On Thursday several Hospitality Management students attended the 7th Student Development Forum in London. Level I student Mhairi Strachan gives us her account of the day:
“The Institute of Hospitality joined together with Starquality in order to co-ordinate their 7th Student Development Forum at The Premier Inn, Kings Cross, London. Monica Or from Star quality arranged this sadly she was absent, however Eamonn Cole the Institute of Hospitality’s Chairperson was there to host instead. The forum started at 9am and carried on until 5pm with the opportunity to network after the event.
I attended with two other second year students Ieva Gliaudelyte and Christina Duncan, and a final year student; Rebecca Cridge.
The day started off with a quiz on which was created and conducted by Sam Coulstock from Springboard, on which Bournemouth University won with Kings College tying with us. The prize, a trip to Park Plaza with lunch and treats!
Following on from the quiz there were inspirational speakers from industry experts and we also had the introduction to World Host. Which is a customer-service focused training program which was adopted by the London Olympic Games to train their games makers, and since then has been used by many other companies like McDonalds, Travelodge and Wembley Stadium.
With all the talks and speakers we had at the event, I think and I hope that the other attendees can back me up, that Mary Jane Flanagan from Learn Purple was ultimately the most inspirational and motivational speaker at the event. Her job is a Training Director, she introduced us to the concept of the six steps to success, saying how network is so important and that it is not necessarily what you know but who you know! She also taught us that you have got to look good and even used a case from The Savoy on which the head butler before service will get all his butler to take their shoes off and make sure they haven’t got holes in their socks, so that if customers need help with something up high that they haven’t got to show their customers their toes when standing on furnishings!
The last workshop was the introduction to the new coaching program that the Institute has set up. On which we have all been accepted on and are very much looking forward to meeting up and networking with our new coaches and ask their opinions on our work and what we can do next to develop ourselves as students.
In reflection, I believe that being able to make time to go to these events is incredibly important not only for your development but also to support what and how the industry itself is evolving. Like, Eamonn told us at the beginning of the forum is that the industry employs 2.4 million people and is the 5th largest, however it is still growing and we as students are the future of it. I am proud to be a hospitality student and importantly as mentioned after the Aspiring Manager Awards, I have pride on telling people that I am a student from Bournemouth University acting as an ambassador for the School of Tourism and the framework. This event has truly been an inspiration and motivation to myself and I look forward to developing myself and hopefully become an aspiring person/manager in the future.”