The Institute of Hospitality’s Learners of the Year were rewarded for attaining the highest marks in their final exams. Their achievements were recognised during the Institute of Hospitality Awards Dinner at Westminster Kingsway College (WKC) on 13 June 2016.
Georgia Georgantopoulou Level 3 Learner of the Year
Georgia took the Institute’s Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management . Georgia is working as a BaxterStorey team leader at law firm, Reed Smith, London. She says: “I’ve always thought that to further a career means hard work and continuous learning. BaxterStorey gave me the opportunity through their Leadership Academy to study for the course. It was a great and challenging year at WKC. I had the chance to further my knowledge, learn new things, challenge myself, meet new people and finally see my hard work rewarded. Working and studying at the same time is not easy but the benefits are worth all the effort. I’m utterly thrilled to be Learner of the Year for 2016 and I wish to continue learning, improving and progressing within the hospitality industry.”
Simon Hansen Joint Level 4 Learner of the Year
Simon took the Institute’s Level 4 Diploma in Advanced Hospitality and Tourism Management. Simon Hansen has been a lecturer in hospitality and catering at Kendal College in Cumbria for ten years, and previously worked in fine-dining restaurants across the country, gaining rosettes and recognition for his skills. He will be part of the newly-expanded teaching team at Kendal, delivering Institute of Hospitality qualifications. Simon says: “I was encouraged to continue my own learning at Kendal while working. I was able to balance work, my passion for football and coaching local teams, and studying with lots of support from my tutor Suzanne Horner, who has been inspiring and supportive throughout. I hope to inspire my own students to understand that learning is for life and is something that should be embraced and not feared.”
Jay Barnard Joint Level 4 Learner of the Year
Jay took the Institute’s Level 4 Diploma in Advanced Hospitality and Tourism Management. Jay is a BaxterStorey hospitality manager at the British Medical Association, London. He studied the Institute of Hospitality Level 4 Diploma at WKC as part of BaxterStorey’s Leadership Academy programme. He says: “Half way through the course I was promoted to hospitality manager at BMA. My first task was to re-launch the hospitality offer. I was excited to be able to showcase some new concepts to add the wow factor to events. This included using a vintage cake cart – which can be added to any event. As part of the course we needed to look at different aspects of the business and then present our proposals to senior members of the BaxterStorey team. Mine was on visual merchandising. I look forward to many more great years and opportunities with Baxterstorey in this exciting industry!”