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Interviews

"Student interest is still strong." Gabriel Laeis, IU International University of Applied Sciences

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 Prof. Dr. Gabriel Laeis.

What innovations, programmes and projects have been implemented in your school over the last two years?

Applied Restaurant Management: A new course featuring live seminars on various beverage preparations and restaurant service in a concise format, including tastings and hands-on training.

Applied Property Management: A new course teaching essential hospitality skills, includinghandling of a hotel Property Management Software (PMS), the analysis of industry data including a third-party certification, and channel & revenue management skills.

A new course entitled “Professional Development”: This module deals with the meta- and cross-sectional skills that are necessary for successful industrial management in the 21st century. It focuses on understanding behavioural patterns, effective team management and the development of lifelong learning skills.

Three new Majors in the 5th semester (each covering three 5 ECTS courses):

1. “Hotel Real Estate”: This major examines the interdisciplinary nature of hotel real estate development and the mix of specialized analytical, financial and organizational skills needed for successful project completion. This includes site selection, land use, entitlements, market and feasibility analysis, budgets, and future trends.

2. “Sustainable Hospitality & Event Management”: This major puts great focus on the management of resources and the systems that are used in the field of sustainability in order to make it more inter-disciplinary. It is currently one of the very few majors in sustainable hospitality management in this field offered in Europe.

3. “Data Analytics”: This major focuses on the field of data analytics by focusing on Business Intelligence, Statistical Computing and Data Analytics and Big Data.

What approach(es) has your school chosen to train its students? What are the specificities of your schools?

Our training philosophy builds upon:
partnerships with the industry and academic partnerships with other universities,
comprehensive management education and perspective,
strong exposure of students to international competitions,
business simulations,
cutting-edge education on sustainable development (depending on chosen major) including international Hackathons and roundtables.

Has the COVID-19 crisis impacted the students interest in the hospitality industry?

Time will tell. At this stage, it perhaps makes engaging in this industry slightly harder, but student interest is still strong.

What values / skills do you think are necessary for the hospitality industry that should be taught in a hotel school?

Flexibility, IT-affinity, intercultural empathy and strong communication and analytical skills. This needs to build upon a holistic approach and understand of businesses as a part of a larger system of human actors and natural systems.

What do you think hoteliers need to do to attract & keep young talent?

Offer meaningful and fairly paid job opportunities. Make space for individual interaction and creative participation in managerial decisions. Offering a career perspective and personal development opportunities.

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