Charles and Jahaan
It has not been easy to decide whose stories to discover next... Since September, the Young Hoteliers Summit committee has grown from 19 to 37 members, making it more and more difficult to identify the next heroes of the YHStories! Thankfully, two remarkable personalities decided to take a step forward and volunteer for this edition. Even though the two volunteers have quite different interests and personalities, they do have something in common. In fact, they both belong to the Partnerships Department (I promise I did not choose them on purpose!). Let me introduce you to Charles and Jahaan!
Charles is a final year student at EHL, who has recently come back to Lausanne after completing his internship semester at the Mariott International in Hong Kong. Charles grew up in Hong Kong but, after almost four years, we can officially state that Switzerland has become his second home. Moving from a dynamic capital to a small city like Lausanne has not been easy. Let me just tell you that Charles imagined Switzerland as a country for retired people that is full of cows. If it wasn’t for EHL, I’ll let you imagine his excitement when moving to this country! While he was right in thinking that living here is less hectic than in Hong Kong, he had to reevaluate this country after discovering all its beauty (yes, as a Swiss citizen, I am slightly biased). Now, he can proudly say that he has visited all parts of it (must admit that it is not too difficult though, considering the size). Another element Charles had to adapt to was our university's diversity. Charles had, in fact, always attended an all-boys school in Hong Kong. Quite a difference to EHL! But the element that Charles was looking forward to the most was snow. In fact, he shared with me that he had always dreamt of experiencing a white Christmas, far from the Southern China humidity.
One of Charles's passions is history—more particularly, Chinese history. This passion might be connected to the fact that he represents the 33rd generation of the Tang clan, one of the four historic hongkongese clans. Whenever Charles visits a new city, the first thing he is curious about is discovering the local history museum. Isn’t this so inspiring? If you ever want to start an interesting conversation about this subject, you know who you should go find! Other than history, Charles loves traveling, sharing good food with friends, and remaining active with both watersports and football. When he is not occupied by all his passions, our Head of Partnerships invests the rest of his time in the YHS committee. Charles is the most experienced member of the Committee now. In fact, he participated in the organization of both the 2020 and the 2021 summits, as Logistics and Partnerships Assistant respectively, before diving into this edition’s Summit as Head of the latter department. Charles sees the Young Hoteliers Summit as a part of his student life that keeps him grounded and that allows him to connect to the external world by interacting with different stakeholders. As he has experienced the preparation of both a physical summit and a completely digital one, he is prepared when it comes to organizing the next Hybrid Young Hoteliers Summit! Overall, with his constant good mood, his reliability, and his experience, Charles is an essential member of the group!
Next up is Jahaan, our Partnerships Assistant for the upcoming YHS Summit. Similarly to Charles, she is also a final year student who recently moved back to Lausanne. Even though Jahaan did her internship in a company based in Spain (The Hotels Network), she worked from her hometown on the other side of the globe: Vancouver, Canada. But how could she manage to work from such a different time zone? Actually, she was quite lucky as her company allowed her to flexibly work from 07:30 to 15:30. One might think that it is too early to start in the morning, but this schedule allowed Jahaan to make use of her afternoons and dedicate time to the activities she loves the most. Well, if you wonder what our Partnerships Assistant enjoys the most, imagine her hiking, playing soccer, practicing field hockey, running, or skiing in the winter. Basically, if you can’t find Jahaan, rest assured that you will find her being active in the outdoors. Even at EHL, she could not imagine herself standing still and, therefore, became part of the women’s soccer team! I honestly wish I was half as active...
Something that I found really fascinating about Jahaan, was her cultural influence from three different continents. Even though she identifies as Canadian, she grew up surrounded by a mixture of Indian culture with an African influence. Both Jahaan’s parents are, in fact, Indians who grew up in Tanzania. If, like me, you were not aware of the historical connection between India and Tanzania, I would recommend starting this conversation with Jahaan if you are interested in cross-cultural relationships!
Jahaan is also not new to the YHS Committee: she was already part of the 2020 Summit’s organization as a PR and Press Assistant. At the time, Jahaan was in her first year of Bachelor and even though EHL was offering so many diversified inputs, she knew exactly that she wanted to be part of the Young Hoteliers Summit. Why do I know that? Well, when Jahaan graduated from high school and decided to start Hospitality/Tourism - oriented studies, she visited many Canadian universities. During one presentation she discovered that the institute was sending the two best students of the year to Switzerland to participate in the Young Hoteliers Summit as delegates. This was the moment when it clicked: “Do I want to attend a school where only 2 students are sent to the summit, or do I want to go to a school where I can actually help organize the summit?” I imagine we all know the answer.
Both Charles and Jahaan love sports, are sociable, and have participated in past years of the Young Hoteliers Summit. It is fascinating how these two personalities, even though they come from two different corners of the globe, have so much in common. It's really true that YHS brings together the most diverse individuals who, nevertheless, have similar personalities and interests. I find it incredible to learn more and more about the unique stories of the people behind the Young Hoteliers Summit’s organisation!
A Few Words From the Author - Sofia Gerber
I am Sofia Gerber, a third-year EHL student, and am currently Head of PR & Press within the Young Hoteliers Summit’s Committee. Growing up between the Swiss Alps and the Mediterranean Sea allowed me to become open-minded and communicative. Other than writing, I love art museums and could not live without oat milk cappuccino!"