Hospitality management students from across the UK attending the Institute of Hospitality’s 12th Student Learning & Development Forum gained vital insights into the exciting career paths ahead of them. The Forum included a special focus on the importance of diversity in the workplace.
The fully-booked event (15 November) was entitled “The Future is Now.” In his introduction, London Branch chair Paul Evans FIH said: “The future belongs to millennials and generation z. At the Institute of Hospitality London Branch, 40% of our organising committee is under 30 and a similar percentage are female. The hospitality industry is booming. In London, there are 8,000 new bedrooms opening this year, plus 3,500 in the rest of the UK. This growth presents an amazing opportunity to forge a great career. Our industry needs accountants, chefs, digital marketing experts, lawyers, revenue managers and HR managers.”
Next on stage, two recent graduates described how involvement with the Institute of Hospitality had assisted them in making the right career choices. Eleni Michael AIH was invited to join the Institute’s London Branch Organising Committee when she attended last year’s L&D Forum. She went on to help Michael Voigt FIH MI organise the Institute’s Careers Fair in May 2017. She was also inspired by the ethos and style of Firmdale Hotels while attending last year’s Forum which took place at the group’s Ham Yard Hotel in Soho. A recent graduate from the University of Surrey, she is now at the start of a two-year management trainee programme with Firmdale Hotels based at its Charlotte Street property.
Dana Kanibolotska AIH is another London Branch committee member and a recent graduate from Oxford Brookes University. She said: “The Institute of Hospitality networking and learning events that I attended as a student had a great impact on my personal and professional development, and allowed me to progress in my career at such an early stage.”
Following work placements at The Savoy and the Mandarin Oriental in London and an exchange at the Burgundy Business School in France to improve her accounting and business knowledge, Kanibolotska is currently head receptionist at the Old Bank Hotel, a 42-bedroom boutique property in Oxford.
Nearly 250 students attended the Forum from the Edge Hotel School, Oxford BrookesUniversity, Glion Institute of Higher Education, University of West London, Westminster Kingsway College, Bournemouth University, Coventry University, Anglia Ruskin University, Norwich City College and University of Sunderland.
The inspirational speakers and panelists were:
Alistair Storey OBE FIH, president of the Institute of Hospitality and chairman and chief executive of WSH;
Michael Voigt FIH MI, general manager, L’Oscar London;
Tony Fleming, executive chef L’Oscar London;
Sean Wheeler, Group HR, Principal Hotels;
Rafael Bejerano FIH MI, director AB Hotels;
Giovanni Valentini, head of operations of hotel services for the TLC Group;
Josh Light, HR director, The Curtain Hotel, London;
Jessica Berry, talent manager, The Doyle Collection;
Josh Craddock, sales & marketing director, The Doyle Collection;
Serena von der Heyde, owner, The Georgian House Hotel;
Gregory Hall MIH, committee member Institute of Hospitality London Branch and operations manager, Elior UK;
Mary-Jane Flanagan, founder of MJ Inspire
PJ Kenny, general manager, The Hoxton, London;
Jula Fowler, human resources manager, L’Oscar London;
Antony Woodcok, managing director, Gig;
Robert Nadler, founder of Nadler Hotels.
The Institute of Hospitality London Branch Student Learning & Development Forum 2017 was generously sponsored by the venue, the Bloomsbury Hotel, part of the Doyle Collection; Preferred Hotels & Resorts; Gig; Graphico Printing and NS International.