The Oxford Brookes Hospitality students and Bacchus society members attended one of the biggest networking events in the UK in November, organised by the Institute of Hospitality at Novotel London West.
Article by Tanmay Punde, current Hospitality, Tourism and Events student
Passion4Hospitality saw a lot of hospitality organisations, ranging from hotels and restaurants to contract caterers, coming together to organise a careers fair.
The event began with an opening speech by Robert Richardson FIH, the CEO of the Institute of Hospitality. There were a number of panel discussions on a variety of subjects. The first panel discussed the differences and similarities between leadership and management and how these concepts have evolved over the course of time. A podcast followed this panel discussion, conducted by Phil Street, on the issue of controlling one's attitude in the industry. Experienced panellists exchanged their opinions, agreeing on the concepts of kindness, politeness and optimism. Following this podcast were two other panels. One of the panels discussed the very pressing issue of employee mental health in the hospitality industry and how it can be looked after.
The final panel discussed the contemporary issue of sustainability in the hospitality industry and how organisations have responded to it, offering valuable insights to one and all.
Besides the panels, there was a HOTS competition in which thirteen UK based universities competed with each other. Oxford Brookes University was a part of this competition, too. We had a team of four postgraduate students that included Mathieu Mouwakdie, Tanmay Punde, Rehan Bhyla and Sibashish Palai.
The competition is all about running the hotel strategically over a simulation programme. We were delighted that our team came in 7th position overall. As the same simulation programme is being taught to the students in the MSc Revenue Management class by Dr Kate Ji, participants had an overall idea about the software so it was not very challenging. The competition gave a lot of clarity about what should be the strategy and tactics about running hotels.
The event ended after a much-anticipated keynote speech by Mr. Peter Avis, General Manager at 10° Galvin at Windows and Vice Chairperson of the Institute of Hospitality. His journey from being a Kitchen Porter in his early career to a General Manager in London was truly inspiring. Mr. Avis talked about how his passion for hospitality developed by rising through the ranks, and the importance of networking events and making connections in the industry.
I would like to thank the Institute of Hospitality for bringing us such a fabulous and useful event. It would greatly benefit the passionate students of hospitality, widen their horizons and help them in their future careers!