A Master’s for Entrepreneurs
Student interview with Sonam Nandwani, MSc2
After finishing the campus-based semester of the MSc in Hospitality Finance, Sonam Nandwani, 23 years old, is headed home to continue her courses online while she researches opportunities to open her dream café. We caught up with her right after graduation to ask her about her work on the Aminona Applied Business Project, and her insights into the MSc program which is still a relatively new and little-known graduate program at Glion Institute of Higher Education.
What are you working on in the Msc Hospitality Finance Program?
Right now, we just completed the semester of campus-based courses. Now, I will be studying the remaining online courses, the first of which starts on the 8th of June and I’ll begin working on my dissertation. The reason I took the MSc was because I wanted to open my own café someday. The program was suitable for me because I could take the courses at Glion and then go home to work on starting my business. So, while I’m studying online I will be looking at properties where I can open my café. That’s another great thing about the MSc: I have my business plan already done because we did it in one of our courses.
What is it like studying on the MSc program? What would you say to students who are considering it?
The MSc is a really good program, it should be promoted more generally, not just as a finance course. You have finance courses but it’s not all about finance, there is one course called entrepreneurial management that was a good course to prepare us to be entrepreneurs and it allowed me to make my business plan. Plus, there is a real estate course, the one for which we did this business project, and the dissertation. Some people are deterred because of the finance based title, so people imagine it’s all about finance. I really appreciated the individual attention in the classes, our instructors took the time to work with us through the difficult areas. I think if more students understood the program they would be interested because it’s a great program for entrepreneurs.
What was your applied business project about?
For the applied business project, we worked together to produce a feasibility study for a real luxury chalet development project. A total of nine students worked together to prepare a presentation for the owners and investors of this hospitality real estate project. Our presentation covered the essentials of market research and financial feasibility. The project involved students from the MSc in Hospitality Finance, the MBA and the BA in Hospitality with Real Estate Finance.
What is the main advantage of doing this type of project?
For me, the first advantage was the experience of working with such a large team. We’ve worked on many projects, but never in such a large team. It was enriching to learn to accommodate different ways of working and to understand how others accomplish their tasks. It was also a good exercise for me in terms of time management and getting the work done to meet a firm deadline.
Additionally, it was a great experience to work on a real business project that we could present to real owners and investors. At first, it was intimidating but it was a confidence booster to accomplish the project. In the end, we were able to produce work that was not just up to academic standards but met industry standards. The owners had also commissioned a feasibility study from HVS (a well-known hospitality consultancy group) and the owners said our study was equally good in the standards of research and presentation.
Visit the Glion website for more information about the MSc in Hospitality Finance.