• Austria's news in English
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Private.

Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand

The Local · 21 Jun 2016, 15:06

Published: 21 Jun 2016 15:06 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Not everyone gets the chance to shape their career after their passion. But Swede Sophie Wikström did – and not just for one passion, but all of them.

“I moved to France when I was 18 and started learning French,” she tells The Local. “And I was trying to find an education where I could incorporate as many things as possible.”

She loved food, French, travel, languages, culture, and business.

“So hospitality caught my eye.”

Wikström now owns her own unique restaurant concept, “Nice Life”, which started as a healthy-eating and social gathering spot for expats but has now evolved into an international well-being retreat.

But it all started when she discovered Swiss Education Group through a partnership with a school in Sweden.

To this day, she says it was one of the best choices she ever made.


“It’s a very personal school. You get to know your teachers very well and create very close relationships. And I really liked the combination of theory and practical.”

The internships were particularly valuable, she adds.

“I had internships in Geneva and Barcelona at places like Four Seasons,” she says. “And after I completed my Bachelors I got head-hunted to The Ritz in Paris.”

For graduates of Swiss Education Group, attracting attention from major players in the hospitality industry is the rule rather than the exception.

"It's fantastic for us at Marriot International," says Olivier Rappai, Director of Human Resources at the Zurich Marriot Hotel. "It's hugely valuable for us, having so many well-educated students coming out of Swiss Education Group schools every year."

Rappai says the hotel has been working with Swiss Education Group for 10 years, both by offering internships and through recruitment later on.

"We need good people, and Swiss Education Group has a lot of great students in one place. We're getting well-educated young people who are enthusiastic about the profession. These are students who really want to learn and develop."

Frank Perugini is one such student. The Chicago-native had worked as an IT consultant for years, but when his partner got a job offer in Switzerland, he decided it was time to do something he was passionate about.

“I didn’t love what I did,” he confesses. “And so when I moved here, without a job, I saw it as a chance to reinvent myself.”

After several interviews for jobs in his field went nowhere, he decided to follow his passion and enrol in culinary school.

The aspiring chef picked the Culinary Arts Academy, part of Swiss Education Group, mainly due to its holistic approach.

“It’s one of the few schools that offers a bona fide degree in culinary arts,” he says. “And it’s not just about being a chef, it’s about being a leader in the food industry.”

Perugini just began his studies earlier this year – and so far he’s thriving.

“The best part of studying here is the multicultural aspect. There are students from 64 different countries, and that’s truly amazing,” he says.

The majority of the curriculum is in English, but fundamental French is also part of the programme, which also boasts courses on everything from cooking theory and food safety to pastry-making, interview technique, and developing your CV.

“We really learn how to become leaders in the culinary world. Few schools do that,” he says.

Like Wikström, Perugini hopes to one day start his own culinary venture – but for now he’s following his passion and learning from the best, to make his dreams a reality.

That’s what Swiss Education Group is really good at, Marriot’s Rappai points out.

"We at hotels can give students what they need in terms of training and opportunity and a chance to work with us, but what we can't give them is their passion,” he says.

“That's what Swiss Education Group students themselves bring."

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Swiss Education Group.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available