"To provide hospitality and service management higher education to students from all over the world, and nurture them to become accomplished and successful
hospitality and business executives for the global economy", committed to this mission is International Management Institute (IMI), Switzerland. Successfully shaping hospitality and tourism professionals from all around the globe for about 30 years, IMI was originally set up with the objective of introducing the world to Swiss hospitality standards. The main purpose of International Management Institute was to provide an inspiration to younger generations from different cultures and geographical locations to embrace the spirit of Swiss hospitality and excellence in Service Management.
A truly International University education provider with more than 40 Nationalities in student body and 20 amongst staff, IMI is unique in its own ways. International Management Institute, despite its consistent growth over the last few years, has remained deliberately small. A family owned higher education institute, IMI feels that the element of personal attention and family atmosphere are key factors contributing to the uniqueness as a school. The institute believes that it is essential to embrace the individuality of any origin, thus allowing students to grow as personalities and professionals.
"The international market has been changing dramatically over the past 5 years as a response to international forces and we at IMI have been no exception to this. However, being an integral part of the private education sector in Switzerland, we have maintained our uniqueness as we are one the
last schools still under Swiss ownership while most others have been taken over by international brands or investors. We have managed to maintain this Swiss spirit and we feel that this is why we are still so attractive to students among the world. We have decided to innovate by remaining unmistakable Swiss in everything we do and at the same time adding international context in our teachings and experiences, partnering with top universities in the UK such as the Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford Brookes University as well as the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality, based in London. We are also one of the first to introduce HF Swiss education, delivered in English. Undoubtedly, we are a truly hybrid provider of management education, attracting students from all over the world and promoting the right image of Switzerland across the global scale", speaks Theodore Benetatos, CEO and Academic Dean, International Management Institute (IMI).
Leading the League
Today, IMI provides education in areas such as Hotel Management, Tourism Planning and Development, Events, Entrepreneurship, Global Business as well as Marketing Management. All the above are put in an international context through case study and international staff delivery. Students at IMI have the opportunity to bring their own insight and experiences to the classes and at the same time they will have to work with students from around the world in a project-based learning environment. Also, the level of student support is excellent. IMI expects the best out of its students and the institute is well aware that students are not able to achieve this without constant guidance and support from the faculty, all of whom have industry experience too. Hence, IMI also has an open door policy allowing the students to access information and support at all times.
Committed to academic excellence, IMI provides UK-validated degree awards in the sphere of Hospitality, Business and Marketing Management and International Culinary Arts. All its programmes offer both theoretical and practical elements. Students receive the best in academic training from lecturers who all have vast and varied industry experience. This classroom study is then complemented by paid internships (undertaken either in Switzerland or internationally) where Students can put the theory into practice and benefit from working at some of the world's leading hotel properties. Small class sizes, personal care and attention and a wide alumni network mean students are ideally placed to go on to achieve success in the industry after graduation. The current internship salary for internships in Switzerland is 2,212.CHF gross per month. International internship salaries vary depending on location.
"Being a school that encourages applied research as a cornerstone to its teaching and student experience, IMI has had numerous cases where students publish research and participate jointly in academic conferences with staff, including myself", shares Theodore Benetato. This is actually an endorsed policy at IMI for many years. The institute ensures its currency in many different ways, starting from staff qualification, introducing top teachers from the industry and from around the world, participating in major research events like for example the World Tourism Forum Luzern where more than 30 students participate in various roles. IMI is committed to academic excellence and this is well reflected in the fact that IMI is currently ranked 11th in the QS global rankings for hospitality education and they are devoted in excellence demonstrated by leading as examples.
Hearty and Hospitable Reception for All
As a school that welcomes students from over 40 different countries each semester, IMI is well used to helping students settle in quickly to their new environment. IMI offers four intakes per year to cater for different nationalities. For each intake, the institute holds a special induction week known as
the 'BIG Weeks.' During this week, IMI organizes a variety of information sessions, icebreaker activities and tours and excursions. By the end of this busy but fun week, students are very much already part of the "IMI family" and are fully settled and relaxed in their new home.
A small school with greater offerings, IMI offers highly personalized support when it comes to internship and career placements. On arrival at the school, each student goes through an individual meeting with an Internships and Careers team where they will explain their future career goals. Based on this, the team will find individual placement opportunities for each student. In addition, each semester, IMI organizes Career Days on campus where international companies such as Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt and Sandals will visit campus to present to its students. They will then interview for Internship, Job and Management Training Positions at their international properties.
"Our students are offered support at every stage of the process, from CV writing to interview preparation and visa applications. The resultis a structured and personalized placement plan that aligns each student with their stated career aspirations. Our alumni, both Indian and international have gone onto excel within both the hospitality field and many others. Our former students are now general managers, business leaders, CFOs, academics, authors and even a famous actor. We have a strong representation of Indian students each semester to complement our international mix. We find that Indian students bring a strong work ethic, great interpersonal skills and a determination to succeed in the industry. With this attitude and our expert guidance, it is no wonder we have so many successful Indian alumni representing us worldwide", shares Theodore Benetatos.
The skilled staff also plays a key role in ensuring that the international students smoothly transition through this change. Other than the designated tutors, all members of the staff have a counseling role in the development of the students. "We feel that being a good student is not enough. Character plays also a key role and we all participate in shaping these characters so that the students are ready to face the world. All teachers at IMI have professional experience at management level as we want to bring a real life approach to our studies. Educational qualifications are important but will not suffice to be able to teach at IMI. Not many schools can put forward this claim and it makes IMI a very different from the others", adds Theodore.
Marching ahead with the objective of shaping the future of greater individuals, IMI promises all students - State-ofthe- Art education and support to achieve their targets and reach their goals. "Education is a very important part of your life and being in a school that you can call a family is very important especially when you are away from home. IMI is a large, extended family of individuals around the globe as we will support you and allow you to grow into the path that you have chosen, and we will open up worldwide opportunities for you to succeed in life", signs off Theodore Benetatos.