César Ritz Colleges Switzerland and the other close-by sister universities in the Swiss Education Group (SEG) system share a rich network of enthusiastic alumni who love their alma mater and enthusiastically come back to offer master classes for current students. What better encouragement for students than to meet former students who have taken what they learned in Switzerland and created successful hospitality careers throughout the world!
Carlos Granda and Tetyana “Tetz” Rybalka are two César Ritz Colleges alumni who work together at the Nanook Agency, an event-planning agency in Madrid, Spain. They visited César Ritz Le Bouveret Campus in May 2023 to give a master class to students about the relationship between the hospitality industry and its clients, and developing entrepreneurial skills. We took advantage of their visit to catch up with them and their careers and learn of their ongoing alumni relationship with us at César Ritz Colleges (CRCS)
What program did you study?
Carlos: I earned the Higher Diploma in Hotel Management here at César Ritz Le Bouveret Campus.
Tety: I started in 2008 here in Le Bouveret, completing my first term, then I moved to César Ritz Colleges Brig to earn a degree in hotel management, completing my studies and internship in 2010.
What are the key takeaways from your time at César Ritz Colleges?
Tety: The key takeaways are the importance of understanding and being able to work well with people from different cultures, the power of social networks – how to use them to be connected globally – and of course the personal connections the school provides with key players in the hospitality industry. Carlos and I agree that resources that the school provided us really gave us a huge advantage in our professional careers.
What skill did you learn at César Ritz Colleges that served you in your career and beyond?
Carlos: You can learn about service, accounting, strategic negotiations, and more, but what the school provided us that we probably would never have been exposed to is the “art of hospitality”. We learned what true hospitality is – the art of creating an atmosphere of warmth and openness, the beauty of bringing people together and creating a sense of community. That was crucial and we use it every day in our professional and personal lives. The experience of living in Switzerland, one of the most amazing countries, and of being able to maintain a strong connection with the university so many years afterwards is a great value to us both.
Thank you so much for your presentation to our students in Le Bouveret. How was the experience, and is there anything special that stands out about the students?
Tety: We feel that the students are very engaged and it made the masterclass so dynamic and interesting. The students are well-prepared for the real world outside of the school. Many of them have very clear ideas of what they want to do next and this determination is great to see. We also love that the students are very passionate about what they are studying and keen to the fact that the tourism and culinary industries are once again on a major rise and have much to offer professionally.
What advice would you give to a student who is considering studying hospitality?
Carlos: The beauty of hospitality is that it's very versatile, opens many doors and opportunities, and is a wonderful industry to be part of. Get out there and see what interests you! The great fact about SEG is that they run some of the best hospitality schools in the world, each having a strong focus in different fields. So do your research and see which SEG school best fits your needs.
Tety: Be open minded and creative and you will see how wonderful this industry is. Use the network the school provides you to connect with students and alumni, because the power of social networks is huge!