Discovering the world, broadening my horizons

Discovering the world, broadening my horizons


SchoolSwiss Hotel Management School

ProgramBachelor of Arts in International Hospitality Management



Nikola standing on the balcony of the Leysin campus

How did your journey in hospitality start?

Before coming to Switzerland, I was involved in TEDx talks on the topic of psychology and wellbeing and different festivals back home in Bulgaria.


Why did you choose Swiss Hotel Management School?

I was initially thinking of studying spa and wellness management. I came across the University of Derby and saw that they were offering a hospitality program in partnership with Swiss Hotel Management School which sparked my interest. I did some research and found out that, not only was Switzerland one of the best places to study hospitality, but that the program at Swiss Hotel Management School covered all the different aspects of running a hotel. On top of that, the location of the two campuses is amazing: first you live in this castle and then you move to the Alps where you can go skiing and snowboarding. I feel like the school is the best in every aspect.  


Tell us about your internship experience.

My first internship was at Le Royal Meridien in Dubai as a food & beverage waiter. I cross-trained in three different restaurants with distinct cuisines. It was very stressful in the beginning because it was my first internship but I learned a lot, especially being in such a high-paced environment as Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. I made a lot of friends there, including fellow classmates from Swiss Hotel Management School. It was an amazing first experience outside Europe.  

I did my second internship at the Ritz Carlton Kyoto in Japan. My position was guest recognition so I was in charge of guest activities. As it was my first time in Asia there were significant language and cultural barriers to overcome, but at the end of the day, I learned a lot not only about the language but also the people and different ways of working. That’s what made me want to go back and settle down there in the long term.  


How will these internships serve your professional development?

Swiss Hotel Management School offers an amazing opportunity to get work experience while studying, which is a distinct advantage over other universities. When we start looking for an actual job, we already have experience in different departments, in different worldwide recognized hotels. This will serve us in our professional success and development.


What were some of your favorite classes?

I really enjoyed housekeeping and learning how to prepare rooms fit for royalty. The fact that the practice was linked to theory made it a unique experience. I also really liked the the Leadership across Cultures class as it exposed me to different ways of seeing the world and broadened my horizons.


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