Aditya Sawant, student ambassador of Les Roches International school of Hotel Management, shares his Swiss experience with Prachi Rege.
“Honestly, I was surprised to have been selected as the India ambassador for Les Roches School of Hotel Management, Switzerland. It was a tough competition. I was pitted against 2000 other students. Now that I have been given this responsibility of representing my school and also of counselling aspirant, I want share my academic experience for everyone’s benefit.
As an ambassador, I interact with students aspiring to join Les Roches and help them take academic decisions. Besides open days on the campus, the interaction also takes place via social media.
Most students ask me about which course they should pursue. I tell them to choose a course that will help them carve out a credible future. Since my family is in the hospitality business I decided to pursue hotel management. Like many however, I too was indecisive when it came to making a career choice. I wasn`t sure about going abroad to study. I was an introvert and the idea of going abroad intimidated me. Also, I didn`t want to stay away from my family. Counselling helped and I had a change of heart.
Studying at Les Roche exposed me to a number of opportunities. My programme was divided into two parts—the first half of the year was dedicated to internship and the other half to lectures. Securing an internship in three different continents was the most valuable part of my academic stint. It gave me exposure to three different work culture.
At Les Roche, we have to choose the country in which we want to pursue our internship. In the first year I chose to be with Taj Mahal Palace, Colaba, because I wanted to experience the Indian work culture. Next year I interned at New York`s Pierre Hotel. That was my best learning experience. New York`s work culture is free. It was like being thrown at the deep end of the pool. I was saddled with many a challenging task and had to find my way through it. Imagine a management trainee given the responsibility of an assistant room service manager because he called in sick that day? That was quite a learning curve for me. My final internship was at Crowne Plaza London St. James and 51 Buckingham Palace. The pace of work here was hectic. I had to put in almost 12 to 13 hours a day.
One must make the most of an internship. It is during this time that you pick up your job skills.
Also, in the hospitality business, learning on the job is mandatory. It is not an option. Studying abroad is a lot of hard work. Your journey doesn`t end when you secure an admission to a school of your choice. In fact, it is just the beginning. One is not only trying to accustom oneself to the new life, but also make the most of the monetary investment one has made in terms of the hefty tuition fee.”
Hot tips for Swiss Bliss
1) Learn to be independent if you want to survive
2) Food is going to be a major problem in Switzerland so learn to explore the cuisine
3) Travel across Europe. It helps to beat the homesick blues
4) Make friends
5) Wake up early. Classes may start as early as 4 am