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Catherine Demont and her hospitality management degree classmates head to an International Young Leaders Club workshop in Geneva. With a little help from post-it notes, and the Elevator Pitch exercise, they learn a lot about the route from education to employment.
We’ve all been together since we began in 2011 and although we’ve lost and gained a few members along the way, we’ve remained a tight team through everything.
Throughout the semesters, our Student Social Committee (SSC) organises events and mufti days, which we all take great pleasure participating in.
In fact, so much so, that last semester the SSC decided to reward and thank us for our efforts.
Much to our surprise, we were presented with a gift certificate, inviting us to a specially-organised workshop with the International Young Leaders Club (IYLC) in January.
The IYLC, based in Geneva, provides ‘education-to-employment’ coaching, mentoring and development opportunities to help young people discover their professional potential, focusing on self-awareness, skills and leadership.
In all honesty, initially there mixed opinions. We had no idea what to expect and some of us were sceptical about giving up one of our precious Saturdays. Nonetheless, I’m pleased to say, we were far from disappointed.
We were joined by IYLC’s founder, Elena Kaplun, financial and pharmaceutical expert Simon Parker and Les Roches alumna and previous IYLC ‘student’ Anastasia Zakharova. The day began with an Empathy Selling activity. A few weeks prior to the workshop, we had been asked to fill in a questionnaire which assessed our personalities and skill sets. These results were then analysed by the IYLC team to formulate which personality category best suits us.
Before these were revealed however, we were asked to assess each other.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable activity; embellishing each other with post-it notes stating ‘politician’, ‘double checker’, ‘artist’ & ’mover’.
In the end, the results confirmed what each of us had previously thought of ourselves and peers, but also provided some insight to those who weren’t as sure.
The second activity featured the golden topic for many of us soon-to-be graduates: How to nail a job interview.
Despite the usefulness of the entire feedback section, the highlight was undoubtedly “The Art of the Elevator Pitch”. The chance to present yourself in thirty seconds in order to achieve the job of your dreams is even harder than it sounds, but we are definitely better equipped now than ever before.
The day ended with an introduction to consulting. Many of us are curious about a possible future in consulting, and Simon Parker gave a solid presentation on what to expect and the skills we would use.
The reason I chose to blog about this experience was simply because I feel lucky to have had it. Improving our CVs, interview skills and personal introductions are not new topics for us, but we appreciated the insight of industry professionals who gave us a refreshing way to look at it.
And the majority of us felt that a greater understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses was certainly the best lesson learned of the day.
Working closely with industry leaders, Les Roches has developed a new MS in Hospitality Leadership. This specialist practical and academic program is open to university graduates, aged 21 and above. It will provide you with the strategic and soft skills in leadership which are necessary to advance your career.
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