Hotel Knobelboden, the subject of the ABP project (part of the International Hotel Development & Finance Specialisation at Glion Institute of Higher Education), was represented by Irene Zijlmans, project director of Hocoso. This is one of the first community based project paving HoCoSo’s path of corporate social responsibility. Irene enabled and oversaw the communication between the German speaking hotel owners and the multi-lingual students. “It was inspiring working with keen, ambitious, blue sky thinking students on one side and a traditional, practical, family owned, Swiss hotel on the other. We believe it was for both students and hotel an eye-opening process with a creative, novel and realistic outcome”, Irene Zijlmans.

Recently, we have been chatting with students currently undertaking Applied Business Projects (ABPs) at Glion Institute of Higher Education. These projects involve students forming teams and partnering with a local or international hospitality organisation, ready to face and solve a particular challenge within the business.

Pier-Louis, Tran Hien Dat, Urangoo and Mazen have joined forces to assist Swiss-based Sporthotel Knobelboden. However, they are not the only Glion students involved – a second group consisting of Shumpei, Loic, Jamal and Adil are also working with the hotel. The two teams spoke to us about choosing their teams and working together effectively.

Picking the right team

The students – all part of the International Hotel Development and Finance specialisation – were allowed to form their own teams, something they all feel is beneficial. “I think it’s a good idea that Glion lets us choose our groups, as we could then choose people that we get along with. We can collaborate better,” Jamal said. “We have better compatibility that way and can talk frankly with each other.”

Mazan agrees. “Usually, the teammates all have the same hobbies and activities outside of class, so the communication is much simpler,” he said. Pier-Louis has already worked with some of his current project partners, so he knows what they are capable of. “If you’ve already worked on a project with them before, it is easier,” he said. “For example, I had many projects with Tran in the past, so I know how he works.”

Staying motivated

In terms of separating the tasks, Jamal says they have a great way of working. “We sit down and split the tasks equally,” he said. “Loic usually does an overview in the beginning and lists down the tasks. Then, each person from the group takes one. Loic and Pier-Louis are the leaders of the groups. They are the ones that make sure the whole team stays motivated and efficient.”

Pier-Louis says it starts with a discussion. “We usually have a brainstorming session to begin with,” he said. “From that, we put our ideas together and then separate the roles.”

This semester has allowed us to use the knowledge we have learned, but we are also learning new things in parallel with doing the project.

Great support

Despite being in two separate groups, the teams are working closely together. “We share insights with one another,” Mazan said. “We sometimes even do the meetings together in order to support each other.”

The students come from different countries. Pier-Louis is French and Italian, Adil is from Azerbaijan, Mazen is from Lebanon, Urangoo is from Mongolia, Loic is from Brazil, Tran is from Vietnam and Shumpei is from Japan. For the future, Loic and Pier-Louis are interested in pursuing a financial career, while Mazen is seeking a career in consultancy.

Both groups believe that Glion has helped them prepare for the ABP, as well as life after their studies. “Yes, we get a lot of knowledge,” Jamal said. “For example, the guest speakers we have are great. They come from many different companies and always have valuable things to say.” Urangoo is also feeling the benefit of doing the ABP. “This semester has allowed us to use the knowledge we have learned, but we are also learning new things in parallel with doing the project,” she said.

Pier-Louis and the rest of his team received support from their tutor, Jackson Dang. “He is a very good tutor,” Jackson said. “He gives us straight-to-the-point information, which I think is amazing. He motivates us to push the boundaries and work harder.” Urangoo agrees. “He gives us constant support all the time and helps us work efficiently.”

Read the article on the Glion blog here.


About HoCoSo

Swiss-based HoCoSo, which stands for Hospitality Consulting Solutions, brings together teams of global experts to create tailor-made solutions for client projects. Jonathan Humphries, Chairman and Owner of HoCoSo, and his direct team specialize in the extended-stay hospitality market, the boutique sector, and resort developments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). We create innovative and future-oriented solutions for each of our clients across the following three fields of services:

  • Product & Concept Creation, for both portfolio & individual asset developments.
  • Strategic Project Scoping, Execution & Asset Management, with a focus on strategic business planning, partner selection, and market & financial feasibility studies.
  • Hospitality Education for companies and academic institutions, with a focus on course development, training and teaching innovation.