Dominic Szambowski — Photo by Swiss Education Group

The autumn term at SHMS has not only seen students returning to the SHMS campuses, but also the arrival of a new dean, Dominic Szambowski, former president and CEO of the International College of Management in Sydney (Australia).

Dominic Szambowski brings years of experience in the higher education sector and a wealth of expertise in intercultural communication and international networking. As he has travelled across the world for this new position and is currently sharing his time between the SHMS campuses in Caux and Leysin, we thought it would be interesting to ask him to "unpack" what he has in his bag.

What is in your bag that you bring to SHMS from your previous work experiences?
I believe that I am bringing fresh ideas, new perspective, and a global vision. I have worked at some fine colleges over the years, in Australia, Malaysia, the USA, and even in Switzerland at César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, and it is a pleasure to now be at SHMS.

Having worked and observed the trends in higher education in Asia will be very helpful in my new role. I admire the drive and innovation demonstrated in Asian colleges. What I love about SHMS is that, on top of being a contemporary hospitality school, it is on the cutting edge.

Our Apple Distinguished School (ADS) status allows us to revolutionise the teaching and learning experience for both our faculty and students. As of May 2020, there are only 43 higher education colleges worldwide that can boast ADS status, with SHMS being the only one in Switzerland.

For faculty, this allows for greater innovation, a transformative educational excellence, and authentic learning environments. As for students, they benefit from our commitment to remaining ahead of the pack by looking deeply into the traditional areas of hospitality as well as becoming skilled in areas like data analytics, customer experience design, and AI technology.

What is in your bag that you would like to give SHMS students?
I think that maintaining a well-balanced life at college is the way to go. That could mean having fun by helping with a banquet, attending a student government meeting, doing yoga with your floormates, hitting the books in the library, or attending that group meeting about your project.

Last Monday I attended the regular weekly sports night at the Leysin gymnasium. Over 50 students could choose from volleyball, basketball, futsal or cheerleading. For two hours, students had fun, could clear their heads for a while, ensuring that the following day they could approach their classes with renewed vigour.

It is also very important to not always hang out with peers from your country- the friends that you make now will be with you for the rest of your life. The good thing about SHMS is that, in years to come, you will have a friend in every major city in the world. You never know when you will need their professional help or to welcome you when you pass through.

What would you like to add to your bag?
I would like to add the secret of the sheer excellence of good service when looking after clients in any field of business. This is taught at SHMS but has just disappeared from many collegiate curricula around the world. It is a result of the unique blend of hands-on training and a strong academic curriculum found at SHMS.

As dean of a multi-campus school, Dominic Szambowski frequently travels by train between Leysin and Caux.

— Photo by Swiss Education GroupAs dean of a multi-campus school, Dominic Szambowski frequently travels by train between Leysin and Caux.

— Photo by Swiss Education Group
As dean of a multi-campus school, Dominic Szambowski frequently travels by train between Leysin and Caux. — Photo by Swiss Education Group

For many colleges this has now been placed into the "too hard" basket because it requires a certain level of rigour, discipline, and work ethic that many feel you cannot teach the modern student. Luckily, these values are still alive and well at SHMS.

On a more personal note, what is one thing you always make sure to pack in your bag when you travel?
My wife will confirm this because she still chides me about it to this day but…I pack my football and shoes. That way, after a heavy day at work I can play 'Keepy-Uppy' for 20 minutes and relax my brain. I have been doing this since I was eight years old.

About Swiss Education Group

With over 40 years of experience in hospitality, business, and culinary arts education, and rooted in the Swiss tradition of hospitality, Swiss Education Group is committed to equipping tomorrow's professionals with the leadership and entrepreneurial skills highly sought after in the hospitality industry and beyond. Swiss Education Group schools offer a wide range of bachelor's, master's, and diploma programs, allowing students to tailor their education to their individual career aspirations and interests.