The right kind of hospitality can create magic. It’s built on the back of people who can go the extra mile in making other people feel good.
Graduates of EHL Hospitality Business School — founded as Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), the world’s first-ever hotel school— fit this bill. Their alma mater is where hospitality leadership is redefined as a smart mix of autonomous thinking, respect, empathy and caring for others. As students, they gain soft skills and great know-how. As graduates, they join the ranks of the most inspiring people.
With beginnings that date back to 1893, EHL is equally renowned for its excellence, as it is for its experience. Accolades are proof of this. For example, in 2022, for the fourth year in a row, EHL was ranked the world’s best hotel management school by QS World University Rankings for Hospitality and Leisure Management.
It’s little wonder why students from across the globe choose EHL’s Bachelor in International Hospitality Management as their pathway into successfully leading or launching a business, or why countless companies are keen on welcoming them to apply knowledge as interns.
Their first year takes place on Campus Lausanne in Switzerland, which comes with the privilege of practising in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Students can choose to study in Singapore or Switzerland for the rest of the programme.
Campus Lausanne is cutting-edge in many ways. From meeting Minergie-P© standards, (with geothermal probes and a novel wastewater heat recovery system to cover 80% of the school’s heating needs) to the Innovation Village Food Lab and Peter Michael Wine Laboratory, it’s a place that spurs students to take their senses and creativity to greater height
Campus Singapore is in the middle of an urban oasis. The “Garden City” has over 300 parks and four natural reserves, plus no shortage of Michelin-starred establishments – offering calm and inspiration in abundance. Both campuses are international and dynamic with lots of student committees, and activities.
In true EHL fashion, the programme ensures every background and career aspiration gains the knowledge and skills needed to achieve their goals. Student wellbeing is taken into account every step of the way.
Straight out of high school, Florian Sander from Germany got straight to work. From waiting tables to assisting caterers, the natural extrovert was always sure of his ability to face various clients with confidence. “I knew meeting people was important to me, but I didn’t know how that would translate into a career,” he says.
One visit to EHL’s campus in Switzerland and Florian found his answer. Through the university’s renowned bachelor’s programme, he was able to explore various cultures and comprehend different perspectives by interacting with a multinational cohort. Meanwhile, the programme’s multidisciplinary approach broadened his horizons in ways Florian never thought were possible.
“I credit the heads of the School at the time — one of which was an ex-investment banker who wanted to ensure students had a broad enough knowledge to withstand the test of business,” he says. “And if you look at the graduates today, half have joined the hospitality industry, but the rest are in adjacent industries like management, consulting, or wealth management.”
Today, Florian — a mentor to current EHL students — can proudly say he has led businesses in London, Bangkok and Hong Kong to success. His focus is now on iThink Consulting, a Singaporean boutique provider of hospitality consulting services. Sander is currently their managing director.
Alexandra Schelling-Bissig may have been born in Japan, but she spent most of her childhood exploring the world. Despite having lived in Boston, London, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Sydney, finding a calling to pursue as a college student was challenging.
That changed when Alexandra learned more about EHL’s bachelor’s programme. It was broad enough to carry on her life’s exploratory theme — on just one campus.
“I loved the people, and I loved the environment,” she says. “Most importantly, the programme I chose features many subjects that can prepare you for various careers. Since I wasn’t very sure about what I wanted to do, I knew it would be an enriching discovery process — and it certainly was.”
True enough, through comprehensive courses and internships in Lake Zurich and Hong Kong, Alexandra discovered her knack for marketing. Lessons on the topic helped her explore what it truly means to enhance customer experiences, understand a business’s growth journey and think outside the box. In fact, many of the ideas she and her peers discussed in classrooms ended up becoming real companies. “That’s why it isn’t surprising how people leave EHL as entrepreneurs and real innovators,” she says.
Upon graduating, Alexandra took on her first professional role within Tesla’s sales department — simply because she could. Still, that didn’t stop her from flexing the rest of the skills she gained at EHL. During her three years at the influential multinational, Alexandra also served the marketing, advisory and recruitment divisions. Each experience contributed to her ability to thrive in her current role as International Life and Relationship Coach for Toolbox for Love LLC — her very own platform, which currently hosts approximately 80,000 users on Instagram.
“None of this would’ve been possible if I didn’t get used to multitasking in multifaceted environments,” she says. “It’s safe to say EHL gave me the foundations to achieve these accomplishments.”