Just when you thought the 2019 Summer Programs at Les Roches couldn’t get any better, along comes Erik Eklund!
Class of 2012 alumnus Erik is not just a magnetic personality, he’s a natural born entertainer. Now a professional inspirational speaker, Erik will be returning to Bluche campus to run a series of workshops on Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 and Monday 22 July.
The theme of these sessions is “Connecting Humans”. They are sure to be a highlight of the Summer Programs, which will also feature visits to cheese and chocolate factories and paintballing.
Erik’s life well-travelled
Originally from Colombia, Erik grew up in Sweden with dreams of being a fighter pilot. But when this was scuppered due to defense budget cuts, he chose the very different path of becoming an entertainer.
“One day the captain of a cruise ship I was working on told me, ‘Erik, you should get into hospitality’. I started to check it out, went to some Les Roches presentations in Sweden and thought it was a good idea,” he says.
Since graduating from Les Roches, Erik’s journey has taken in a range of organizations, including Shangri-La Hotels in China and Louis Vuitton in Belgium. However, he has truly found his calling as an inspirational speaker.
His slogan, ‘live your brand’, is a statement he believes every person should adopt. “It’s a way of saying live your life,” Erik explains. “Branding is key when it comes to succeeding or failing. Your reputation is your brand, and your brand is a combination of your values, actions and beliefs.”
Giving back to Les Roches
I embrace people for who they are, welcome them and care for them so they can go out and care for others.
Erik believes that his Les Roches education has played a big part in his current success. “Hospitality is all about how people treat one another,” he says. “It’s the welcoming of and entertainment for people, regardless of whether you know them or not. That’s the core of what I do – I embrace people for who they are, welcome them and care for them so they can go out and care for others.”
The one thing Erik values the most from his Les Roches studies is the global alumni network. “Although the option to eat great food and be surrounded by students from across the globe was super, the network of friends I created was outstanding,” he says.
“I often meet both students and alumni throughout my journeys, so I never feel alone. That’s why I love Les Roches – as students, we lived, studied, laughed and cried together. It’s a family, and now I have someone I know all over the world.”
Discover his full interview: