On 18 October, Mr Eric Waldburger presented a talk at UIC titled ‘Hospitality for Winners’. Mr Waldburger is a Swiss national who is currently the Managing Partner of Spice Coaching International. The company provides a range of consulting, management training and coaching services to organizations that intend to undertake programmes in relation to change management, leadership and customer care. This guest talk was organized by the Culture, Creativity and Management (CCM) programme, which is part of the Division of Culture and Creativity (DCC).

Managing Partner of SPICE Coaching International, Mr Eric Waldburger

Mr Waldburger is a seasoned hotelier who has four decades of international industry experience. In his former career, Mr Waldburger had held high profile industry leader roles including President of Marco Polo Hotels and Chief Executive Officer of Harbour Plaza Hotels & Resorts. In addition, he also had had a series of General Manager’s positions with the prestigious Peninsula Hong Kong, The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, The Mandarin Oriental Macau and a number of other hospitality institutions within Asia, Europe and the Bahamas.

Dean of DCC, Prof Aaron Chih-Yung Chiu presents a gift to Mr Waldburger

The afternoon talk began with a warm welcoming address by the Dean of the DCC and Programme Director for Media Arts and Design, Professor Aaron Chih-Yung Chiu, who also presented Mr Waldburger with a souvenir.

(From left) Dr Yuan Yuan, Dr Purrie Pui Yee Ng, Prof Aaron Chih-Yung Chiu, Mr Eric Waldburger, Ms K.K Wanqi Wan, Dr Tony Lei Shi and Ms Ivy Zhuo Luo

Staff members of DCC and students along with Mr Waldburger

During the talk, Mr Waldburger generously shared his insights into the world of hospitality; he also emphasized the importance of the making of effective industry leaders. He went on to address some of the critical and prevailing issues faced by today’s leaders and discussed how to become a credible and successful leader against the background of constant changing times.


A student asking Mr Waldburger a question about hospitality

Mr Waldburger’s presentation was imbued with practical real life examples while his teaching medium was full of colourful, lively and relevant illustrations. Mr Waldburger left the audience with invaluable pieces of advice about leadership, teamwork, the value of communication and change management. He also touched on the important concepts of ‘applying knowledge to experience’, ‘cherishing friendships’, ‘valuing the weaker links’, ‘practicing active empathy’ and ‘being a connector of resources’. The presentation was followed by an enthusiastic and productive Q&A session wherein the topics of IT automation, career development, and operational hygiene in hotels were discussed.

Reporter: Samuel Burgess (MPRO)
Photographers: Ivy Liao (MPRO), Xie Yi (Year 4, CCM)
Editors: Deen He, Samantha Burns (MPRO)