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Vilma Mueller

Assistant Director of Advising and Student Affairs for Online Students, Jenkins MBA Programs

International Experience

Program Name and Location: Global Seminar: ISHRTM, Engelberg, Switzerland

  • Area of Study: International Hospitality and Tourism
  • When: Spring Break 2001

Why did you choose to study abroad?

The study abroad was a 3-credit course, Advanced Global Seminar, required to graduate from the MS in Hospitality Management Studies.

What was the highlight of your study abroad experience?

In addition to attending management seminars and learning from qualified European university professors with a different perspective and experiences, I had the opportunity to experience Swiss food and beverage services, visit and go behind the scenes at luxury hotel operations like Interlaken’s Victoria-Jungfrau Hotel and the Palace Hotel in Lucerne, both five-star hotels and members of the world-renowned Leading Hotels of the World. We toured the cities of Bern, Lugano, Zurich and stayed at a family hotel in Engelberg, a ski resort in central Switzerland. The study abroad program provided a unique bonding experience with other students and professors from the same program. At the end of the trip, we were required to write a paper with some personal impressions about the trip, and these are some I shared:

  • A well planned, organized, and conducted traveling experience.
  • Students behave and participated in a very civil manner.
  • New and renewed friendships with students from the program that will last forever.
  • Great camaraderie among faculty and students.
  • Excellent bread, salads and dressings, coffee and sightseeing.
  • Different service and hospitality mentality.

How has your study abroad experience continued to impact you?

I was the assistant director in the ISHTM at the time I was getting my graduate degree. So the opportunity to study abroad, encouraged me to research and successfully develop international connections and global opportunities for the school. It definitely contributed to my promotion to Director of Global Partnerships for the school, and eventually, to the successful development and implementation of another study abroad in the Dominican Republic.

What would you say to students who are interested in engaging globally?

It is an excellent opportunity to experience the beauty, culture, history, and the people of a foreign country while studying global issues and still earning academic credit. I highly recommend and encourage all students to take advantage of at least one global experience during their college years. For many, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.