Following on from this week’s Career of the Week, which was hospitality, this blog is all about hotels.
I have been lucky enough to have experienced some amazing hotels across the globe and every single one had something in common. That connection is the staff; hotels with good staff are always much more relaxed and comforting. Anyone who enjoys talking to people and making them happy is very suited for the hospitality industry.
The staff really do make the whole experience and you notice how much this effects your holiday. Often it’s the back of house team, such as the cleaners, who can go completely unnoticed, but actually have the most noticeable impact. Whether it’s going out of their way to make your towel into a piece of art, or greeting you with a warm welcome, it makes the entire environment much friendlier.
We’ve all stayed in hotels which might be beautifully designed, decorated and furnished, but where indifferent staff can make you feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. So I was really interested to meet some students from the Edge Hotel School who are very passionate and enthusiastic about the sector and changed any perceptions of the people who work in hospitality. Although still young, these people are driven and know exactly where they want to be in the future. The students study at the Hotel School for two full years for a degree in hotel management or Events management with hospitality; with Essex University, alongside working at the four star hotel, Wivenhoe House. Completing their degree in a shorter, but more intense period of time, allows for faster career progression and the practical experience they gain through their shifts at the hotel, means they are streets ahead of their peers when they step out into the industry. The students are very motivated and are all eager to reach the top as quickly as possible.
Edge founder, Sir Garry Hawkes, had the idea for an English hotel school to rival the Swiss model. His dream became a reality when the Edge Hotel School opened in 2012. Attracted to the glamour and glitz of the hotels he’d seen in the movies, a young Sir Garry was inspired to go against his father’s wish to see him enter the civil service and instead head for the hospitality industry. Following the advice of his careers teacher Sir Garry enrolled at college in Huddersfield on a three year hospitality management course.
Since then Sir Garry was awarded the CBE in 1999 for services to tourism and the catering industry, followed by a knighthood in the Queen’s 2009 Birthday Honours for his contribution to vocational training and business.
Sir Garry says, “Good careers advice is critical. Young people should follow the path best suited to them; they should do what they want to do, and what they feel passionate about. If you want to go to university, that’s fine, but so many students drop out without completing their courses and that’s a tragic waste of their time.”
After meeting students from the Hotel School I have realised how much effort and training goes into making someone’s trip memorable for the right reasons. The Edge Hotel School has an overall student satisfaction rate of 94%; and it seems to me you are more likely to succeed in something you enjoy.