Pek Zhi Xiang came to Les Roches in 2016 to study his Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management, but by the time he graduated in 2019, he’d achieved a whole lot more – and found his calling. During his time on-campus, Pek has been Wine Club President, WOWExpo President, a Student Ambassador and President of Student Governance Association. Here, he shares his experience of getting involved in extracurricular activities.
After three and a half years spent here in Les Roches, I can safely say that it was truly life changing. While school itself was rewarding and definitely very fun, nothing compared to what I gained out of joining the different clubs and activities offered by the school.
Becoming a leader
Throughout my semesters here, I have been lucky to be part of numerous clubs, events, and societies. Eventually, I even managed to get leadership positions in some of them and in some cases even lead them. To name a few of the activities, they were the Wine Club, Rugby, Future of Hospitality Summit, World of Wines Exposition, Student Social Committee, and the most recent, the Student Governance Association.
Discovering my career path
Already in my first semester, I was roped into the Wine Club, something I can say that has changed my life. The Wine Club opened my doors to the world of wines, and now I am pursuing a career in just that! It was through a friend made in the wine club that I managed to get my first internship as an assistant sommelier, and I have never looked back. Definitely never expected to be going down such a specific path in my life, but I am truly happy that I have. It’s something I love and something I probably would not have discovered and explored if not for coming here to Les Roches.
‘Nothing compares to the people you meet’
Being a part of all these different clubs and societies did help me learn a lot. Not only in technical details like organisational skills and purchasing and wine knowledge. But also, in a lot of soft skills, how to interact with people from different cultures, how to manage a team from vastly different backgrounds. These things might not seem like much but when working and living in such an international environment, it’s a much-appreciated edge.
Nothing, however, compares to the people you get to meet in all these activities. Through all these different extra-curricular activities, I have met the people who are now my closest friends. Friends who I can say definitively that have impacted my life and have changed how I approach everything.
My life in Les Roches I breakdown into the different friends I have made over the semesters, all of them have taught me something and I will always be grateful for that. Plus, where else are you going to live when literally all your friends live five minutes away from you! The number of spontaneous decisions and meals you can have here are insane. Your friend is replying to your text before a supposed dinner? Pop by his room and knock on his door to bother him. It’s amazing!
‘Don’t miss out on the opportunity’
I think it’s safe to say that I would have had a much less exciting experience without all these activities. Of course, it is quite a bit of extra work that’s being taken on, but it definitely is worth it, not for the certificates of participation or for the recognition. But for the growth that you have in executing these events and all the different people you meet that you would otherwise never get the chance to.
Bluche is just a small village, but the people you meet here transforms everything into a much bigger thing! When you do make that life-changing decision to join Les Roches, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get involved, it’ll be an eye-opener for sure.