Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Expectations Exceeded: ICMS student embraces Swiss experience at YHS Summit 2024

Expectations Exceeded: ICMS student embraces Swiss experience at YHS Summit 2024

March 27, 2024

ICMS Bachelor of Hospitality Management student Jack Parsons represented ICMS at the 2024 Young Hospitality Summit (YHS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, in March.

He was the only Australian at the global gathering of around 80 young hospitality future leaders from 26 countries who attended the prestigious Summit held at the EHL, the oldest hotel school in the world.

“It was unreal,” Jack, in his third year of studies, said of the experience.

“The depth of knowledge in hospitality was strong and the summit was so international with over 40 different institutions; there was so much to learn.”

Founded in 2010, the YHS is organised and run by a team of ESL hospitality students to create a platform for future leaders in the hospitality industry.

The summit is the largest of its kind in the world. It provides a space for students to network with industry experts, explore job opportunities, and build invaluable global connections.

Top 3 Highlights of YHS

In Jack’s opinion, the following were the top three highlights of the Summit:

  1. The main highlight was getting to meet so many people from many different countries. The opportunity to learn from their experiences and their life was so special because that is something that can’t be taught. Having conversations with other like-minded students that are at the top of their respective Universities is an experience of learning like no other.
  2. The panels from executive industry professionals were very insightful. Talking about the Future of the Hospitality Industry but also what their own experiences were like and what they were doing in their companies to do with company culture, future of their companies, what challenges they are facing and how they are revolutionising the Hospitality industry.
  3. On the final night, we had a beautiful Gala Dinner at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. This night was very special as it was an opportunity to celebrate everything, we had done over the past couple of days and also get to experience Switzerland Hospitality at a very prestigious location. It was a fun night filled with great food and drinks and being in a room full of hospitality people it was always going to be a good night.

Learning more about the Hospitality Industry – and discovering life path

“I learnt a lot about the hospitality industry, from the panels, to the people and just through conversation the learning never stopped,” Jack said.

Industry leading executives from companies like NEOM, Kempinski Hotels, The Living Circle, SMACK Hospitality, and OrientExpress, as well as multiple entrepreneurs, attended. They shared with the delegates what the future holds for the hospitality industry.

Key topics that were covered were about Workplace Strategies, Talent Acquisition, Hotels of the Future, Branded Residences, Real Estate Investments within the Hotel Industry, Leading into the Future, Digital Marketing and more.

These were all topics that were discussed in panels, alongside a live Q&A throughout the summit where delegates heard from other people’s experiences.

“There was a session called “NEOM YHS Session” which was hosted by NEOM which was the major sponsor of YHS at EHL.

“It was a live Q/A and we had some of the brightest minds at NEOM hosting and answering questions from the delegates.

“They were talking about the future of the hotel industry but also career advice so I asked the question of ‘I’m from Australia and I love Australia, I have great friends good network, I’m very comfortable, but I know deep down that I want an international life. What advice would you have, pros/cons and tips for this, and what was your own experiences like?’

“Straight away I was told to get out of my comfort zone,” Jack said.

“They shared their own experiences and I was able to walk out of there knowing exactly what I wanted to do in life.”

Meeting and mingling with like-minded delegates from around the world

“It was a pleasure to get to meet the other delegates and the YHS team at EHL,” Jack said.

“We were all like-minded and thriving in their own respective universities.

“The best part was that everyone loved hospitality and you could feel the buzz in conversation when we were talking about what we wanted to do in the future.

The delegates ranged from various different countries including but not limited to, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, America, Spain, Mexico, Canada, France, Switzerland and more.

Invaluable Industry networking made easy

“The industry networking was valuable, to have that many people whose future is Hospitality and International Hospitality connects deeply with what I want from my life,” Jack said.

He added that networking continued outside the conference was just as valuable as within the confines of the official Summit.

“Going out into Lausanne afterwards, going for lunch and at places like the Gala Dinner was a perfect time to connect with people.

“I am and will continue to keep in touch with the delegates and members of the YHS team. As I am going back to Europe in June and July plans have already formed to meet again and throughout life I never know where I will meet them again.

“They could be employing me or I could be employing them. I’m excited for the future with amazing hospitality people.”

Inspired? Take the opportunities offered, Jack advised

Having the opportunity to attend events such as the YHS is why the ICMS Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) offers students the best in industry-relevant education.

Jack didn’t let being the only Australian representative intimidate him, he jumped into the experience ready to embrace all opportunities on offer.

“Bring the only ICMS student, and Australian, at the Summit was great.

“It was an honour to be able to represent Australia and ICMS in a global setting.”

To other ICMS students considering a global engagement experience such as YHS, Jack said: “Do it. I had the best time and I met the best people.

“It exceeded my expectations on every level and I urge you, if you have the opportunity to have a global engagement experience, run as fast as you can towards it.

“The global connections and friendships I made over the Summit experience is something I am going to be eternally grateful for.”

In closing

“I would personally like to thank everyone that has helped me get to where I am today and to be the person I am,” Jack said.

“It was an honour and pleasure to attend the Young Hospitality Summit in École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL Business and Hospitality School) representing Australia and ICMS.

“To everyone I met, I can’t wait to see where your careers go and to see you again soon.”

To find out more about YHS, click here.

Follow YHS on Instagram here.

To find out more about the ICMS Bachelor of Hospitality Management, click here.


Bachelor of Hospitality Management, Undergraduate, News