Becoming part of Eta Sigma Delta is not an easy achievement. The moment we stepped foot in Les Roches and began studying the BBA in International Hotel Management, we received a paper stating the standards of excellence that each student is expected to uphold. These become part of our DNA and we have to live them for three and a half years, day in and day out.
The standards of excellence are accompanied by other, more mundane responsibilities, like never coming to class with a wrinkled shirt, never missing classes, never failing exams, never skipping homework, always being on time, always offering a helping hand, always answering teachers’ questions, and most importantly – always standing up for what is right.
What sounds like a struggle in the beginning becomes our strength both as individuals and as professionals in the hospitality industry. These are not only the standards of Eta Sigma Delta officers, they are the standards of every student at Les Roches Marbella. And these habits that we repeat over and over again, become part of who we are. The moment companies visit campus to recruit us, or receive us on our first internship placement, they see right away what sets us apart from many others. Of course, we are hardworking, attentive, creative and innovative like many other hospitality professionals from all around the world. But what really makes us different is our character. It is the answer that we give to an unexpected question. This answer is shaped by a cultural understanding, by honesty, and by respect.
Themes like racism, inequality, or sexism, that dominate media headlines and political discussion in today’s society do not exist on this campus. In 4 years of studying here, I can say that none of these topics have ever come up in any way. They are not even part of our language. This is what makes us different and it is not exclusive to us students who have been chosen for the Honor Society. The Eta Sigma Delta members are just some students that were a little bit more persistent at times and have managed to present these standards more often than others, but every single Les Roches student lives these values every day. And this is the change we want to achieve in the industry. It is now time for us to go out there and share what we have learnt.
We have not developed these standards by ourselves, there are many people that contribute in teaching them to us. The teachers at Les Roches Marbella are the essential part of a great team. In addition to so many valuable professional skills, they showed and taught us the importance of helping others, of being dedicated and passionate, and to be disciplined and responsible.
Our duty now, as the next generation of hotel professionals, is to instil these values in others, to make the hospitality industry the example of a compassionate and globally-minded industry, just like we have lived and learned at Les Roches Marbella.