There’s no better way of learning than to see how theory works in practice, which a cohort of BBA students found out first hand in last semester’s field trip to Budapest.
As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And that’s as true for education as it is for anything else. That’s why each of our programs at Glion includes first-hand exposure to the reality of the hospitality industry – what better way of gaining understanding than seeing what you have learned in the classroom being applied in the real world?
Our final semester BBA students from the London and Bulle campuses gained vital hands-on experience – and a taste of the high life – while on their field trip to the Hungarian capital Budapest. As well as immersing them in the country’s thriving high-end hospitality industry, the field trip provided exceptional networking opportunities and the chance to rub shoulders and compare notes with their colleagues in each of the three specializations: Luxury Brand Strategy, International Event Management and International Hotel Development and Finance.
“The field trip forms part of students’ specializations in the final semester of their program,” says Head of Luxury Brand Strategy at Glion Dr. Barbara Czyzewska. “Not only do they get to meet senior representatives from some of the top brands in the industry, they also get to sample some of the finer things in life that the luxury tourism sector has to offer.
“As well as the learning, the field trip also allows students from both campuses to connect with each other in person, contributing to an even more memorable experience.”
Famous for its stunning architecture, picturesque views, thermal baths and rich cultural heritage, Budapest is a great destination for students hoping to steep themselves in luxury hospitality. Our BBA students got an early introduction to this exclusive world, staying at the four-star Continental Hotel Budapest Superior, an art deco marvel built on the site of the former legendary Hungária Bath in Budapest’s city center.
But if the accommodation was superior, the remainder of the itinerary more than lived up to that billing. Students visited several prestigious hotels, including the sumptuous, high-end Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, where they carried out a site inspection and were given a presentation by the sales team. They were also treated to a visit and Q&A session with senior management at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, which boasts elegant guest rooms and top-notch dining options, and a presentation by the General Manager and Operations Director at the Continental Hotel.
“This gave students a behind-the-scenes view of operations at some of the country’s top hotels and valuable insights into Hungary’s hospitality industry,” says Dr Czyzewska. “It also provided a great way for them to make professional connections that could prove extremely helpful in their future careers.”
The opportunity certainly made an impression with Sara Pedrazzoli, a London-based BBA 7 student, who says: “Meeting hospitality leaders and learning more about the operations they run in Budapest enabled us to a gain deeper understanding, which enriched our knowledge of luxury brands and the hospitality industry. We also got to ask them their opinions on current hospitality trends and the challenges facing the sector today.”
The field trip wasn’t all about presentations and networking. A significant element of all such visits is the opportunity to experience quality and excellent service, which is why the itinerary includes social and cultural functions.
On the agenda during the students’ first full day was a guided tour of the Great Market Hall of Budapest, including sampling of local delicacies, lunch at the upscale restaurant Domus Vinorum and dinner at Inyenc Kert, a traditional Hungarian restaurant.
More cultural delights were on the menu the following day, when students enjoyed a boat ride and lunch along the Danube, visited the famous Szechenyi Baths, one of the largest and most famous bathhouses in Europe, and had the opportunity to explore the nearby Heroes Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To round off the day, students dined at the famous New York Café, which was one of the highlights for many.
“Dining at the New York Café, on the last evening, was a unique experience and a great way of rounding off the trip,” adds Sara Pedrazzoli. “We got to enjoy the local cuisine, share our memorable moments and admire the stunning Art Nouveau interior of the café.”
Before leaving for the airport, there was still time to gain further industry insights and hear about the latest trends during a presentation by the Budapest Business School Faculty of Commerce, Hospitality and Tourism. This was followed by a presentation about the activities of Horwath HTL Hungary – the leading international hospitality consulting company in Central and Eastern Europe and CIS countries – given by director Attila Radvánszki. The final engagement was lunch at Restaurant Twentysix Budapest, which offers contemporary cuisine, and a guided walking tour of the city.
“This field trip gave our students amazing professional networking opportunities and exposure to the world of luxury hospitality,” says Dr Czyzewska. “Not only that, each of the hotels and dining destinations offered a special experience, whether it was trying new local cuisine, discovering unique atmospheres or interacting with the friendly staff. It’s one thing learning how things work in the classroom, but witnessing it happening in the real world adds a much deeper level of understanding.”
Be wise, specialize
You can choose between three career-focused final semester specializations to complete your Bachelor’s in International Hospitality Business at Glion. Click the link to discover more.