More than 450 people took part in Passion4Hospitality on Monday 11 March, making it the largest ever edition of the Institute of Hospitality’s annual free student and industry networking event.
The ninth edition of the event included a careers fair, conference, student debating competition and the HOTS Hotel Simulation Business Game competition in which teams compete by managing a virtual hotel.
A prestigious array of high-quality employers took stands within the careers fair. All of the companies were actively recruiting, providing hundreds of students with a wealth of contacts and information.
The Jurys Inn stand was manned by graduate managers Georgiana Risco and Michelle Chirwa-Goacher, who had both attended last year’s event as students.
Peter Ducker, chief executive, Institute of Hospitality, said: “Our event is all about showcasing the fabulous and varied careers available and making real connections. Every year, more companies come forward and exhibit at Passion4Hospitality representing the many facets of our great industry. And more students come away with interviews, leads and contacts.”
The careers fair included contract caterers BaxterStorey, Vacherin, and Bartlett Mitchell.
Students learned of opportunities in retail catering as Harrods showcased its major F&B expansion.
An array of opportunities in hotels were available with companies such as Preferred Hotels, Rosewood Hotels, The Dorchester Collection, The Doyle Collection, Firmdale Hotels, Hotel du Vin & Malmaison, Apex Hotels, Duked Hotel Group, The Landmark London, Georgian House, The Vineyard, Hand Picked Hotels, Savora Hotels, The Savoy, IHG, Harbour Hotels, Amaris Hospitality, Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels, The Hari, Royal Lancaster, and GLH Hotels.
Other exhibitors included flexible jobs platform Coople, Springboard, Evolve Hospitality, Angel Human Resources, Umbrella Training, HIT Training and the Oxford & Cambridge Club.
The full-day conference programme provided a wealth of careers and job-seeking advice. For HR personnel, going through hundreds of black and white CVs is a monotonous task, said hotelier and marketing expert Adam Hamadache, so using a coloured design template will help your CV stand out. Even better, create your own CV website using the free online templates.
Hamadache said: “This will put you in the top 10% immediately. It’s an opportunity to show your ambition and is a couple of hours’ work that will save you months of applying for jobs.”
To stand out at an interview, candidates should experience the product ahead of time, go for a drink or dinner, and leave a TripAdvisor review. Prepare questions about the business, not just the vacancy, he advised.
Paula Rogers, CEO, Admiral Recruitment, chaired a panel discussion highlighting a huge variety of career paths and opportunities. Thomas Kilroy described his career starting as a chef, moving into restaurant and pub management, then contract catering, and then specialising in social media, healthcare and casinos.
AI and robotics debate
Teams from the University of Surrey, University of East London, University College Birmingham, University of Central Lancashire, and Hong Kong Polytechnic competed in the student debating competition for and against the following motion: “This house believes that AI and robots are a serious threat to the hospitality industry.”
With standards so high, judges Howard Field, Monica Or and Robert Richardson had a tough time choosing the two finalists from University College Birmingham and Hong Kong who went head-to-head. A vote by the audience declared Hong Kong’s team of Tanika Rai Gambhir, Thibault Druesne and Amanda Putri Wantono the winners.
HOTS Hotel Simulation Business Game
Teams from Stenden, Glion, Manchester Met, Cardiff Met, WCG, Bournemouth, Surrey, UCB and The Grand Brighton Management Academy competed to run a virtual hotel. HOTS stands for hotel operations, tactics and strategy and teams must make revenue and marketing decisions based upon one year of real data. Teams from Birmingham came in first and second places and the team from Glion came in third place.
Passion4Hospitality 2019 was generously supported by the venue sponsor Novotel London West, Glion Institute of Higher Education, critique, Angel Human Resources, Quality in Tourism, Arena4Finance, Savoy Educational Trust, HOTS, Genilogic, Fresh Montgomery, CHME.