It is always a joy to hear from our alumni as they share about the paths they have taken after graduating from Dulwich. Today, we have the pleasure of talking with two of our alumni from the Dulwich family - both of them have earned their Bachelor's Degrees in Hospitality Management at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, widely considered the world's top hospitality management school.
Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Echo: Hi, I'm Echo S, a Dulwich High School Suzhou '14 and EHL '18 graduate. Right now, I'm pursuing a career in marketing and working in a digital marketing agency.
Jung: Hey everyone, I'm Jung Fang Z, a Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong '13 and EHL '18 graduate. I'm currently working in the production management department of a food-grade paper container manufacturer. I have some experience working in the hospitality industry, including at Howarth HTL, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, and Kerry Hotel Pudong.
What is your current role, and what attracted you to it?
Echo: I'm now a Senior Account Executive at Red Ant Asia [a marketing agency in China]. What attracted me to Red Ant was the company's goal to connect next-generation brands to China's current generation. My current responsibility is to help translate the brand's global messages and to make them relatable to the local market. This spoke perfectly to my values and fit well with my academic background at EHL.
Jung Fang: I now work at a company that manufactures food-grade paper containers. My role involves handling standard daily tasks, such as receiving raw materials, tracking finished goods, and supporting the Production Department's smooth operation. This company is a family business, and I am learning and working my way upwards. I aim to manage the company in the not-too-distant future.
What brings you the most joy in your role?
Echo: I enjoy every part of my role. Since the company is mainly focused on introducing niche European brands to China, it's been a great journey to help nourish these brands and make their names heard domestically.
Jung Fang: Being a front-line employee brings me the most joy because it allows me to fully engage in the daily operations and interact with the various departments in the company, which further expands my learning opportunities. When problems occur, we solve them on the spot. This creates a sense of belonging and removes the possible alienation that often occurs in a factory environment
What is your most memorable professional experience?
Echo: I would say my most recent work. Now, my team is responsible for the digital marketing activation for brands such as Missoma, Realisation par, and Beautyblender. Among them, Missoma's launch campaign has become indelible and is often used as a benchmark to exemplify the impact of other digital campaigns.
Jung Fang: My EHL-BOSC4 (third year) compulsory internship at Horwath HTL, the world's leading hotel, tourism, and leisure consulting company. At first, my job was to assist project leaders; later, I handled projects under the supervision of a director. Working independently pushed me to step outside my comfort zone. I learned that if a client held unrealistic expectations, it is essential to communicate the deliverable in time. Otherwise, one may risk losing the client’s trust.
Any tips for students interested in the marketing/food packaging industries?
Echo: For marketing, you must stay curious and stay relevant.
Jung Fang: The food packaging industry is undergoing a significant transition, with the global ban on plastics and the shift towards more environmentally friendly materials. If you are interested in more sustainable solutions for food packaging, this would be an excellent time to join.
What advice would you give to students for them to make the most of their Dulwich experience?
Echo: Enjoy your student life and don't be afraid of participating in school activities. You might find your passion through these events. Talk with your teacher and counsellors if you are uncertain with your education/career direction; they can help you reach out to alumni for advice and suggestions.
Jung Fang: Do not over-stress yourself with worries. Art was my focus during my IB studies. I took Visual Arts at Higher Level. I was always in the art studio, sometimes for an entire day. I was even preparing to apply for art colleges. I enjoyed art, but at some point, I wanted a break from it. I ended up applying for hotel management, and that took me down a different path. Hence my advice would be, try not to overwhelm yourself with worries about the future. It is great if you already know what you wish to do, but it is also perfectly fine if you don’t, because you never know where life takes you.
What was the reason you attended EHL? Were you always passionate about hospitality?
Echo: I developed my passion for hospitality during my application season. Although I later discovered my interest in marketing during my hospitality career, my aim and passion were aligned back then.
Jung Fang: To be honest, hospitality was relatively new to me before applying to EHL. Thus, I took one summer to intern at the Kerry Hotel Pudong. It was a fun and very inspiring experience, which motivated me to pursue my studies at EHL.
How has attending EHL shaped your career growth and success?
Echo: For me, the mandatory internships, the frequent group work sessions, and the final Student Business Project really helped to enhance my communication skills at an early stage. When I transitioned to the professional working life, I found it much easier to cope with different working scenarios than I otherwise would have.
Jung Fang: The alumni network that EHL provides is a privilege that students should make use of. Personally, I found my internships through the alumni network. Both my internships turned out to be brilliant experiences; one was at the Michelin restaurant in Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong and the other was at Horwath HTL, where I was given many valuable opportunities to work independently on property development projects. These two internships exposed me to different aspects of the industry and allowed me to develop various transferable skills that benefited me wherever I went.
On Global Awareness
How has your time at Dulwich/EHL shaped a passion for sustainability and the environment?
Echo: The co-curricular activities at Dulwich established in me a sustainable mindset, while the food-waste control system at EHL showcased a great example of how to put this into action.
Jung Fang: Awareness for the environment was already a topic which I was familiar with from my Dulwich days. This was further strengthened during my time at EHL. Hospitality highly depends on tourism, which has been severely hit by the growing environmental crises. Consequently, hotels have been looking for innovative ways to offer more sustainable experiences, including removing single-use plastics and reducing food waste. From this, I am inspired to think about how human needs can co-exist with the environment.
What do you think is the most important quality that a global citizen should have?
Echo: Understanding cultural differences and embracing diversity.
Jung Fang: I think the most important quality a global citizen should have is a concern for future generations. Recent environmental crises have reflected the fact that the environment has been over-exploited to fulfil human needs. Nevertheless, creating sustainable change requires a collective effort. Hence, as global citizens, we should feel a sense of responsibility to protect the environment and bear in mind that our decisions may affect the lives of others.
As our interview with Echo and Jung has shown, a hospitality management degree can open doors to a rewarding career in various industries. We are delighted to hear about how Echo and Jung have benefitted from EHL's holistic and global hospitality curriculum, which enables students to develop essential hard and soft skills and gain real-world experiences. For more information about EHL's dynamic programmes, scan the code below: