Swiss International School Dubai Students Get Seven-star Work Experience at Burj Al Arab

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Students undertaking the new BTEC course in Business Management and Hospitality at Swiss International School Dubai recently spent a week undertaking work experience at one of the world’s most famous hotels – the iconic Burj al Arab.

The only course of its kind in the UAE, the Pearson BTEC International Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business and Hospitality is offered by the school as part of its International Baccalaureate careers-related programme, to students aged between 16-18. Bolstering its Swiss heritage, the award-winning school – one of the only boarding schools in the region to offer the IB curriculum – is now delivering a Hospitality IB route for students wanting to pursue a Swiss quality education and premium university option.

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Students study three academic subjects alongside the BTEC, which is designed to provide a pathway into a global hospitality career, where Swiss International School’s bilingual teaching programme provides students with additional career advantages.

As part of the course, students spend one day a week at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, part of the Jumeirah Group of hotels. A key element of the course is real-world work experience and internships, and recently five of the cohort of 17 business and hospitality students had a unique opportunity to spend a week at the Burj Al Arab for a week of shadowing and work experience.

The five students – who had to formally apply for the experience with letter and CV – joined the concierge, reservations, housekeeping and front-of-house spa teams over the course of the week to learn more about the hotel’s exclusive operations. Students undertaking the BTEC are anticipated to continue their studies at some of the world’s best renowned hospitality universities in Switzerland, such as Les Roches International School of Hotel Management and Glion Institute of Higher Education.

Lisa Bardin, Swiss International School Dubai’s IBCP Co-ordinator says, “Experiencing hands-on work in such an iconic and prestigious establishment as the Burj Al Arab hotel is invaluable, especially for those pursuing a career in business management and hospitality. Shadowing in various departments gives them a well-rounded understanding of the industry and a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of a world-class hotel.”

This is a remarkable opportunity for students to better understand how the theory they are learning relates to real life situations. They can also take their real-world experience and apply it to their studies. During the week’s work experience, our students have gained deeper knowledge of customer service, using booking systems, people skills, organisation and communications skills and, of course, teamwork.”

Work experience at one of the most iconic hotel groups in the world can only add value to the student’s portfolio and CV. They will also receive a reference from the Burj Al Arab team they worked with, and hopefully develop a network of contacts.”

The students were supervised by the Burj Al Arab’s Learning and Development team, which also oversaw all the student’s daily work and placements. Meanwhile, the Burj Al Arab benefits from hosting and mentoring students from the BTEC Hospitality programme through meeting the next generation of budding new hospitality graduates, and the chance to showcase the hotel, encouraging a new younger demographic of visitors.

The work experience and internship programme will only grow as the course expands, and more students choose this option. Jumeirah Group has a range of hotels in the UAE and worldwide, and exciting options to gain real industry experience across the group’s global portfolio will be available to future students.

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