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Giulia Wyss, student from Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, wins the Hotel Leaders Network Student Challenge 2014, The Hague
On Sept 16th 2014, myself, two other BBA 7 students and our program manager, Mr. Remy, boarded a flight to Amsterdam for the Hotel Leaders Network Conference and Student Challenge.
The challenge started on Wednesday with the induction meeting and presentation of the teams for the challenge which was to create a feasibility study of a major conversion project in Amsterdam in a prime location with an investment volume of up to 150 million Euros.
The participating schools were Les Roches, Glion, The Hague, Hong Kong Polytech and Maastricht School. Each school was to be split between the teams.
There were four people in my team, including students from Glion, The Hague and Hong Kong Polytechnic. It was a challenge at first working with people from different schools, with different ideas, mentalities and education levels.
However, over the two days of intense work we managed to bond and create an impeccable concept based on all of our ideas combined.
After visiting the property, a former government building in the centre of Amsterdam, we participated in various workshops to help us with the conversion project: namely, a feasibility workshop, ideation sessions and pitching
After an intense one and a half days of work, on Thursday night we pitched to the jury, which included the Real Estate agent handling the property, who selected the 3 teams for the final. Of course, all teams that included all three Les Roches students were selected!
The next morning the three finalist teams pitched to a large audience with special guest CEOs and the Presidents of Rezidor, Starwood Europe, NH, Accor Northern Europe and Russia, and Marriott Europe, as well as students and faculty from The Hague Hotel School. It was a privilege to be part of the winning team, which proved our high calibre and creative minds. It goes without saying that group effort and good communication between team members leads to success.
Our team was then taken straight to the nearby Romada hotel to present our concept to over 50 General Managers from various hotels within the Netherlands and in neighbouring countries.
All three finalist teams were then allowed to participate in the GM workshop as part of the GM Hotel Leaders challenge. The GMs followed a similar task, though concentrated on operational and strategic risk management. This was an excellent opportunity and eye opener into the way that executives and GMs work. It was an honour that the teams were asking for our input as part of the young generation entering into the hospitality world. At the end of the workshop, the GM teams each presented their concepts and the winner was selected for the Hotel Leaders Network Award.
The day ended with a networking event and cocktail where all Executives, General Managers, students and faculty had a chance to meet each other.
Overall, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and as representatives of Les Roches we feel privileged to have had this experience.
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