“The end of education is to see men made whole, both in competence and conscience.” - John Dickey
On a rainy Friday in Cergy, IMHI students, alumni and the general public were invited to the program’s first ESSEC Hospitality Forum. This event featured three roundtables with a variety of industry professionals that aimed to provide insights as to where the hospitality industry is heading, as well as to offer a greater understanding of the individual competencies that are required to thrive in each of the three domains presented: Hotel Operations, Finance & Real Estate and Distribution & E-Commerce. Companies represented at these roundtables ranged from major hotel companies, such as IHG, Accor and Starwood, to real estate advisory firms, JLL, to online travel agencies, Expedia. Each of the nine panelists drew from their personal experiences to answer a range of questions aimed at diving deep into the intricacies and challenges facing their particular area of expertise. Audience members were also able to virtually participate in these insightful discussions by sending their questions to the various panelists via Twitter.
These roundtables were then followed by the official launch of the program’s junior consulting organization, Junior IMHI Hospitality Consulting, highlighting yet another opportunity for future students to develop many of the core competencies, knowledge and experience that were addressed by the panelists.
After listening to industry executives throughout the morning, both IMHI and ESSEC students had the chance to further explore and share their competencies at the career fair that featured 21 different hospitality companies that same afternoon. Representatives from each of these organizations welcomed students to their stands and presentations in order to share information about potential career opportunities and overviews about their company cultures and identities. This part of program was especially crucial for (and well-received by) this year’s graduating class, who will receive their diplomas in just a little over two months and are therefore diligently executing their career searches.
The first ESSEC Hospitality Forum was a true success for both students and alumni. This event highlights not only a willingness to constantly create new opportunities for students within the IMHI program, but also further enhances one of the program’s main goals: to facilitate and foster the development of skills, knowledge and competencies in every one of its students for their respective futures.