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MBA in Hospitality and online EHL courses: a career boost and a possible solution to the lack of managerial staff (Switzerland)

From complete programmes to flexible modules, EHL offers a practical and relevant choice for senior staff and companies wanting to stay at the forefront of the industry.

MBA in Hospitality and online EHL courses: a career boost and a possible solution to the lack of managerial staff (Switzerland)

From complete programmes to flexible modules, EHL offers a practical and relevant choice for senior staff and companies wanting to stay at the forefront of the industry.

Category: Europe - Switzerland - Careers - Interviews - Recruitment / Job / Training - Interviews
Interview made by Sylvie Leroy on 2018-12-03

Having graduated more than ten years ago and now hotel or department manager, you keep track of the changes in your industry across sales, real estate, customer relations, and personnel management. You will have noticed the arrival of young talent eager to take on managerial posts. You know that you have to stay one step ahead of the competition and keep honing your skills.

With good candidates now favouring other luxury sectors worldwide rather than hospitality, hotel groups have an increasing need for senior staff and talent, and they are very keen to develop the potential of their existing workforce.

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne has developed a very comprehensive MBA in Hospitality, and 80% of it can be studied online. It is aimed at professionals in charge of developing talent in a group, talents themselves, or managers wishing to consolidate their existing knowledge. The icing on the cake is that the modules can be studied independently of each other to suit every requirement.

To find out more about this attractive programme, we met with Anne Treacy-Pelichet, Recruitment Manager – Postgraduate programmes, and a 1988 EHL graduate.

The MBA in Hospitality that you offer has all the advantages of online courses such as autonomy, flexibility, etc., but are there any other characteristics unique to the EHL course?

Yes, absolutely. The learning platform can be accessed 24/7. It’s modular and flexible. However, the modules need to be completed in a set order and there are compulsory discussions and virtual lessons. The programme can be paused at the end of a module and resumed at a later date. A typical week will include 2 hours of interaction and discussions with tutors who are experts in their field, coaches, and fellow students, as well as 3 hours of homework and working on projects. This represents 12 to 15 hours per week which accounts for 80% of the MBA course. It represents a real commitment on the part of the students who will also be pursuing a career alongside the course.

The real advantage of our MBA in Hospitality is that 20% of it takes place on the Lausanne campus in three one-week periods. These three weeks are intensive and include a mixture of lessons and meetings. They also give students the opportunity to experience the EHL spirit; an experience which is key to them becoming part of the alumni network later on.

We have therefore combined several advantages for the students: online lessons, a positive learning environment, and enriching meetings. Considering that networking and relationships remain at the heart of the hospitality world, it seemed obvious to us to offer these opportunities to meet with fellow students, teachers, alumni, and hospitality leaders.

What are the subjects taught in the programme?

The programme consists of six modules with very distinct themes which are all at the forefront of today’s hospitality industry: revenue management, finance, real estate investment and development, business cycles management, team management and leadership.

This industry is constantly changing, and over the last ten years, we have seen new roles emerging which are linked to the increasing use of social networks, distribution channels, e-marketing, and accessing data for detailed insights, which is vital whether managing an independent boutique hotel or a chain. The arrival of millennials on the job market also presents new challenges.

At the end of the MBA, students complete a Capstone project where they identify a problem and work on analysing and resolving the issue with the help of an expert coach.

Another advantage of EHL is the option of taking one to three lessons from a module to gain the Advanced Certificate. Is that right?

That’s correct. Alongside the MBA, we offer à la carte modules which can be taken individually.

These stand-alone modules allow you to select options online either by choosing the Advanced Certificate, which is three modules, or only one option at a time, depending on the subjects chosen.

You may, for example, need to develop your knowledge of revenue management or multi-cultural team management. You could take these two subjects only or decide to complete the Revenue boosting module for an Advanced Certificate.

You will be awarded one of these certificates at the end of the course. There is no homework during the course but the award of a certificate is dependent on the results of a final exam. Each course lasts for four weeks and although flexible, requires about 8 hours of study a week.

These certificates are not diplomas and they do not qualify you for alumni membership. However, they do represent a practical and effective way to update knowledge which can then be applied in your work environment straight-away.

Hotel groups are seeing talent moving away from the hospitality sector at a time when there is a great need for talent to manage openings of new hotels. Presumably, the MBA in Hospitality is a very attractive proposition for them. Can you tell us more?

Firstly, it’s important to note that the MBA programme is evolving in line with industry requirements. We work closely with hospitality professionals and experts. This means that we can be extremely pro-active in constantly reviewing and adapting our courses. This flexibility makes the EHL MBA a modern and current higher education programme.

The MBA and online certificates also represent an ideal opportunity for companies wanting to provide professional development for their employees. Our MBA fits perfectly with today’s essential requirements for career development, retention, motivation, and promotion, by offering a complete and flexible programme.

Another strong point of our programme for hotel groups is the Capstone Project. It’s a win-win project for students and employers: the students use newly-acquired knowledge and skills to successfully manage a real-life project, suggested by their company. This project simultaneously covers the financial, operational, and strategic aspects of the hotel business.

Is this MBA programme recent? Is there a typical student profile?

The first MBA in Hospitality cohort started in 2017. There are two cohorts of students of approximately 20 students each, twice a year in August and March.

It obviously is a very international intake with about 50% of students from Europe and the other 50% from North America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australasia. The programme is taught entirely in English.

The average age is 38, and 80% of students are hospitality managers with more than 10 years’ experience.

Is the MBA course an even greater experience for mature students?

As a former student myself and with 10 years’ experience at EHL, I truly think that this MBA is a real opportunity for our more mature members because of the programme itself, of course, but also the school and the amazing projects currently in development.

Talking about alumni, does this online MBA give access to the powerful network of EHL alumni?

Yes, absolutely! Our MBA in Hospitality graduates join the alumni family as soon as they graduate. We have more than 25,000 members and it’s almost impossible to be anywhere in the world without meeting an EHL alumni!

Our network is the biggest and most active network of hotel management schools. We are present in 140 countries and we have 70 chapters (Stamms) across the world. It is, obviously, a major asset to be part of such a network, both on a professional and a personal level.

Key information:
  • Two intakes per year: one in March and one in August
  • A 24 months course, which can be extended to 36 months if the students wishes to postpone his or her course for 6 months
  • NEASC accreditation
Entry requirements:
  • 3 years full-time employment in a hotel or restaurant managerial role
  • A minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL IBT or 7.0 on the IELTS.

The seven modules on offer:

1/ Revenues: Improving hotel revenues – 15 weeks
- High performance distribution strategy for hotels
- Revenue management for market leaders
- Successful hotel e-marketing and social media strategies

2/ Finance: Mastering hotel finances – 15 weeks
- Hotel financial statements analysis
- Hotel budgeting and forecasting
- Advanced corporate finance for the hospitality leaders

3/ Hotel development: Hotel development and real estate investments – 15 weeks
- Asset management strategies
- Feasibility analysis, development and negotiations
- Valuation of hotel investments

4/ Hotel performance: Performing through business cycles – 15 weeks
- Managing underperforming properties
- Trends, innovation, and new business models
- Risk prevention and crisis management

5/ Leadership: Building high-performing teams – 10 weeks online – 1 week on-site
- Personal Leadership Development
- Maximising Individual and Collective Performance
- Leading in a Multicultural Environment

6/ Networking – Meeting the experts - On-site module – 2 x 1 week
- Improving Hotel Performance
- Crisis Communication Management

7/ Capstone Project – final module – Personal work and coaching - Online module – 15 weeks + 270 hours of study including 20 hours of support

* MBA in Hospitality: CHF 34,920. Flights, and food/accommodation in Switzerland not included.

* Advanced certificate: CHF 5’940.- Each individual certificate: CHF 2’200.-

MBA in Hospitality :

Online Hospitality Certificates:

About the author

Sylvie Leroy, enthusiastic publisher since 1999
Her passion for luxury hospitality, "a score perfectly performed by a fantastic orchestra" as she often says, led Sylvie Leroy to build in 2004 Journal des Palaces the sole online daily news dedicated to luxury hospitality with news, jobs, directories and resources.

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