The European Mise en Place Cup (EM Cup) took place last weekend in Maastricht. The EM Cup is an annual competition amongst the best Hotel Management Schools. The competition was founded in 2009 as an initiative from HotelloTOP and was co-created by Mise en Place and HRC International. This year, the participating teams consisted of hotellos from various countries ranging from Norway to Spain, all the way to the United Arab Emirates!
Rebecca Zimmer, part of team Pentrapreneurs, representing Hotel Management School Maastricht, shares her experience of participating.
The competition is aimed at ‘I-do-dare-students’ who stand out from the crowd to show both courage and entrepreneurship. We are challenged to think out of the box regarding real life topics whilst proving our commitment to the hospitality industry. Throughout the competition, we were continuously told to get out of our comfort zones, which is a vital aspect for young hoteliers like us.
This year’s theme was ‘intrapreneurship', which is an important but underestimated strand of our hospitality DNA. In light of this theme, Maria Andres Senante , Jennifer Engering, Florian Keursten, Iris van de Schoot, and myself (Rebecca Zimmer) created a brand entitled The PentaPreneurs to show the world our take on intrapreneurship. By taking inspiration from the four elements of nature: fire, water, wind, and earth, we linked these to values which we believe are key to being an intrapreneur. Namely, passion, openness, creativity, and critical thinking. Since hospitality is a people’s business, we have also added a fifth element: people, placing them at the heart of our industry.
Prior to the competition, we completed various pre-competition assignments such as creating a PentaPreneurs Instagram account to generate some ‘rumor around the brand’. Moreover, we drafted an academic paper on the topic of intrapreneurship in which we presented our findings in relation to real-life scenarios. Most importantly, we created a fun introductory movie of the PentaPreneurs, which was filmed in our very own Teaching Hotel.
During the competition days, we had to pitch our academic paper to the jury followed by a Q&A, as well as solve an industry case under time pressure. Additionally, there was a live debate round against other schools after which the final presentations took place. All assignments are assessed by a business jury which is made up of hospitality professionals. This year, there were over 70 jury members whom we had to impress in order to come out triumphant together.
Of course, there was plenty of time to network with students from other schools as well as members of the jury. These were organized in a very professional and efficient manner, all whilst ensuring that every individual was enjoying themselves. The competition took place at multiple locations including the Hotel Management School Maastricht, the MECC, as well as Rebelle where the gala dinner was held. It was truly a privilege to network with a group of individuals who have all kinds of different ideas and experiences, all thanks to Mr. Charles van Goch. Not only is he a master networker and part of both the organizational team and advisory council, but he also moderated the entire event with great fun and enthusiasm.
To round off the competition, we are proud to say that The PentaPreneurs won the best pitch award. This would not have been possible without our amazing coaches: Mr. Luc Houben and Mr. Rick Bruijnzeels whom we are so grateful for. In all, we are proud that our hard work has paid off and hope that future students continue to compete in international competitions like such to make the hotel school proud.
22 schools participated in the 14th edition of the EM Cup. The overall winner of the EM Cup was the Hotel Management School NHL Stenden in Leeuwarden.
The operational internship: Eugenia's 5-star experience at a 5-star hotel on the island of Mauritius!
As their management project students developed ways for ECMR to become an established partner for expats.