Foodservice Consultant Society International (FCSI) student challenge: Teamwork, networking and more.

13 November, 2019
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Domenique van Nielen, a Hotelschool The Hague LYCar student was selected to participate at the Foodservice Consultant Society International (FCSI) for Europe, Africa, Middle East (EAME) two-days challenge. From 18 October to 20 October, Domenique and five other students were competing against each other in two teams of three. The challenge was how would HOST Milano look like in 2045. He kept a diary of his experience, and would love to share it with you, here is his great adventure:

Friday 18 October 2019 | ‘Scanning the environment’

On Friday morning, I met three FSCI consultants by accident and we had breakfast together! At 08:45 there was a shuttle bus ready to bring us to HOST Milano, and together with more or less 50 consultants we left to the fair. When we arrived at the fair, Mr Anton Francois introduced the 48-hour student challenge. The assignment was: ''How would HOST Milano look like in 2045?''. Around 90,000 guests from 177 different nationalities visit the fair every year. Can you imagine the CO2 emission for this event?So, our goal was to make it more sustainable. We needed to include all stakeholders in our analysis, amongst other requirements. My team consisted of  Mr Médéric Oberson from École Hotelière de Lausanne and Ms Marilou Linders from Breda University of Applied Sciences. We had a very good team dynamic and on the first day we decided to walk around the fair. Our coach Roger Obeid introduced us to a many inspiring people from the industry partners, and we spent the whole day interviewing, networking and building relationships.

Saturday 19 October 2019 | ‘Making things happen’

On Saturday morning, our team decided to visit the fair, as we had an appointment with an exhibitor. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to put our ideas into writing and prepare the presentation. We borrowed a flipchart from the hotel and brainstormed all afternoon. During the evening, we developed the presentation and practiced as we needed to present the following morning.  We learned a lot about the fair and all exhibitors and discovered interesting innovations. For example, as part of another FCSI challenge, a team created a machine that could boil or scramble your eggs within one minute. A beautiful invention, especially for hotels!

Sunday 20 October 2019 | ‘Game on’

On Sunday morning, we had a last meeting with our coach to present our idea very briefly, and we practiced the presentation in the hotel afterwards.  During all our interviews we noticed that HOST Milano is not only a fair for showing new innovations within the hospitality industry, but it is also an important network opportunity. We realised hospitality professionals  need the ‘’human touch.’’ For this reason, we started our presentation by giving everyone in the audience a handshake to introduce ourselves. After both teams presented, I had mixed feelings, because the other team had an excellent presentation as well. The FCSI jury would announce the winner only in the evening, during the dinner party! 

At 19:00 the dinner party started and as expected, everything was well arranged. There was a live DJ, a cocktail bar, a wine bar and we enjoyed a walking dinner. All the sponsors of FCSI were invited and we were granted yet again with a unique opportunity to expand our network. At around 21:00 the award ceremony of the student challenge started and of course, all students were a bit nervous. After a long introduction to build up the excitement, our team was announced as the winner of the challenge! We won an amount of money, life-long invitation to all FCSI events, and the participation to the next round of the challenge. This next challenge was only announced after we won the first one. The next round involves each of us writing a motivational letter why you should go to Australia and work with an FCSI consultant for one month ! 

FCSI was a great host and showed excellent hospitality, within a couple of hours we met everybody and they made us feel comfortable. FCSI was honoured to receive us, and I think I can speak for everyone when I write that we felt the same. 


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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