SDV Abroad: London
- 5 min read
Phase III students came back from their 5-week SDV Abroad journey in London where they engaged in a challenging and insightful experience. The course consists of thorough external and internal analyses to formulate a long-term strategic direction to a case company which is aligned with environmental forces driving change and the company’s goals.
The case company was Anglo Educational Services, a relatively small company based in London which provides accommodation, internships, educational tours and study centre facilities to American students coming to the UK for short-term courses abroad. Evidently, considering the housing sector in London and the reputable English universities, this is a highly dynamic and attractive industry. Students had to analyse the factors influencing demand and supply in London in a moment of uncertainty caused by Brexit. One of the main benefits from going abroad is the direct contact with the case company. Indeed, students met with Anglo’s CEO, Steve Lowy, and his team twice to understand their expectations and gain valuable information on Anglo which was then used in the internal analysis. One of the main take-outs was Steve Lowy’s “pirate thinking” which encouraged students to think outside of the box and come up with innovative strategies giving them the edge in obtaining a sustainable competitive advantage.
All four teams presented their final strategic choices to Anglo’s board members at the end of the block. Strategies included reinforcing their sales system to create new and stronger partnerships, expanding their accommodation offerings in London, expanding to new markets such as South East Asia or creating new products and services to their end-customers such as volunteer or sports programmes. The SDV Abroad teams are proud to say that they have impressed Anglo’s directors with their thorough analyses and well-founded decisions on how their company must develop in alignment with their abilities and expectations.
SDV Abroad is not only about being consultants for a true client, but also about networking and visiting companies thanks to our vast alumni network. During these company visits students learnt about current market trends, challenges businesses face and anticipate or even how companies dealt with fierce competition in the past. It also provides students with an idea of which working environment would suit them best as they can project themselves easily. All students would like to thank JLL, CBRE, Expedia, OTA Insight, The Savoy, The Good Hotel, Four Seasons Ten Trinity and LSE University for taking the time to welcome the group and share their industry insights.
During their time in London, the students also attended the Independent Hotel Show where they met professionals and attended keynotes on current trends affecting hotels. Students also went to Imperial College to attend a presentation from Alex Osterwalder, the author of “Business Model Generation” which is used in the course BMI. His talk focussed on being an entrepreneur and how businesses must continuously explore numerous innovations alongside their current business model. SDV abroad students had the privilege to present the process and the findings of their consultancy work for SDV to students of Greenwich University. Finally, Glion invited Hotelschool The Hague students to attend a guest lecture on the future of Artificial Intelligence in hospitality followed by a wine tasting organised by their master students.
Needless to say that the experience was enriching from an academic perspective by working for clients with true challenges in a demanding industry or personally by broadening professional horizons and getting a clearer image of personal expectations for their future LYCar internships.
All 19 students would like to express their gratitude to Mr Fagel and Mr Lim who supported the students throughout the journey and for making this experience; to Bertille Pommier, Adèle Verré, Ioana Sîtea and Iulia Szabo for organising the trip in its entirety and to all the professionals in London who shared their valuable insights, making it a truly enriching experience.
Written by: Bertille Pommier