Balancing work and studies

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 March, 2011, 12:00am

Meeting the needs of working professionals in the hospitality, tourism and related service sectors, the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland has launched a fully accredited, online MBA in international hospitality and service industries management.

The online programme offers a flexible approach to gaining an MBA-level education that carries exactly the same accreditation as an on-campus master's degree, according to Kate Buchanan, programme director for Glion Online MBA.

'Proudly international, Glion has sought to ensure that its new online MBA replicates its on-campus diversity,' she says. 'With 38 different countries already represented in the first three intakes, the new online MBA looks to be continuing Glion's truly global appeal.'

Glion's CEO Christian Beek says the online MBA programme was developed based on research conducted in 2005 and 2009 with more than 1,000 hospitality managers around the world.

'The online MBA promotes the advanced study of organisations, their management and the ever-changing external context in which the hospitality industry operates, enabling students to further their careers within the industry or expand into new fields,' Buchanan says.

'The programme offers internationally oriented content, a wide range of international faculty and a global student body of industry professionals. It balances international management theories with practical case studies, giving students the opportunity to interact with fellow students globally.'

Featuring specialisations in general management for service industries, marketing and innovation, and asset and revenue management, the programme provides immediate benefits for students and employers by allowing students to directly apply what they have learned to their respective organisations, Buchanan adds. The studies, including an applied business project, can be completed in about 21/2 years. There are five intakes per year to allow for increased flexibility.

The Glion Institute of Higher Education is part of the Laureate Education Group, which provides online services to more than 35,000 master's and doctorate students worldwide. The infrastructure and support of this experienced online services provider assures a quality experience for students with fully-tested technology and online learning resources.

A student of Glion's online MBA programme, Bernard Rodrigues, says this programme gives him the opportunity to balance his work, personal life and further advanced studies.

'The online resources available through Glion's virtual classroom make the whole learning experience real and engaging, as if I am actually attending class,' says the general manager of The Charterhouse Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. 'The best part is that I am able to study in my own space and my own time. The faculty staff and support team at Glion are very professional and highly interactive with students. If you have any issues, they are always quick to respond with solutions.

'Highly relevant to current market and industry trends, the programme not only covers the hotel industry, which is the major core of the studies, it also examines wider service industries, including tourism, airlines and travel-related retailers.

'The case studies are relevant and practical. We learn to apply best practices not only within the classroom, but at our workplaces on a daily basis.' The marketing course introduces students to the application of social media as a part of marketing communications. 'We have studied many successful cases as part of this course,' Rodrigues says. 'I find it very interesting. I never knew the power of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. The course has opened my eye to potential business opportunity.

'Most of my classmates come from the hotel industry and hospitality field, and are in the senior management of reputable international hotel groups. A large part of the online MBA experience is the opportunity to interact with classmates from multicultural backgrounds, which brings together a vast amount of knowledge and strategic thinking. Our weekly debates are challenging and good opportunities for us to learn from each other.'

With almost 50 years of experience in delivering hospitality related education on its Swiss campus in Montreux, Glion is an internationally respected institution.