Franziska Helm (22) is from Germany, moved to America for her gap year and went on a Grand Tour to South Africa. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she decided to continue developing herself by taking the master’s in International Hospitality and Service Management.
Still wanting to learn
“I thought it was really difficult a few years back when I had to decide what further education I wanted to follow. I was torn between choosing a career in teaching and in hospitality. A teaching degree would have been a safe choice for me, but I thought, you know what, let’s make a bold move: I opted for Hotel School. In Germany, you usually follow vocational training or you opt to go to a private school. Neither of those options would have been right for me. And anyway, I didn’t see the point of doing such an international degree in my home country. So I decided to go to Leeuwarden. After I’d got my bachelor’s, I didn’t feel I was ready to stop studying, and as I wanted to have more options for my future, I decided to carry on and get my master’s.”
Research and be creative
“For the master’s, nearly every module involves working on a project for a client in the hospitality sector. One project might involve lots of research and another might mean you have to be far more creative. For instance, I worked on a project about sustainable cleaning materials while other students were working on solutions for plastic cups and a rainwater system in a hotel. The projects are so varied that you can really complement each other during intervention sessions. And the discussions we have during class mean we not only learn the theory but also how you can apply it in different situations. At the moment I’m working on success and mobility programmes for German hospitality students and it involves doing a lot of scientific research and collating data.”
“You’re not a number here as everyone knows your name.”
Everyone knows your name
“I’ve got the feeling both students and lecturers have become increasingly close over the past few months. The master’s is just a small group of people so it really does feel as if we’re family. You’re not a number here as everyone knows your name. We’re all supporting each other to the end post. In Germany, you often see that lecturers leave the students to do their own thing while they’re writing their thesis, but here, it’s a real plus that we’re continually working on developing the right knowledge and handing in a part of the final product in each module. It means you know you’re on the right path.”
Just go for it
“If you’re wondering whether or not you should carry on studying, I’d say just go for it! The worst that can happen is that you don’t like it and so you change your plans. Did you know that on average a person makes 7 career changes in their life? It might seem as if every adult has got their life mapped out to the smallest detail, but nobody has. So don’t be afraid of making a choice. Just try it out!”
If you’d like to know more about the programme, check out the programme’s page Master International Hospitality and Service Management.