In our special Hospitality ON issue on hospitality management schools and trainings (No 308-309/May-June 2021) we interviewed Academic Directors of renowned hotel schools around the world. Here we unveil insights from Dominique Giraudier CEO of Institut Paul Bocuse.
What innovations, programmes and projects have been implemented in your school over the last two years?
Over the past five years, we have implemented a controlled growth plan to reach a critical mass which will allow Institut Paul Bocuse to maintain its position of leadership on the world higher education scene, to recruit the best instructors, and to offer the best educational experience to our students.
We have doubled our number of students and academic staff. Our organization and operations must therefore adapt to this growth while retaining our values and the singularity of our pedagogical approach. To maintain the quality of its programmes, Institut Paul Bocuse has launched 6 major projects:
A recruitment and development plan for permanent international faculty at terminal degree level,
A new organization that includes the creation of three autonomous units dedicated to hotel, restaurant and culinary arts management education,
Reinvention of the student learning experience,
An international accreditation process,
The development of research in management sciences to complement our existing highlyrespected research in food and hospitality experiences in order to add value to our programmes and serve the hospitality industry,
The extension of our campus to 10 000 m2 with new facilities opening at the end of 2022.
What approach(es) has your school chosen to train its students? What are the specificities of your schools?
Institut Paul Bocuse educates responsible decisionmakers who will contribute to shaping our professions and our industry tomorrow. Institut Paul Bocuse has a signature teaching approach centered on experience-based and projectbased learning, where innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit are strongly encouraged. Students benefit from exceptional infrastructure (two teaching hotels, one of which is 5*; six restaurants, one of which holds a Michelin star, and an immersive neurogastronomy restaurant laboratory supporting the creation of restaurant concepts unique in Europe) to foster their managerial and creative potential facing real-life situations. Furthermore, individualized and personalized support for our students is part of the DNA of the school so that each student can discover his or her talents, develop his or her leadership style, and enhance his or her emotional intelligence interacting with guests or working teams.
Has the COVID-19 crisis impacted the students interest in the hospitality industry?
The COVID-19 crisis has not affected our students’ motivation for our professions. After a period of legitimate concern, especially regarding the availability of internships, they are now feeling reassured, thanks to the close relationships we maintain with our leading partner companies and the fact that our recent graduates are holding down jobs despite the unstable situation. It seems that they are still able to choose the companies that best suit their values and their professional goals.
What values / skills do you think are necessary for the hospitality industry that should be taught in a hotel school?
Hard skills: profitability strategies and experience design, analytical reasoning, digital transformation skills also incorporating impending impacts of AI. Soft skills: autonomy, creativity, agility, emotional intelligence, cultural sensitivity, resilience and adaptability, teamwork competencies Values based on CSR and sustainability.
What do you think hoteliers need to do to attract & keep young talent?
Hoteliers should take care of their employer branding. The young generation is looking less for a job than for a mission with meaning and values. Even if young graduates are sometimes a bit impatient, the industry should not crash their dreams, but rather have confidence in them and give due recognition to their abilities and talents.
What features/partnerships are you looking for Industry partners?
We are looking for partners who not only will welcome and integrate our young graduates but also are interested in supporting professionals thinking about the evolution of their professions and their future needs in terms of competencies. Academic partners: we are looking for partnerships with complementary areas of expertise and who will encourage student and teacher mobility.
What message would you give to hoteliers?
Trust the new generation; let them share their dreams with you, inspire them and your respective ambitions will come to fruition.
What message would you give to future generations?
The hospitality industry is made for you if you are open to a world of diversity, challenges, and innovation and if you are driven by human values, and are ready to put to good use your creativity and emotional intelligence.