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Hospitality students in Switzerland look for job opportunities at IRF 2019

MONTREUX, Switzerland -- Swiss Education Group held its 22nd International Recruitment Forum from Oct. 21-22, inviting 56 hotel businesses from around the world and students from five hospitality schools under the group -- Cesar Ritz Colleges, Swiss Hotel Management School, Hotel Institute Montreux, IHTTI School Of Hotel Management and Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland

Swiss Education Group CEO Florent Rondez speaks during a press conference held Tuesday at Montreux Music & Convention Centre in Switzerland. (SEG)
Swiss Education Group CEO Florent Rondez speaks during a press conference held Tuesday at Montreux Music & Convention Centre in Switzerland. (SEG)

SEG students are required to finish two internships to graduate, and the IRF forum -- held twice a year -- is an opportunity for the students to find internships and job opportunities.

Some 3,000 students from the five schools attended the two-day forum. Among them was Zara Pickles, 19, a student from Britain studying hospitality at IHTTI. Pickles just completed an internship at The Arts Club, a London-based private members club. Her goal is to eventually operate her own high-end private members club in Mayfair, London.

Another student who attended the event was Chun Jin-seok, 25, from Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland. “I started studying here about two years ago, and here today I came to find internship opportunities, he said.

Chun, who would like to do his internship in Barcelona, Spain, said he had talked with representatives from hotels in Barcelona, England and the US, and expects to hear from them in a few weeks.

Students attend International Recruitment Forum 2019. (SEG)
Students attend International Recruitment Forum 2019. (SEG)

SEG has seen a rise in the number of Asian students since opening an office in Singapore in 1995. Some 60 percent of the students at SEG schools come from the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Korea and Taiwan, though the numbers have decreased slightly compared to the past several years.

After the education group was acquired by Summer Capital in 2018, it has expended more resources to promote its programs in the region, according to officials.

While the number of Chinese students decreased, the number of Korean students increased by 5 percent in 2018 on-year.

“When I first arrived, I was the only Korean student to have newly arrived at the school that year. In the following years, however, the number of new Korean students has been on the rise. This year, about 10 new Korean students arrived in the culinary arts school,” said Jung Hwe-yun, 28, a Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland student.

Over 4,000 interviews between students and business representatives were conducted during the forum.

Meanwhile, SEG introduced SHMS’s new partnership with Bidroom, a no-commission hotel-booking platform, at a press conference.

By Shim Woo-hyun (