Michelle Chirwa-Goacher was born and raised in Zimbabwe, Africa, before moving to Coalville in Leicestershire to study and then securing a place at the Edge Hotel School. She is due to graduate in February 2019, but says the course has already proved to be quite demanding.
‘So far [it] has been challenging both physically and mentally, but for me that is not a negative thing because challenges help you to grow and improve. I have grown as a person in a very short space of time.’
Michelle first heard about the Edge Hotel School when she was visiting the World Skills Show at the Birmingham NEC. She says,
‘I was intrigued straight away because of the length of the course and the practicality of it. It did seem like it would be challenging, but that’s to be expected because of nature of the hospitality industry and the hours expected.’
Studying at the Edge Hotel School is designed to give students experience in all aspects of the hospitality and events industries, so by the time they graduate they are ‘work-ready’. Michelle says she is already learning to prioritise tasks and is becoming increasingly independent. She clearly values the practical aspect of the two-year course.
‘Practical experience is extremely important because you learn by actually doing and at the Edge Hotel School you do this on a daily basis. What I learn here is preparing me for work by giving me the skills I’ll need in the workplace and the benefit of the experience which is valued by employers.’
Already the winner of a Young Entrepreneur Award in 2014, Michelle is ambitious for her future.
‘In ten years, I hope to have my own hotel back in Africa. The tourism industry is growing very rapidly there, especially around Victoria Falls.’