Discover Germany, Issue 35, February 2016

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Discover Germany | Business | IMI University Centre

When hospitality asks for more than a smile To think of hospitality as anything less than an exhilarating and opportunity-filled career is outdated. A competitive, constantly evolving global industry, hospitality demands the adoption of savvy academic methods, which have been perfected by Switzerland’s International Management Institute (IMI) in Lucerne.

Main image: The view from IMI International Management Institute’s campus on picturesque Lake Luzern. From top down: Students Issac Lim (BA Hons in International Hotel & Tourism Management), Viktoriia Bilenko (Higher Diploma in International Hotel & Events Management), Vanessa Pramudji (BA Hons in International Hotel Management) and Vlada Bebyshova (BA Hons in International Hotel & Events Management). IMI students relax in one of the newly refurbished student bedrooms on campus. Students from over 50 different nationalities are welcomed at IMI each semester.


A forward-thinking hospitality management university started in 1991, IMI educates hoteliers, restaurateurs and specialists in tourism and events. Conceived and maintained as a small-scale yet highachieving establishment with students from more than 50 nations, IMI unites Swiss expertise with a global team of industry experts, access to a vast international network of potential employees and tailored teaching. The university’s approach is unusual, explains Rachel Staal, regional manager for Europe, although students graduate with a British honours degree validated by Manchester Metropolitan or Oxford Brookes University. After an intense six-month period of study, students embark on their first of two six-month paid internships, carried out from Dubai to Dubrovnik, San Moritz to the Seychelles.“Within their first

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week at IMI students have interviews with the career department to ascertain what sort of placements are suitable, perhaps a city hotel, a resort or even a six-star resort hotel.” She laughs: “Many underestimate how much hard work such a hotel demands, but imagine the guests’ expectations.”

Alongside the IMI bachelor and master degrees, IMI grants students a BA (Hons) in International Culinary Arts. Equipping graduates with more than the fine art of patisserie making and the delicacies of wine pairing, IMI incorporates transferrable skills such as running a team, budgeting and compiling appetising seasonal menus.

Much more than silver service, the BA in hotel, tourism or events management involves HR management, marketing, financial planning (“everyone’s least favourite module,” interjects Staal), alongside food, wine and cheese to name but a few. “We have four intakes each year and students have a real choice when it comes to specialising. Events is a growing sector with everything from fashion shows and weddings to music festivals – it’s certainly high-octane work.”

Of all the standout features at IMI – and there are many, ranging from its lakeside location in central Switzerland with skiing in winter and watersports in summer – their career-minded approach is highly rated. Hosting more than 30 career days per year, many of the world’s leading hotel chains recruit on campus for promising interns, secure in the knowledge that IMI students will not only be adept at hotels and events, but also at business.