Learning from the best to open a sustainable hotel


A chat about studies and internships with Mohamad, a student at SHMS – Swiss Hotel Management School

Rocks and the sea are some of the most beautiful views Cyprus has to offer.

Hi, Mohamad! Why do you think hospitality is the best fit for you professionally?

I’ve always found that humans are the most interesting book to learn from. I am intrigued by how different people think and behave. In the hospitality industry, we work with and meet new people every day. That’s why, being the social person that I am, a career in hospitality makes for the most exciting path for me.

What excites you about studying at the Swiss Hotel Management School?

Firstly, Swiss Hotel Management School is a very big brand in this industry, for which I’m really excited because I have plans to start my own business in the future. Not only do I get to learn from the best, but I also have the chance to start my career at some of the most prominent hotels in the world as well as network with potential future clients, employers or partners. I have no doubt my education and what comes with it will allow me to have a strong start at opening my own business.

Secondly, studying in the middle of Europe allows you to travel to some amazing neighbouring countries in your free time. At the same time, this education gives you plenty of opportunities to work worldwide and build an international career if that’s something that interests you.

Do you enjoy living on the Caux campus?

The views at the Caux campus are the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen in my life. The facility itself looks like a castle, and for me, it’s a dream to live in this kind of setting. When I was young, I watched Harry Potter a lot, and I really wished to study at Hogwarts. I guess now I can say that I have!

Inspiring views from the Caux Palace, SHMS.

What are the benefits of studying in Switzerland?

When you apply for a job outside of Switzerland, the company will immediately know that the quality of your knowledge and education is high. That’s what makes Switzerland special – they offer the best education in the field of hospitality.

What are the teachers at SHMS like?

Every teacher is very unique, but all are very passionate about what they do and are highly knowledgeable in each of their subjects.

What has been the best memory so far studying at SHMS?

I had such a great time at the welcome party organized by the school. I met so many people and made so many friends that day. Way to start the first semester with new friends and positive energy!

Did your university help you in the pursuit of your current internship?

Yes, SHMS holds an annual recruitment event where students can meet representatives of some of the most prominent hospitality brands in the world. That’s actually how I got a chance to chat with several 5-star hotels, including the one that I currently intern at in Cyprus, and show myself as a motivated student eager to work and get experience.

How has your current internship improved you as a professional thus far?

I’ve learned to be a better listener, a better communicator and, thus, a better leader.

At my internship Olympic Lagoon Resorts, Cyprus.

What are the perks of doing an internship in Cyprus?

There are so many fun activities that you can do in your free time in Cyprus! Here, I love going to the beach, riding jet skis, and hiking in the mountains. I’ve also visited the different nearby islands and tried skydiving, which I will definitely remember for the rest of my life.

What kind of impact would you hope to make in your field in the future?

I want to start my own business and open a sustainable hotel. My vision is to be a plastic-free business, only use clean energy and minimise our carbon footprint in other ways. For example, my chosen cleaning supplies for the hotel would be made with natural ingredients such as vinegar and lemon, and I’d opt for a location near a train or bus station to encourage my guests to travel by collective transport rather than cars.

In the restaurant, I’d have just as many vegetarian options as there would be meat dishes. I’d even encourage people to choose vegetarian meals by offering free desserts as a reward for them helping the world to become a better place.

Also, I want to educate people about the issues concerning the planet. Therefore, I’d present reports on, for example, how much water and electricity are used per guest to empower them to make informed decisions.

During the first week at SHMS, when I had just received the school uniform.

Wow, it seems like you have given it a lot of thought already!

Definitely. I believe it is very important to think about ways you can make this world a little better, and I think many people care and want to see business care, too. That’s my future business will also donate part of the proceeds to people who are in need.

At the Harbour of Paphos, Cyprus.

There are many people who, unfortunately, don’t have proper living conditions, not to mention opportunities to realize their full potential. I know how it feels to not have food at home, and that’s the worst thing that could happen to any human, especially children.

I got the opportunity to follow my dream and study at one of the best hospitality schools in the world. I cannot wait to be in a position to help somebody to realize their dreams, too.

Thank you, Mohamad, for sharing an important message! All the best to your future endeavours, and don’t forget to invite us to your hotel’s opening!