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Your chance to volunteer your experience and expertise to nurture the next generation of hospitality professionals

Your chance to volunteer your experience and expertise to nurture the next generation of hospitality professionals

May 2017

By Julian Demetriadi FIH, Director of CommunicationsPoint

 This is an article I wrote for the May 2017 edition of HOSPA’s Overview magazine. The Springboard Charity and The Savoy Society do invaluable work in promoting careers in the UK hospitality industry. Here is the industry’s chance to put something back into this exciting, varied and far-reaching profession. HOSPA is the Hospitality Professionals Association for Finance, Revenue Management, Marketing and IT.

HOSPA Fellows and Members, here is your chance to become a Mentor for the Hospitality Undergraduate Mentoring Scheme – conducted by The Springboard Charity – and guide the next generation of hospitality professionals, whilst promoting the sector and business – as a good place to work – to universities, their staff and hospitality students.

“With the triggering of Article 50 and the start of the process to leave the European Union, the need to reduce the UK hospitality industry’s reliance on EU workers has become a priority concern,” says HOSPA Chief Executive Jane Pendlebury. “It is, therefore, more important than ever that we attract and encourage home-grown, talented undergraduates into pursuing long and successful careers within the hospitality industry – with its many exciting and varied career paths. And what better way to do this than by becoming a Hospitality Undergraduate Mentor?”

The Scheme, previously known as the Savoy Society Mentoring Scheme, was an initiative established in 2009 by the Scheme’s Chairman Stuart Johnson, General Manager of Rocco Forte Shanghai, China. It was done at a time when it was becoming clear that it was important to provide support to university students when entering the hospitality industry. In response to research showing that, on completion of hospitality placements during their studies, 40 per cent of students did not ultimately pursue a career in the industry, The Savoy Society and Springboard decided to utilise industry experience to establish mentoring support for those studying Hospitality Management. 

“At HOSPA, we are proud to continue our invaluable partnership with The Springboard Charity in this respect,” states Jane Pendlebury. “Our financial sponsorship of the excellent Hospitality Undergraduate Mentoring Scheme enables the Springboard team to develop and grow their relationships with universities and their hospitality students.

“As part of the programme, our sponsorship can help match students to Mentors which is where you, our HOSPA Fellows and Members, have a major role to play.  Mentors will receive thorough training and guidance; and undergraduates will be provided with a solid support structure, over a three-year period, throughout their studies and into their first steps of employment.”

Dr Anne Pierce MBE, Chief Executive of The Springboard Charity, adds: “Our Hospitality Undergraduate Monitoring Scheme was created to attract young, talented graduates to become the next generation of hospitality managers. It looks to bring a hospitality professional together with a mentee and in doing so, the mentee can learn first-hand about the vast range of opportunities offered by hospitality. The enthusiasm and support of mentees is vital to this scheme and we value the partnership with HOSPA to engage more professionals in supporting future talent into our industry.”

What qualities and commitment do mentors need to possess and make?

  • Hold a senior position in the hospitality industry. Springboard welcomes all mentors in specialist sectors like those pertinent to HOSPA: Finance, Revenue Management, Marketing and IT
  • Commit to three years to support a mentee; meeting face-to-face with a student four times per year; and being available via ‘phone, email and Skype for the periods in between
  • Volunteer: the role of the mentor is as a volunteer so expenses are self-funded
  • Attendance of a half-day regional training and briefing session provided by Springboard
  • Attend a half-day matching day, enabling Springboard to match effectively mentors and mentees from its interview and application process
  • Have the enthusiasm and desire to support the Hospitality Industry and its future
  • Possess the confidence to adopt the role of ‘Mentor’ and work with the mentee, providing advice and coaching support through a process of learning, rather than directional education, using appropriate teaching styles and methods
  • Enable and support two-way communication channels, which may require prompting the students on occasion!

Benefits to being a Mentor include:

  • An enriching experience, ensuring there is a legacy to the hospitality industry
  • Fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility commitments
  • Identifying future talent for the industry
  • Opportunities to raise your brand profile through PR events
  • Developing key links with universities

If you are interested in becoming a Mentor for The Hospitality Undergraduate Mentoring Scheme – in association with The Savoy Society and The Springboard Charity – please contact: HOSPA Chief Executive Jane Pendlebury on email: Jane.Pendlebury@hospa.org ; Telephone: 020 3418 8196

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