NEW BREED

Dusit Thani Philip­pines is set to change the hospi­tal­ity scene one stu­dent at a time

Northern Living - - SPECIAL FEATURE - TEXT PAULINE YSABEL MI­RANDA

Filipinos, as a peo­ple, are known to be warm and hos­pitable. But de­spite our wel­com­ing rep­u­ta­tion, it’s strange how there are very few Filipinos who are glob­ally rec­og­nized as lead­ers in the hospi­tal­ity and ser­vice in­dus­tries.

We have a wealth of peo­ple who are ca­pa­ble of do­ing the job, if that’s all it comes down to. But meet­ing the high­est stan­dards of qual­ity is an­other story. Let’s not turn a blind eye to it—we’ve all ex­pe­ri­enced these lapses in ser­vice at some point: be­ing ig­nored by servers at a restau­rant de­spite all your calling and flail­ing; get­ting your or­ders wrong or mixed-up; not know­ing what to say when you ask them ques­tions.

“Ed­u­ca­tion is long term”

More than the skills, it’s the at­ti­tude and qual­ity of ser­vice that needs to be im­proved. This is where proper ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing comes in. Whether you’re just be­gin­ning your jour­ney into the culi­nary and hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try or are al­ready a sea­soned pro­fes­sional, ed­u­ca­tion plays an im­por­tant role in im­prov­ing your work.

“Learn­ing is a life-long jour­ney,” says Dusit Thani Philip­pines pres­i­dent, Eve­lyn Sing­son. “It is an in­vest­ment.” And with the recog­ni­tion that the world, along with its var­i­ous in­dus­tries, con­tin­ues to evolve, it is also im­por­tant that the way fu­ture pro­fes­sion­als are trained and equipped should be at par with global trends. “You can­not ap­ply legacy of teach­ing meth­ods to this new breed of kids,” Sing­son says.

Po­ten­tial to be­come pro­fes­sion­als

The Dusit Thani group first be­gan in 1948 in Thai­land, where it was rec­og­nized as Bangkok’s first lo­cally owned mod­ern and first five-star

ho­tel. Af­ter four decades of oper­a­tions and ex­pan­sion, the group then be­gan its ed­u­ca­tion di­vi­sion, open­ing first in Bangkok. Their first school, which spe­cial­izes in hospi­tal­ity man­age­ment, was called Dusit Thani Col­lege.

Nearly 25 years later, a new hospi­tal­ity col­lege opens, this time in the Philip­pines. The cur­ricu­lum, cre­ated in part­ner­ship with Switzer­land’s Ecole Hote­liere de Laus­sane and France’s In­sti­tut Paul Bo­cuse, in­te­grates learn­ing with on-the-job train­ing. The Dusit Hospi­tal­ity Man­age­ment Col­lege (DHMC) shares the same roof as the dusitD2 ho­tel in The Fort, where stu­dents will ex­pe­ri­ence a more “ac­tive learn­ing ap­proach” in their stud­ies.

“When they get out of our school… they should not start at the bot­tom,” Sing­son says. “The con­cept of our school is dif­fer­ent. When [our stu­dents grad­u­ate], they are al­ready qual­i­fied to be ei­ther a man­age­ment trainee or a su­per­vi­sor be­cause they will do all the minute work de­tails and skills de­vel­op­ment while they are in school.”

“The [dusitD2 ho­tel] is not just a mockup room with two or three rooms where you prac­tice how to make a bed, where you prac­tice how to fix the ac­ces­sories and ameni­ties. This is a real ho­tel and they will be serv­ing real cus­tomers, so they have to be per­fect,” Sing­son adds. “Oth­er­wise, the cus­tomers will com­plain. So we will train them to the point where they don’t [even] need fur­ther train­ing when they start work­ing. That’s how pro­fes­sional they will be­come at the end of our train­ing.”

Chang­ing the play­ing field

DHMC of­fers a Bach­e­lor's De­gree in Hospi­tal­ity Man­age­ment, fully cer­ti­fied by Ecole hôtelière de Lau­sanne, which cov­ers cour­ses in gen­eral ed­u­ca­tion (as man­dated by the Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion), busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion, and hospi­tal­ity and tourism man­age­ment.

Be­cause the col­lege is also in­te­grated with the ho­tel, stu­dents have op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­merse in real-world hospi­tal­ity and ser­vice sit­u­a­tions, all in real time. And as a global brand, the Dusit Thani group through DHMC also pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents for over­seas practicum.

Aside from it's de­gree pro­gram, DHMC has a Pro­fes­sional Ad­vance­ment Cen­tre in part­ner­ship with France's In­sti­tut Paul Bo­cuse. The Cen­tre of­fers pro­grams such as Culi­nary Arts for Pro­fes­sion­als, Pas­try for Pro­fes­sion­als (fun­da­men­tals and ad­vanced classes) as well as Restau­rant Man­age­ment, and Hospi­tal­ity for Ca­reer Switch­ers.

The goal, Sing­son says, is to de­velop hospi­tal­ity pro­fes­sion­als who will one day run ho­tels not only in the Philip­pines, but also in Europe and the rest of the world. “Be­cause now ho­tels are man­aged by peo­ple of di­verse cul­tures and you can see you can see In­di­ans, Chi­nese, and Euro­peans, so why not Filipinos?”

Artist's ren­der of the spa­ces to be fea­tured in dusitD2 ho­tel

Dusit Thani Philip­pines pres­i­dent Eve­lyn Sing­son

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