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Being a student at Glion offers many opportunities to further your career, have life experiences, and discover new passions – in and out of the classroom. In our latest interview, BBA student and President of Glion Networking Committee, Romane Isler, shares her experience of organizing and running the annual networking conference.

How did you organize the networking conference and how much help did you have?

“We started on the second day of the semester, every week we had meetings with the F&B Team to detail all of the marketing, and meetings with Glion Managing Director, Mrs Davey, to sort the sponsorship part and get her approval, which was very important. Then it was all about finding the guest speakers and organizing fund-raising events to make sure we had enough money to finance the event. It was a lot of work and a lot of hours on the computer sending emails, but in the end it was worth it.”

Why did you want to become networking president?

“I didn’t plan on being the president. Last semester I was really involved as a deputy in the committee and then I was asked if I wanted to be the president and I thought, why not! It was a great opportunity, very interesting, and I’d never done something like this before.”

 

Do you think it was a valuable experience for you?

“Yes, Nanna and I learned a lot (Nanna Zacke – Vice President of Glion Networking Committee). It’s the first time we’ve organized an event from the beginning to the end. And with the support from all of the F&B team here, we were able to think about the small details you would never think about otherwise. And we made many contacts. We’ve built our own network thanks to the networking event!

How did you choose the guest speakers?

“First, we looked at our own network, and who we could contact, and then Nanna and I realised we had some contacts with the same interests in HR. Also, Sommet Education helped us, and some students came to us with contacts, for example, Maureen Chiquet, the former president of Chanel. In the end, the difficult part was trying to find which topic speakers would feel comfortable with.”

“What we discussed was the pace of change that’s coming into the world of work, which is a pace of change we’ve never seen in the past century and what kind of challenge does that create for organizations.” Anthony Vaslin – Chief Operating Officer at Coople and guest speaker

Do you think the students learned a lot?

“Yes, we all learned a lot and we had great feedback from students, who were taking notes throughout the conference, which I was very happy about! I think the speakers had so much experience and expertise in their field, it was very interesting. At the end, the students had the opportunity to ask questions to the guest speakers, and afterwards they could network.”

“The student engagement, the questions they ask, how they interact, you can really see that the mindset is really open, they want to learn something, they are eager to grow, I think its great how they interact with each other.” Garry Levin, Managing Partner at LHC International, Glion alumnus, and guest speaker

After the conference there was the Gala Dinner, how did that come together?

“That was the most tiring part of the day! My team started at 2pm and set up everything. In the evening we started with cocktails and champagne for the guests, and finger food. Then they went into the main room and the Arts Committee performed on stage, as the guests had a three-course menu. We had the Wine Committee helping us serve the wine and the Culinary Committee was in the kitchen, all volunteers. We just hoped everything went well, they liked the food and no plates fell on the floor, or the guests!”

So, what’s the next step for you?

“I’m going to do a Master’s and Nanna has an offer at Cushman & Wakefield in London.”

Thank you to Romane for taking the time out from her studies and presidential duties to share the year-long planning of the Networking Conference. It’s been a fascinating insight, and in the spirit of learning, we’ll give the last word to guest speaker Karin Sheppard, SVP and Managing Director Europe at IHG: “I think for Glion students, I would encourage them to take every opportunity to learn, be curious, push yourself forward, be bold, and enjoy the ride, more than anything”.

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Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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