Danish student Daniel Nygaard Munk shares what drew him to hospitality and his secret to selling a $4,500 bottle of wine!
My love of hospitality began with spending time in my uncle’s restaurant growing up. I always had such fun when I visited him. I knew I wanted to study something practical because I have dyslexia—which can make traditional learning challenging at times—and hospitality seemed like a great fit.
I did my first undergraduate degree at the Copenhagen Hospitality College where I learned that hospitality was about so much more than just working in a restaurant! I also became involved in food and beverage competitions, which I’ve grown passionate about and now regularly enter. In fact, I’m planning my next one with some of my classmates right now!
Switzerland is one of the best places in the world to study hospitality and has an exceptional hospitality culture. So, I knew studying in an environment like that would be a great next step for me—especially as I had my sights set on working in high-end establishments at an international level.
The fact that I could earn a double degree with César Ritz Colleges in only three years was so attractive. In Denmark, it would have taken me seven years to achieve the same level of education.
I also wanted to see the world. Choosing to study at a school in Switzerland gave me the opportunity to spend three years in a beautiful country and explore its surroundings. I’ve enjoyed living in the mountains so much I joke now that the only time I miss the flatness of Denmark is when I go running uphill! I’ve also really loved skiing and all the different activities on offer in Switzerland.
The fact that I could earn a double degree with César Ritz Colleges in only three years was so attractive. In Denmark, it would have taken me seven years to achieve the same level of education
I’m currently interning at the Victoria-Jungfrau Hotel in Interlaken, Switzerland. I’ve learned that I definitely want to work in luxury establishments like this in the future. I love the atmosphere and helping people enjoy their experience. Every day, I go home with a smile on my face because I love what I’m doing. No two days are the same!
My most memorable experience so far was the time I sold a $4,500 bottle of wine. Good preparation, a strong knowledge of the wine selection, and my ability to build trust helped that guest find what he was looking for—which turned out to be the exceptional and pricey La Tâche!
My most memorable experience so far was the time I sold a $4,500 bottle of wine.
It may come as no surprise that my favorite class was wine and beverage because it was so hands-on. Together, my classmates and I would taste a vintage and work on identifying its notes and nuances, its history, and would learn about how different factors can influence the flavour.
While it’s mostly fun, studying abroad brings its challenges. For one, I really miss my family and friends. Back in Denmark, we used to meet up at least once a week. Now, I’m not able to see them as frequently—especially with the pandemic.
At the same time, my classmates and I have formed a little family of our own away from home. We know each other so well and help one another out. Even though we are now scattered across the world for our internships, we are still in touch all the time.
I don’t know yet where my feet will take me after graduation, but I can definitely picture myself working as a resort manager in a place like Indonesia, where I could combine my love of scuba diving and high-end dining. I worked in Indonesia for six months and became scuba certified, so we will see what the future holds.