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 Jasmin Tanguay Senior Director of university and programs research in Institut de Tourisme et d'Hôtellerie.
What innovations, programmes and projects have been implemented in your school over the last two years?
Well, we’ve been pretty busy to say the least, even with COVID aside!
We are launching a new degree from September 2021: the Applied Bachelor in Hospitality and Hotel Management.
This bilingual work-study program will open the door to a management career in different hospitality sectors: accommodation, food service, recreation, travel and transportation, conferences and attractions. Much more than a traditional management program, this applied bachelor degree program — the first of its kind in Québec — will let students develop the behavioural skills essential for any manager who wants to stand out in the hospitality industry. With a bachelor’s in hand and 10 months of professional experience, future graduates can quickly start on the path of a highly promising career.
We are reviewing in depth the other bachelor degree in tourism and hotel management offered in collaboration with the Université du Québec Montréal (UQAM).
This long but necessary process should be achieved by the end of 2021 and will enhance the quality of this renowned programme in Canada. We have a 30- year relationship with UQAM and we’re actively working on new avenues for strengthening bonds at the university and research levels.
What approach(s) has your school chosen to train its students ? What are the specificities of your schools?
L’Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec is unique in our country with its professional, technical and university degrees focused on the hospitality industry and we also have 2 research units and a lot of facilities (2 restaurants, 1 hotel and 16 kitchens including experimental ones) in house.
This is a wonderful field for research and teaching The Applied Bachelor in Hospitality and Hotel Management is focused on applied (experential) teaching that puts the student at the very centre of the learning process.
Beyond theory, classes include case studies, and all the required teaching tools and methods for a student to be able to learn by him/herself in a context that is very similar to real life.
This program is very much focused on behauvioural skills whereas the Baccalauréat en gestion du tourisme et de l’h tellerie is rather oriented on traditional business management.
Full-time and part-time teachers have all had an outstanding career in the hospitality industry. We also have relatively small groups of students. That is very helpful for supporting students in a personalized way and create very strong ties within the whole ITHQ community.
Has the COVID crisis impacted the students interest in the hospitality industry?
Of course! The 2020 situation was just overwhelming for everyone in the hospitality industry and thus schools.
We’ve noticed a few things: our industry took a toll yes, and will change forever, but sustainable development and customer experience are values that are more important than ever for students and candidates. Let’s make sure we focus on those when brighter futures will arise.
Despite massive unemployment in the hospitality industry, we have no steady decline of local applicants.
Those who fill out a form are actually more than ever highly motivated to make a difference! However, international students are missing with travel and immigration restrictions and lockdowns. I hope we’ll be able to welcome them again in September.
What values / skills do you think are necessary for the hospitality industry that should be taught in a hotel school?
Social skills must be embodied in values such as generosity, the desire to please others, the ability to anticipate and manage complex human and financial situations.
What do you think hoteliers need to do to attract & keep young talent?
I believe it is imperative to speak positively about the industry, even in times of pandemic. There are incredible career opportunities awaiting motivated students. However, many of them expect hoteliers to recognize their talents and to offer them great career prospects, while taking into account their desire for a rich personal life.
The new generations do not want to wait 10 years for a promotion, but give their maximum to their employer if they feel respected and recognized and their young experience taken into account.
What features/partnerships are you looking for?
We want to build mutually beneficial partnerships with hotel schools in order to exchange students and professors and strengthen our expertise in the hospitality industry.
What message would you give to hoteliers?
The hospitality industry is fierce with hard competition, demanding hours and labour shortage but it is an industry of passion. We stay in this business because we love the wide range of opportunities and mostly the wonderful people that make it so stimulating. We also love welcoming guests and make their life better, one step at a time. Share your passion with candidates, students and clients!
What message would you give to future generations?
You have a lifetime chance to shape the future of the hospitality industry: just go! You’ll be amazed by all the career opportunities and wonderful people you will encounter!
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