5 ways to make the most of your time as a student

21 March, 2022
#Student Life

5 ways to make the most of your time as a student

This student from Belgium has a clear vision of where she wants to go in life and how to get there.  

3 min
Amandine is a final year student at HIM.


Ever since high school, Amandine has dreamed of working in some of the finest hospitality establishments in the world. Now the soon-to-be graduate of Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM) has several world-class internships under her belt and is excited about the many career opportunities lining up.

Here are five ways she has made the most of her time as a student to learn, grow, and land prestigious internships at Jumeirah and Four Seasons.


1. Make bold moves

When I was 17, I knew that I needed to improve my English language skills if I wanted to one day study abroad. I knew that the best way to learn a language is to fully immerse yourself in it, so I mustered up the courage and left for Canada (the English-speaking part) for a one-year highschool exchange.

Little did I know how that decision was about to change my life! I became more mature, independent and on top of that — effortlessly fluent in English! Living abroad motivated me to study in an international environment even more. But most importantly - I became confident in my ability to create that opportunity for myself.


2. Set goals

I am not afraid to dream big and I work hard to achieve my goals. At the end of the exchange in Canada, I was able to pass the IELTS test (an international English language test) with flying colors. It in turn opened up the way for me to enroll at HIM. It was not an easy process, but the feeling of making progress towards my goals helped me stay focused.


3. Know your why

I was very clear about why I wanted to study at HIM. First of all, when it comes to hospitality schools, Switzerland tops the list because of its high academic standards and reputation for quality. Having a Swiss school on your CV makes a major difference in the hospitality industry.

One of the other reasons HIM stood out to me was the focus placed on high-level internships. HIM has helped me land internships at two of the most prestigious hotels in the industry. The practical experience that internships provide gives you confidence in your abilities and a significant advantage in the market.

HIM has a wide network of connections with some of the most known hospitality brands in the world. But, at the same time, you also need to work hard to get an internship offer. HIM provided a lot of assistance and created many opportunities for us to find the right fit:

  • I learned how to connect with people, both on LinkedIn and face-to-face thanks to the International Recruitment Forum.
  • I also discovered interesting companies and met inspiring hospitality leaders through school projects for real brands or companies.
  • I also benefited from an amazing career coach who helped me prepare for interviews and improve my resumes and motivational letters throughout the recruiting process.
During Amandine's internship at Jumeirah Al Naseem in Dubai.
During my internship at Jumeirah Al Naseem in Dubai.

4. Keep it diverse

I chose to do my first internship in Dubai at Jumeirah. I’m packing my bags to do my second internship in Miami at Four Seasons. Both the United Arab Emirates and the United States are well known for the quality of their hospitality service. On top of that, Jumeirah and Four Seasons are two major players in the industry.

I believe diversity is very important for growth, both professional and personal. So the fact that these two cities are extremely culturally and ethnically diverse and such opposites of each other, too, is what excited me most.

I’ve also learned a lot from studying in Switzerland. Montreux is a French-speaking city, just like where I am from in Belgium, so the adaptation was not very difficult for me. Fun fact, both Switzerland and Belgium are well known for their delicious chocolate. However, the Swiss value punctuality more than we do in Belgium. Truthfully - every minute counts when preparing to get to class in the morning!

Overall, I’d say that living and studying in Switzerland is an amazing experience and I would recommend it to any students willing to study abroad!

5. Learn from your mistakes

At the Jumeirah Al Naseem luxury hotel in Dubai, a world-class establishment with high standards of excellence, I had to work hard to prove myself. Working at the front desk was very challenging as I had no previous experience in hospitality. I was, on the other hand, very determined to learn. I knew that mistakes were inevitable, especially that early on in my career. But I decided to learn from them, instead of fearing them, and that’s the frame of mind I hope to have throughout my life.

I learned a lot during the Jumeirah internship, including how to solve problems, deal with conflicts, communicate more effectively, and even how to use Opera (which is crucial when working in the room division department).

The Four Seasons’ Surf Club hotel in Miami is an oceanfront resort with fine dining and a world-class spa that, like Jumeirah, expects a lot from their employees. There’s much for me to learn still. I will have a cross training that consists of room division, finance, HR and marketing. So I especially hope to gain a better understanding of conflict resolution, active listening, customer service, and multitasking. But I am sure that they will assist me in my learning throughout my stay - so this is exciting more than anything!