The Institute of Hospitality London held their Student Learning and Development Forum today at the Ham Yard Hotel. This year the theme was ‘Stand Up to Stand Out’. Over the years I have had the pleasure of organising this forum which brings students from hospitality colleges and universities from across the country together with industry employers, and it was wonderful to see that this initiative is still going strong. This year the forum was organised by Michael Voigt, who is the Education Officer for the Institute of Hospitality London, and General Manager at L’oscars London.
The day started off with three recent graduates from the Edge Hotel School – Emily Kidson, Peter Jackson and Vivien Schaper present their hospitality journeys from student to employee and gave some excellent tips on how to engage with future employers. Then Tony Fleming, Executive Chef at L’oscars London, shared how he went from wanting to be a Policeman to pursuing a career in hospitality and becoming a Michelin Star Chef. The wonderful MJ gave an inspirational talk with some great practical tips and tools to get ahead. Then the first panel discussion looked in to the future, and Jessica Berry from Firmdale Hotels talked about Employability in the Boutique Hotel Sector.
After lunch the students received some great advice on how to put together the perfect profile using LinkedIn and heard from last year’s Gold Service Scholarship winner Daniele Quattromini from Cliveden House. The second panel discussion focused on the employment market and then the students got to hear from Ciaran Fahy, Director of The Ritz, London.
Some key messages from the event:
- Do your research on potential employers
- Build your network
- Carry out a personal brand audit
- Check your privacy settings on Social Media
- Show your passion for the industry
- Love what you do
- Make genuine connections
Quote of the day has to go to Josh Light, from Firmdale Hotels. Josh was on the first panel discussion and explains the reason why you may not be successful with a job application is because you are not the ‘correct fit’ for the hotel: “You are in the wrong movie… Go find the right movie.”
Other words of wisdom came from:
Ciaran Fahy – “You can develop skills and competencies anywhere in the industry – it’s up to you and your choices.”
Peter Ducker – “You are responsible for your own destiny.”
The Institute of Hospitality London has their own LinkedIn Group and for this forum have also set up the Stand up to Stand out Student Group. On Twitter news from the forum can be found under #sldf2016