Halfway to the end of my MBA

20 Feb 2014 | by Spencer Ong


If I end up returning to the United States after achieving my MBA, I will certainly miss how leisure time is valued in Europe. The Swiss have that Italian casualty, where everyone enjoys their two-hour lunch breaks at the same time, and vacation lasts for five weeks. That is the amount of time Les Roches allots its students for winter break.

Before returning to Switzerland after my winter break, I had the same feeling I had before heading home after the first semester ended – a lack of desire to leave – but a part of me knew I would be excited upon arrival.

I was correct. There is something about Switzerland that is just satisfying. Maybe it is the silence and timely manner of the train; even the graffiti looks nice, because it is both clean and scenic at the same time.


After being away for a long period of time, there was that inevitable worry that my passion for education had decayed. My hope, however, is that it burns even stronger than my first semester. MBA2 should be more exciting, since this is when we study our specializations.

My second semester goal is to clearly understand financial, asset, and real estate management so that I make any competition irrelevant when applying for jobs in my new career. I also want to take advantage of CDIP, the career placement department at Les Roches, because obtaining a corporate job in the hotel industry is my purpose in pursuing a master’s degree.


Credit is also due to my classmates. Most companies that visit Les Roches offer jobs such as internships, which are applicable to undergraduate students.

Before the winter break, my class approached CDIP to explain how we deserve better awareness, i.e. interviews for jobs that match MBA graduates’ skills and career goals accordingly. The response seemed good as CDIP plans to work with us more, thus addressing an issue that had not previously been acknowledged.

It will be interesting to see the positive changes that are made at Les Roches. One way in which it has made a significant step in the right direction is through the improvement of its website. In my opinion, an ugly and grammatically incorrect one shows a lot about quality. It is the first place where people look, and therefore, requires extensive attention to detail. In fact, when applying to Les Roches, I nearly rejected this school for its online carelessness alone. However, its positive word of mouth reputation and opportunity for international experience is why I chose to follow through.

Thus far, I am happy with my decision, especially since I have witnessed these dramatic improvements firsthand.

Beyond Les Roches, though, the hotel industry lacks excellence everywhere you go: from the inefficient Opera system that makes a check in process more cumbersome than it needs to be, to the poorly written apology letters managers send to upset guests.

My hope is, that even as a pebble in a pond, I can contribute excellence to this industry, and that my colleagues will aspire to do the same.

Spencer Ong


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