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'Hospitality professionals should adapt fast, listen well, and think critically to meet the needs of employers in the hospitality industry'

Thursday, April 1, 2021, 17:39 Hrs  [IST]
Asmita Mukherjee | Hyderabad

According to David Knuff, VP Academic Excellence & Innovation, of Swiss Education Group, this pandemic allowed Swiss Education Group to accelerate the adoption of technology and revolutionise pedagogical approaches to ensure graduates develop essential skills. Asmita Mukherjee spoke with Knuff to know his views on hospitality education.
While speaking on the importance to have an introduction with real-world global education, for a hospitality industry aspirant, Knuff said, “A real-world setting is paramount for each aspirant to put business concepts, principles, and strategies into practice. It helps students to furnish their skills that are required in the workplace these days. Hospitality is a mindset that is shaped through a shared value of making customers happy. With the entire industry, currently racing to adapt and transition to the new way of doing business, hospitality education combined with real-world education helps students to transform and evolve with the much-needed skills set of future.”
“At Swiss Education Group (SEG), we aim to reflect the reality of the hospitality industry, offering students the most authentic learning environment and furnishing them with the skills required in the workplace today. We focus on technological breakthroughs that revolutionise pedagogical approaches and ensure graduates develop the skills required in the international job market,” he added.
The world has witnessed the pandemic’s impact on every sector especially the hospitality industry. Commenting on the pandemic’s impact on the Swiss Education Group, Knuff explained, “It was the first one to go through a significant shift and the cascading effect impacted hospitality education as well. However, for us, at Swiss Education Group, the pandemic allowed us to accelerate the adoption of technology, thus allowing our students to matriculate and graduate on time.   The increased appetite for technology adoption allowed us to innovate and deliver an excellent educational experience to our students.” 
Knuff informed that the schools of Swiss Education Group offer a wide range of courses, including short certificates and, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, allowing students to choose programs that suit their individual learning needs and interests. Speaking about plans for introducing new specialised programmes, Knuff said, “We keep a focus on the professional development of our students through curricular and co-curricular activities.  We have introduced several leadership programs that prepare students to lead and be good corporate citizens.  In addition to this, we have recently launched a new blended Master’s degree program – International Business in Hotel, Resort & Wellness Management. Divided into nine online modules over a period of six weeks each and three weeks onsite, the program will help students dive into industry trends, develop managerial skills, and acquire the hands-on knowledge required to succeed in the food and beverage, events, or wellness industries. The program will offer the wider benefits of combining digital and traditional classroom learning to help students succeed in the rapidly changing world of hospitality management. It will combine the best of Switzerland’s rich hospitality heritage with the forward-thinking and innovative learning tools of tomorrow, enabling a holistic hospitality operations education.”
Owing to the competitive job market and career choices, Knuff suggested that the professionals be as authentic as possible. “They should adapt fast, listen well, and think critically to meet the needs of employers in the hospitality industry and beyond. As rightly said, “creativity is the ability to combine ideas in a unique way or to make unusual associations between ideas”. It works vigorously in the hospitality industry as well,” he concluded. 

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