Following the first part of this blog story, I continue to explore the similarities and differences between the leaders in hospitality management education: Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) and Cornell University.
Cornell: Dinner and movie after work tomorrow? EHL: Can’t. I have an alumni gathering. Cornell: Again? Didn’t you go to one a couple days ago… So who will it be, alumni or me?EHL: Alumni!
EHL has one of the largest alumni network in the world. Standing at 25,000 graduates, EHL may not hold a strong absolute advantage over other liberal arts colleges from a numeric standpoint but instead, this has in turn strengthened the relationships within the close-knitted EHL alumni family. The EHL alumni chapters (or “stamms”) all over the world never fail to hold at least one gathering a month.
At the gatherings, in addition to students doing internships locally and graduates just starting their careers, there are also many alumni with rich experiences, currently holding high and esteemed positions. Often over good food and drinks, the alumni are often keen on the recent updates of the school and on the other hand, current students would never miss the opportunity to learn from the senior members in the industry. As time marches on, the badge of EHL never loses its luster in the hearts of the alumni.
EHL: Sorry I didn’t answer your call. I went to lunch with the team after the meeting. Cornell: The never-ending meetings again? How many are in your team? EHL: Five. An Italian girl, a guy from Switzerland, a handsome Filipino-American, a guy from Czech Republic, and me. How about you? Cornell: Eh… An American man, an American woman, another American woman, and me. EHL: (Making a mocking face) Cornell: What did you have? EHL: Our Swiss guy brought a bottle of Bordeaux [bɔrdo] to go with the cafeteria’s boeuf tartare [bœf tartar]. Cornell: Stop playing word games! It’s [bɔ:'dəu]… And, it’s beef tartar. Your English is getting worse. EHL: I was speaking French!
EHL's international campus hosts students from more than 107 countries around the world. One often hears "hellos" and "goodbyes" in a few different languages and will soon learn to seamlessly and effortlessly switch amongst 3-4 languages in the same conversation. In group discussions, group members from different backgrounds often ignite a spark in the deliberation, leading to more solid and complete conclusions.
As opposed to EHL’s program emphasis on teamwork, Cornell focuses more on developing individual abilities. Although teamwork is part of the curriculum, different courses have different requirements. You will more likely see a Cornell student alone in the library, working diligently on a project. EHL students, on the other hand, frequently engage in lively debate in team meetings in search of the perfect solution.
After reading this couple’s daily conversations, do you feel, like me, that they seem more like a pair of “close enemies”?
Although considered archenemies by others, EHL and Cornell alumni have frequent joint alumni events, sharing the common mission of developing the most outstanding hospitality professionals.
Note: This article was written by an EHL student with the participation of a hospitality management student at Cornell University. Please advise us of any improprieties and excuse us for any omissions.