A brilliant alternative to cancelled practical placements proves successful

27 August, 2020
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This year, a group of 150 students had to leave their placement 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 PRO-ject.

The Industry PRO-ject: 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 maximum two weeks, 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. 

Tristan Knight, Regional Director of Talent & Culture at Rosewood London, immediately commited to support our students with various projects: "It's important that we continue to nurture future hospitality talent with projects to provide the operational learning experience and shaping the student's career direction in hospitality". 

Despite the very short time available to turn around the entire placement experience, the alternative industry 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 hands-on projects for our students. 

The projects varied from operational plans on how to re-open in the new 'normal' and how to keep the workforce and/or guests engaged, to more strategical plans on how to adapt to changed MICE and social markets and analysis on the financial impact on the operation. 

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 PRO-ject.

Companies involved
A heartfelt gratitude to all companies involved for their support, being great ambassadors and sharing their expertise with future hospitality talent: 21CC Education I Accor I Accor Central Europe I Apollo Hotel Amsterdam I Aroundtown SA I BeneKids I Bij Breek I Broods I Conscious Hotels I Cordaan I Debaras.cz I Floriade Academy I Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square I Hilton Garden Inn Leiden I Hilton The Hague I Horwath I Hotel Arts Barcelona I Hotel2Stay I I For Hospitality Group (IFHG) I JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group I JONG Marketing I Le Marin Hotels I Lead your Future I Leonardo Royal Hotel Den Haag Promenade I Lloyd Hotel I Manto Hotel Lima MGallery Hotel Collection I Minor Hotels I Pentahotels I Rosewood Hotel Group I Sales in Motion I Singulart I Sircle Collection I SoFine Foods I Techtalk.travel I Ter Marsch & Co I The Barcelona Edition I The Hotel Darmstadt I Upperbloom I Vegan Masters I Villa Magnolia I Wyndham I Zoku

Is your business linked to the hospitality industry and would you like to collaborate with us too? 
Reach out to Elina Sperth or Dominique ter Meulen, Account Managers Placement Office

Elina: +31 630 127 494
Dominique: +31 653 651 544
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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