Alexey Chudnovsky: «Anyone would do well to learn from students of the State University of Management, even employers!»

State University of Management (SUM) in partnership with the Russian Association of Business Travel (ABT) invites students to take the Master’s degree in «Hotel business». Alexey Danilovich Chudnovsky, director and chairman of the academic board of the University of Tourism and Market Development, member of the academic board of the State University of Management, Doctor of Economics, professor of the State University of Management is speaking about the advantages of studying in SUM and about why even specialists should think about completing the master’s degree program.

Алексей Чудновский

— Alexey Danilovich, nowadays almost any humanities university has a faculty of tourism or hotel business. Tell us, what is so special about the program offered by SUM?

— Indeed, nowadays many universities have faculties that train specialists for the travel industry or hotel business. But the viability of these diplomas is highly questionable.

SUM offers high quality modern education that meets market demands. We have only highly proficient teachers and practicing experts that give students not only a lot of theory, but also practical skills. Our students do their practical training in the best companies under the supervision of the leading experts. For example, SUM students took active part in the preparation and conduction of the Olympics in Sochi. They worked in hotels, helped accommodate foreign delegations. This is priceless experience.

If we speak about the program that SUM is launching together with ABT, apart from everything abovementioned we offer a flexible approach to the educational process, comfortable conditions, an opportunity to continue your education in a university abroad or to complete a postgraduate training program in SUM. This program is accredited. Students have a draft deferment.

— Who is the new educational program interesting to first of all? What will be written in the diploma?

— «Master in hotel business» will be written in the diploma. The program is focused at students who have already received their bachelor degree or have a specialist degree. In the first case it is a completely new level — they finish their Master’s program and have full higher education. And if a person has a diploma and is a specialist, completing the Master’s degree is a great opportunity to achieve a new higher stage of professional growth. We can say that a diploma of a specialist plus Master’s degree open such prospects a person with a second higher education can only dream of.

— Is previous education taken into consideration when you enroll to the Master’s program? If a student wants to complete the Master’s degree with the specialization in hotel business but he or she has a degree in pedagogics, can he go to SUM?

— The main thing for the future student is to have a bachelor or a specialist degree and the intention to master a new profession or improve his professional skills.

— Please, tell us about the educational process.

— The educational process has the traditional form, i.e. students attend lectures, seminars, colloquiums and workshops. The process has a modular structure. The volume and the contents of modules may vary depending on the educational program. Classes take place on weekday evenings and on Saturdays. Groups will probably include 15-20 persons. This is an optimum number of students for lectures and seminars. A foreign language will be taught in mini-groups. Education lasts for two years. During their first year students get theoretical knowledge and during the second year they study professional subjects. Great attention is paid to the foreign language, cross-cultural corporate management, working with the staff of a hotel, business etiquette.

— Where do classes take place?

— All the classes of the new educational program are held in the building of SUM business school. Here all the necessary conditions for comfortable education are provided: spacious lecture halls, modern presentation equipment, a canteen. Besides, the building is only within a 10 minutes’ walk from Vykhino metro station, which is also a definite advantage when you choose a place for education.

— What entrance exams do future Masters have to pass?

— Entrance exams consist of two parts: a test in Russian and an interview. At the end of the course a qualifying paper is to be prepared, it may be done on the basis of a hotel where the student has had practice or is working.

— Nowadays many people are interested in distance learning. Do you plan to introduce such forms of education?

— The problem is that our students are mainly Muscovites, but we plan to enlarge our geography. We follow all the novelties in the market of distance education, in the field of video-conferencing, analyze the possibility of using new technologies to optimize the educational process. We cannot exclude the possibility that we will have new interesting offers for our future students next year.

— Do you think that students who complete a Master’s course and specialize in hotel business will find a job easily? Are these specialists in demand?

— The idea of creating an educational program for people who would like to work in the hotel business appeared due to the lack of proficient employees in the market. The principle of the travel industry is «purchase and sales», and a hotel is a factory that needs staff all the time. Besides, nowadays a lot of public events are held in Russia, which facilitates opening of new hotels and hotel chains. They need people who have professional education, and not just experience. The times when anything except a diploma came into account for an employee have passed. Now hoteliers prefer to have young motivated employees in their team who can and are ready to learn something new. In modern conditions a diploma of industry-specific education is a necessary prerequisite of a successful career.

If we speak about the demand for SUM students, I can give you an exact and an exhaustive answer: «100% of students are in demand». Our students work in the leading hotels of the world. I can not remember a student who was not satisfied with his education or did not board the train. We keep in touch with our graduates and always help if we see that someone has difficulties. SUM is not just a university, it is a big family! For example, we help many graduates to try working abroad. You can meet SUM students anywhere in the world: in the Maldives, Singapore, New Zealand and even Australia.

Sofiya Dukorskaya