Hospitality students have hailed a pioneering scheme that allows them valuable insights into life as a general manager at some of Manchester’s high-profile hotels.
The Manchester Hoteliers’ Association (MHA) and Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Met) mentor initiative kicked-off towards the end of 2017 has since seen 12 students paired with bosses of some city’s big hotels.
Talented final year BA (Hons) Hospitality Business Management students have been learning a range of direct general manager skills including forecasting, payroll, overview costs, RevPAR and online digital marketing.
Hospitality Business Management student Rosemary Troop has been shadowing Radisson Edwardian boss Stephen Miles.
She said: “I think the scheme is fantastic due to facilitating the theory learnt in our units into a real-life setting. I have been lucky to have a very pro-active and engaged mentor, that has really been open to discussions topics and has worked hard to introduce me to some of his contacts in the industry to widen my network and further my growth.”
MHA Chair Adrian Ellis and Chris Mitchell, Principal Lecturer at Manchester Met, are behind the initiative which they say has been designed to attract students to careers in the hotel industry – but more importantly retain talent.
Adrian, who is also a mentor in his day-to-day role as The Lowry Hotel General Manager, said: “I’ve had some very engaging meetings with final year Manchester Met student Kenneth Smith who is keen to get as much insight into what goes into managing hotel as possible.
“What’s great about this scheme is that general managers can learn from the students too.
“Manchester is a fantastic city that is full of high calibre hotels and the students are working alongside some great general managers.
“While it is challenging for them as they continue with their dissertations and final year study, we introduced this scheme to gain experience and create a pathway into a fantastic career.”
Principal Lecturer at Manchester Met Chris Mitchell described keeping graduates in the hospitality sector as ‘vital’.
“The feedback so far from all 12 students and general managers has been fantastic. We are trying to develop the best possible graduates we can and retain that talent in the industry. It’s about the providing the right quality and level that the industry is looking for. And we need to make sure the programme reflects that – which we believe it does.
“We are also looking for further discussion about how we continue to take this forward and develop the programme.”