Senior to Study Hospitality in Switzerland


Senior David Heckman attends “motivation day” at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in December.

Senior David Heckman will be attending Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Lausanne, Switzerland next year.
“I’ve struggled with my college search because no school in the United States had exactly what I was looking for,” Heckman said. “This gives me a lot of hands-on knowledge and experience and is one of the best hospitality schools in the world.”
Heckman found out about EHL while searching for colleges at a college fair at NRG Stadium in October.
“I talked to an admissions counselor for about half an hour about the school and I found it very interesting. It immediately grabbed my attention,” Heckman said. “So, I went home and did some more research, and I decided to apply.”
Part of Heckman’s application was something called “motivation day,” which requires students to visit campus and do an in person interview and team-bonding activities. This led to Heckman going on a week-long trip to Switzerland in December.
“I was able to see a lot of Switzerland,” Heckman said. “I got to tour the school’s phenomenal campus. It was completely rebuilt this year, everything was brand new and highly international. They have over 120 cultures and 70 different nationalities represented at the school, so it’s a very diverse school.”
At the end of Heckman’s trip, he found out that he was accepted to EHL. He decided that EHL was the school for him and he will pursue a Bachelor in International Hospitality Management.
“The international hospitality management degree will blend aspects of business [and] cooking, giving people good experiences, whether that’s at a hotel or a restaurant or resort,” Heckman said. “What the school fundamentally teaches is how to deliver a customer with a good experience, which is really an invaluable skill set to have in the workforce. EHL students have a diverse post-graduation life. Some graduates go to Fortune 500 companies, some manage resorts, restaurants and hotels and other graduates start their own.”
Post-graduation, Heckman wants to either manage a resort or start his own restaurant business.
“I love the concept of ‘farm-to-table’ where you focus on regional foods and cuisines and ingredients,” Heckman said. “You focus on being as fresh as possible when it comes to where you source your ingredients, and it is very climate conscious. I love that.”
EHL is different from schools in the United States as they focus on teaching the actual skill set before the theory, which allows students to get hands-on experience early. This sets them up for success.
“I’ve always enjoyed traveling and seeing the world,” Heckman said. “It was never really my intent to stay in Texas. While this is further than anywhere I’ve looked before, I’m very excited and up for the challenge.”