Industry Update
Opinion Article23 September 2021

Sowing the SEADs of Leadership

Implementing the first Self-Advancement Program (SEAD) for young leaders at Swiss Hotel Management School.

By Alexis Bradford, Swiss Education Group PR team member

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While Swiss Education Group has always valued nurturing each student’s leadership qualities, the SElf-ADvancement program (SEAD), to be implemented this October, is an exclusive club designed to elevate top students to the next level.


Fostering leadership skills, confidence, resilience, creativity, and innovation while accelerating the personal growth and self-discovery of participants, the program aims to recognize students demonstrating leadership potential and academic excellence.

Vanessa Balouzet-Uchanski, Vice President of Transformation & Strategic Partnerships at Swiss Hotel Management School, described the program as being “a deep simulation and immersion journey, giving participants the opportunity to discover and develop their leadership skills. It is designed to bring about a lot of insights and create fertile ground for personal growth. It complements perfectly our current personal development courses.”

By embarking on this journey, students will discover where their individual strengths lie and how to achieve their full potential.

From strong roots to many fruits

The idea behind the structure of the program is that of a tree.

For a tree to be healthy, its roots must be strong so that it has a solid foundation for flourishing. The roots of a good leader are their self-mastery. SEAD will teach students to better understand themselves, discover what their strengths are and how to use them.

From this firm foundation, participants can start to grow, building their professional DNA and learning to speak with impact. Being able to connect with and inspire an audience while communicating ideas confidently, expertly, and passionately is of the utmost importance. This will affect how teams, customers, and potential partners react to our future leaders, and will help scholars create an environment favorable to growth.


Communication through language is an obvious leadership skill. Less obvious but equally as crucial is the ability to communicate through body language – and what better way to practice that than to lead and earn the trust of a thousand-pound animal? Among several practical leadership exercises on the course, participants work with horses. As shared by the experts from Coaching with Horses, this approach helps teach people to communicate more effectively, face their fears and manage their emotions, and become more consistent and congruent with their actions.

Another exercise involves a simulation, named after one of SHMS’s lecturers, Radu Botnari. By putting students in charge of a country, this simulation will teach them to make decisions under pressure and solve complex problems with incomplete information and no historical solution.

Finally, a tree needs to bear fruit. Having understood both themself and you’re their business, and how to communicate effectively, students will be ready to lead a team with efficiency and success. This team needs to be brought together, and that, too, is a science: scholars will discover the key to building the best team – a productive and passionate team committed to reaching the highest standards of quality.

Learning to lead effectively

Leadership skills, intelligence, and a dedication to learning are characteristics cherished by top employers and taking part in this club will make students stand out as they enter the challenging world of the job market.

The small classes of just 10-15 students means members of the club get to know their peers well, make friends, have fun, and grow in confidence as they grow in leadership ability.

Find out how to apply

Selection of SEAD club members is done through an application process based on academic records and an interview, taking soft skills, as well as grades, into account. The application is open only to students in their third year of study at Swiss Hotel Management School.

Interested in learning more about SEAD? Contact Mr. Botnari. For more on Swiss Hotel Management School, from enrollment to hiring our interns or graduates, see

Alexis Bradford

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