EHL Student Business Projects 2012
Thursday 26th April 2012
EHL Student Business Projects 2012
A 360-degree view of this unique programme for the hospitality industry .
This April, Cleverdis was invited by the INTEHL Institute of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne to the closing ceremony of its Student Business Projects (SBP). This event brought together many personalities from the worlds of tourism and hospitality, and a variety of other sectors.
Student Business Projects are designed to find solutions, innovations and concepts for the industry. Upon completion of their academic courses, final semester EHL students undertake an applied research mission that gives them an opportunity to put their theoretical and practical skills and their creativity to the test, while at the service of a real external company.
To get a 360° view of this unique program in our industry, we asked EHL professor, Students and a Company client to explain us how SBPs work.
Interview - Ian Millar, Deputy Director of INTEHL (Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne)
What is the Student Business Project?
Student Business Projects are one of the three activities of INTEHL, the centre for business incubation and development at EHL. This is an official part of the curriculum of the school, so every student must undertake a project at the end of their studies. During a 10-week period, the students do a project for a real client. The majority of our customers come from all over the world and are hospitality related. We cover a great variety of projects, from feasibility studies to marketing and development plans. Some of the projects could be the development of a new food & beverage concept; it could be to improve service; it could be for young start-up companies to verify if their ideas are feasible before they make a major investment.
Could you give us the latest examples of your work with hotels?
We have already worked with Mandarin Oriental Geneva for an F&B project. We’ve just finished now with Hotel Beau Rivage in Geneva for their Spa. Our students have from-scratch, researched, designed and proposed the new Spa – the entire package from concept, feasibility, target market, to positioning and marketing strategy
What are the benefits for the students of doing the project?
SBPs represent an opportunity for student to address a practical, real world challenge using the skills and knowledge they have acquired. Bear in mind that our clients implement roughly 70% of our students’ recommendations. This is the immersion in a real life. Quite a few of our students will get job through these SPBs. It’s not like an exam when they can fail and re-do. Failure is not an option! We have real clients paying real money and our students have to deliver.
How should the people who are interested in the project proceed?
We have two sessions starting in February and April. You can find all contact information on our website. Our clients come to the school to spend some time with us and discuss the project before the opening ceremony. Then they present the task to our students. It is then the students who choose the project they would like to do.
Do other universities have this type of programme?
Business schools do it, but in hospitality, is pretty much a novel idea. The way it is structured at EHL, you get 5 EHL students working solely for you for 10 weeks, costing you the equivalent of just a couple of coffees an hour. And the quality is as good as that of a renowned consulting company