institution, or for the beauty of their surroundings, or for the cameraderie anad social activities with their fellow staff.

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