A brilliant alternative to cancelled practical placements proves successful

27 July, 2020
  • 2 min read
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This year, a group of 150 students had to leave their placement mid-way or in some cases could not even start their work experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience, many students were left with a bitter-sweet feeling. There was, however, a silver lining on the horizon. The HTH placement office collaborated with industry partners and alumni and came up with an innovative idea to turn the situation into a beneficial experience; the Industry Project.

The Industry Project: what is it exactly?
The substitute programme offers our students the opportunity to collaborate with the industry by becoming a part of team communities based all over the world working on real-life cases. For the duration of one week, a team of five HTH students tirelessly apply themselves to an actual business case presented to them by the industry partner and ultimately come up with the best ideas and solutions. After which they start working on a new business case for a different company again. 

Marloes Knippenberg, CEO of Kerten Hospitality confirms the authenticity of the project: “As meeting and collaborating remotely is part of our real industry setting now, it could not be a better connection to reality, and this might be the beginning of something new”. 

Despite the very short time available to turn around the entire placement experience, the alternative placement projects proved to be highly engaging, interesting and at times even more strategic compared to the original practical placements. At what is a pivotal moment in the HTH student career, we found a solution that worked for all parties involved.

Lea Jordan, Head of Marketing & Co-Founder of techtalk.travel spoke positively of this development: “Amazing approach of Hotelschool The Hague responding to the downside of the current situation; by looking at and embracing the opportunities and upsides of it to build relationships and foster knowledge and experience exchange via this virtual model”.

How an innovative solution created a win-win situation
We received fantastic support from both the hospitality industry and our alumni community. After the first week of implementation, we were contacted by over 75 companies with over 100 possible business cases for our students. Feedback from the companies after delivering the projects was extremely positive and that HTH students deliver a high standard of work. At the same time, students reported back saying that despite the loss of the practical placement, they had gained valuable experience working on real-life cases, including close and direct communication with senior management, all thanks to the Industry Project.

Is your business linked to the hospitality industry and would you like to collaborate with us too? 
Reach out to Elina Sperth, Account Manager Placement Office via industrypro@hotelschool.nl

About the author

Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, Hotelschool The Hague has become an international hospitality business school specialised in hospitality management, offering a 4-year Bachelor in Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13-month MBA in Hospitality Management is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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