Interview: January 2013
Interviewee: Francesca Ghersinich
Position and company: Program Director of International Master in Tourism, MIB School of Management
Enjoys: reading contemporary novels, travelling, open water swimming
Favorite Hotel: Kelebek Cave Hotel in Goreme, Turkey
Favorite restaurant: Buffet Da Pepi, typical Middle-European food and environment in Trieste, Italy
Dear Francesca, you are managing the International Master in Tourism at MIB. Can you please tell me; what are the students’ most common backgrounds, into which industries and into which type of positions they go once they finish the master?
The most common backgrounds are Liberal Arts (foreign languages), Tourism or Economics degrees. 70% of students have already 2-3 years of working experience.
Once they finish the master, more than 30% of students go into hospitality, 20% into tour operators or cruise companies,15% into DMO or DMC. A growing number of graduates find a job in the OTA business. Some of them decide to start up their own business becoming entrepreneurs.
The majority of graduates with previous work experience re-enter the job market with middle management positions. One of the most desired departments is marketing.
What nationalities are represented at your program, and do you see any changing trend?
We have students from all over the world. Italian participants represent nowadays only 30% of total students; the percentage of foreign students is slightly growing year by year. The most represented are Eastern Europe and Balkan Area countries (40%). The number of students from Asia is growing as well: 20%. In the last years we had more than 30 different nationalities represented in the IMT class.
Is it more difficult nowadays to post student on internships and finally on a job when they finish the program and what are their main challenges?
Luckily no; despite to global crisis and thanks to the strong and lasting relationship that MIB has with the network companies, it isn’t. MIB reputation and our students’ value are recognized by the market; students and graduates are very welcome by the companies. In this context of fast changing and challenging marketplace, characterized by an increase in competition, tourism organizations that are able to gain a competitive edge are those that recognize the importance of knowledge, training, hard and soft skills development, learning and innovation, managerial approach to business. That’s why our graduates are appreciated by the companies: they bring and added value both when they are offered internship and job positions.
What do you think are the greatest challenges students face once they are on the job?
The greatest challenges students face once they are on the job probably are that they often think and do faster and with a wider perspective than the majority of their colleagues; the pros and cons!
Can you tell me what career-planning programs, workshops, and counseling sessions are available to students?
All participants attend a personal development course during their master. It covers different aspects: from team building to public speaking, from one-to-one communication to time management. Along with this course, where students learn how to develop their potential as individuals and team members, the staff of the Career Orientation of the School, meets periodically and individually each participant in order to build together a career plan, according to background, potential and professional goals. Some lectures on how to approach the job market are provided. The CO prepares a CV book with the profiles of all participants and sends it to MIB partner companies for internship or job opportunities. Many company presentations and job interview sessions are organized all over the year at MIB premises.
Francesca, which ones are your biggest challenges you face to attract new students? Has something changed in the past few years, and if yes, what do you do about it?
Actually the biggest challenge for me and MIB staff is not to attract new students; the real challenge is to be able to provide enough scholarships to keep talents. We receive thousands of candidature and a lot of them are very good profiles with limited available funds, not sufficient to pay program tuition fees. In the last years the number of these candidates to IMT program has been growing. We are working now both with public institutions and private companies in order to obtain sponsorship in terms of scholarships for talented students.
Francesca, thank you very much for your time!
Interview by Marco Julià Eggert – Trieste, Italy
#HMS International Hotel & Restaurant Consulting