Edmund Chan

Train with the Swiss to run world-class hotels.
Discover SIM GE  Edmund Chan at Swissotel The Stamford, overlooking the Singapore tourism and hospitality scene SIT in the front row in class, clear all distractions from the mind, and focus. This was one of the success tips from Edmund Chan Guang Hui, 24, the top student in his International Hotel Management class in 2011. “Anyone can achieve high marks in their studies,” says Edmund. “All you need is an intense desire to do well, and some tips. For instance, when you sit in front, you are like having a one-on-one session with the lecturer. The front row also means you won’t be distracted by other students browsing their Facebook on their laptop or doing other silly things.” Graduating in December 2011 with a first-class BA (Honours) in International Hotels and Events Management, Edmund now works as a Management Trainee at Swissotel The Stamford in Singapore where he is exposed to a holistic experience with the different departments under Rooms division. Edmund’s year-long study programme is managed by IMI International Management Institute Switzerland. Based in postcard-beautiful Lucerne, Switzerland, the country that practically invented the hotel and leisure industry, IMI is for folks who want to work in the hospitality, tourism, events and culinary professions. Immersion study in Switzerland After graduating from Singapore Polytechnic with a diploma in multimedia technology, Edmund signed up for a course at SIM Global Education for a Higher Diploma. With the Higher Diploma in hand, he and the rest of his group went to Switzerland to get their Bachelor degree in various aspects of International Hotel, Tourism and Events Management. For Edmund, his interest is in MICE (an acronym for the trade of organising and managing meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions), and in Lucerne, he was given the opportunity to manage events. Successful event management, says Edmund, comprises three steps: bidding and winning the right to run the event, developing a proposal that is financially acceptable to the client while making a reasonable profit for yourself, and the actual managing of the event. Success is also measured by sustainability. In other words, you should be able to repeat the event year after year, Edmund explains, citing the Formula One racing tournament in Singapore as an example of a successful, sustainable event. Edmund’s group’s more modest event was a wine-appreciation session. Before this event, his group organised a speed-dating night which attracted a full house. “We earned enough money from the speed-dating to pay for advertising and marketing of the wine-appreciation event. In fact we were the only group that turned in a profit which we donated to the Students’ Council.” Edmund was also president of the Students’ Council then. He leveraged on his position to get the council to sponsor the event. In any university, the president of the students’ council is a prestigious, influential post, and Edmund was the first-ever Singaporean to achieve this position at IMI. “There were three of us vying for the role, me and two Russian schoolmates. In my speech asking the students to vote for me, I told them I came from Singapore, a multi-cultural society, and hence I was familiar with life in a diverse cultural and ethnic setting. Since the student body in IMI consisted of people from many different countries and cultures, I would be the right person to handle any issue arising from such a cultural mix. “The other two candidates didn’t say anything convincing and so I was voted in,” Edmund adds. IMI programme IMI students get the best-ever education provided by Swiss professionals who are second-to-none in hospitality management. This education also includes paid internship in top-class hotels, resorts and related setups. As for Edmund, he says he was provided a better offer back home. So he came straight back home and secured the full-time job management trainee position with Swissotel. After his first year, he could become Assistant Manager. He hopes to be stationed at the Front Desk where the action is. “The hotel’s Front Desk is a world where you meet all kinds of people from all kinds of background and temperament. Unforeseen issues and problems arise all the time. Patience is the key,” Edmund adds. Aim for first class in your studies The Bachelor degree under the British system is awarded in one of several class divisions. A first class honours means you have achieved at least 70 percent score in your exams, assignments and dissertation. Only a handful achieved this distinction, and in Edmund Chan’s cohort, only he and one other student were first-class graduates. Many institutions and business firms recruit only graduates with at least a second-class honours. Hence, it is crucial to do really well in your studies if you are aiming to land a job with a major corporation or the government. In addition to the Swiss degree, the student also receives a degree from the Manchester Metropolitan University of the UK, which explains the honours component in the qualification. --- Posted online August 2012