Wolf Magnus Gerstkamp, Les Roches MBA lecturer, reflects on developing the leader in every student.
Students from all over the world form a unique multicultural environment at Les Roches. The very act of studying and living together creates the first natural step toward developing intercultural awareness and communication skills, which becomes in itself an important advancement toward international leadership development and leadership experience in a globalized hospitality setting.
Leadership development at Les Roches takes place through three main distinct but complementary pillars: course and education-based studying, craft-based learning experiences (or experiential learning) and extra-curricular activities.
1. Course-based and academic experiences. These are integrated with personal development and learning through different subjects and academic courses which are taught by an international workforce in the areas of organizational behavior, psychology, human resources, and leadership.
We teach students right from the basics up to more in-depth knowledge with regards to people-related skills, management proficiencies and leadership abilities. In addition to those specific courses, all other courses enhance this learning experience through various people-related soft skills, for example group projects or team-based activities, as well as individual or group presentations, in which students are able to practice and advance their speaking and presentation skills.
2. Practical-based learning takes place in the first two semesters on campus in different service and kitchen environments and settings, in which students put theoretical knowledge into practice. Actual team leading and the organization of a group of fellow colleagues towards a common outcome and goal are key. Furthermore, students have a great opportunity to put the academic and craft-based experiences into practice during various internship experiences of their choice, depending on their preferences.
3. Extra-curricular activities enable the students to be more involved in the day-to-day life of Les Roches community and to organize events for their friends. Organizational skills, team building, leadership skills or representation talents are developed through various responsibilities and accomplishments in the Student Social Committee, Sports Teams, Student Ambassador, Class Delegate, Wine Club or the prestigious Eta Sigma Delta Student Honor Society.
The combination of all three pillars is developing Les Roches students toward leadership maturity and is fundamental for today’s world of hospitality. On a day-to-day basis, experienced academic and practical staff are guiding students and supporting them to unlock their full leadership potential.