Living in Switzerland was always my childhood’s dream – a dream that actually came true. I was extremely fortunate to have lived and studied at Les Roches Crans-Montana, one of the most prestigious hotel and hospitality management institutions in Switzerland. During the past 4 years, even though there were ups and downs, the experience gained as a whole shaped me to be the person I am today.
Back in 2016, the magical doors opened up for me when Les Roches Crans-Montana, Switzerland Global Hospitality Education, theworld-renowned hospitality institution, offered me a seat at the university. Without any hesitation, I instantly walked through those doors by accepting the offer. Entering through these magical doors into a whole new world simply is how I would describe the stories and experiences I encountered during the time I spent in Switzerland. Being secluded in a small village in the Swiss Alps is like the story of Narnia, a life beyond imagination and truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
When talking about living in Switzerland, many may think of living a perfect life with high standard of living by the Lake of Geneva, in a bustling city like Zürich, or a city that is rich in history like Lausanne. But from my own experience, it was none of the above. Les Roches Crans-Montana is located in the middle of the Swiss Alps in a village of Bluche. Though very small, Bluche is only 5 minutes away from the famous Crans-Montana, which is home to luxury ski-resorts, luxury brands, Alpine Skiing World Cup, the Omega Golf European Masters and many other activities that always kept us in excitement and active.
Being in a small village with a population of one thousand and the majority of whom are university students was not as bad as I first thought. In fact, it gave me the opportunity to connect with people from various parts of the world which helped broaden my horizon. Living in a small community pushed me to be more outspoken and socialize with everyone, be it with friends, acquaintances or simply those I had never talked to. I ended up having friends from around the world! Les Roches helped me to build up my confidence in public speaking, enhance my social skills, especially when meeting someone for the very first time.
Apart from the place, I also learned a lot from the people. Swiss people are punctual and disciplined. These two qualities in Swiss people are the reasons why Switzerland is able to have high precision in almost every aspect. For example, the train system, which is the most important means of transportation in Switzerland, is very punctual. Inter-city trains usually depart every hour on the dot. If you are not disciplined and punctual, it means you will miss the train and be at least an hour late for your appointment. So we were always taught to always be ahead of time, whether it is for a business meeting, a date or a family gathering. This lesson, I find, is most important to prepare for the business world because in business being on time is a good first impression for your potential business partners, or even your future significant other.
During my time in Switzerland, I was also literally touched by nature. Switzerland is one of the countries in the world, which are blessed with an abundance of natural beauty – beauty that can be found all year round. Whether it is Summer or Winter, the Swiss nature always fascinated me in different forms and senses. Traveling through Switzerland always refreshed me with its diverse landscapes and sceneries along the journey. I dare to say that this kind of experience exists in not too many places in the world, and one of them is definitely Switzerland.
At the end of my 4-year journey in Switzerland, I could say without hesitation that the culture, people and nature that I was surrounded with helped build up my confidence and passion and widened my perspectives about life. Being a part of Les Roches Crans-Montana was a total game-changer for me. I was able to strengthen my skills, deepen my knowledge and consolidate my social etiquette to prepare myself for the real world, which awaited me upon graduation. Looking back to what I achieved from living and studying in Switzerland, the wise words of my counselor came to my mind. “Living in Switzerland will change you into a completely new person”. And it really did. I grew up in personality and became mature in the mindset. Switzerland for me was truly “the way of life”, that I have wholeheartedly adopted.
Being the youngest generation of a family in hospitality business, I have since my graduation returned home and now took up the position of the Executive Director of Jee Teng Hospitality Group, the ownership company of Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort, the newly opened 600-rooms resort which began its operations amid the pandemic outbreak. During this difficult time, the skills acquired from my experiences at Les Roches are being put to the test. I was in charge of the company’s redevelopment plan and have successfully rebranded the company’s 30 years of history into a company with a solid foundation in its culture, values and direction – Jee Teng Hospitality Group.
Switzerland also taught me to give back and take responsibility for the common good. That is why I am committed to the development of the Island of Phuket. I have recently been given a new role as an Advisory Board Member of the Phuket Hotels Association, which is tasked to bring back tourism to our paradise on earth, Phuket Island. I am looking forward to making use of the knowledge and experience from my 4 memorable years in Switzerland to overcome the challenges and take our company and community toward full recovery and future prosperity.
Saharat Jivavisitnont (Sears),
Jee Teng Hospitality Group
Saharat Jivavisitnont (Sears)
Sears graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in International Hotel Management from Les Roches Crans-Montana Global Hospitality Education, Switzerland, in 2020.
During his time at Les Roches, he was active in student activities, having been Vice President of Publicity for Eta Sigma Delta Committee and Student Ambassador from 2019 – 2020. He is currently Executive Director of Jee Teng Hospitality Group, in charge of brand portfolio expansion, project development and asset management.
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