Suzanne is the course tutor for Hospitality & Events Leadership Level 3 (equivalent to 3 A-Levels) and Hospitality Management HNC/HND (equivalent to the first 2 years of a degree) @ Kendal College. She has extensive knowledge in the Hospitality Sector and has worked all over the UK and in Canada, in the industry that she is passionate about. She feels that there is a wealth of opportunities across a range of differing hospitality sectors that allows for many exciting job prospects.
AM: How did you start your career in Hospitality Management?
SH: I did the equivalent of the Level 3 in Hospitality & Events Leadership at New College Durham and then went onto Sheffield Hallam University to study a BA in Hospitality Management. I went on work experience to Ontario in Canada halfway through my second year. I worked in a private country club kitchen, with tennis courts, chalets, clay pigeon shooting and horses & hounds, where I experienced all elements of the business. I then drove from Toronto to Vancouver, through the Rockies, North American States and Niagara Falls.
After my degree, I joined a graduate management programme with what is now Thwaite’s, working in Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. I was involved in the launch of a new hotel as well as running events and managing personnel, budgets and a team.
The above & below photos are from the recent Afternoon Tea the HNC/D students organised in the College restaurant. To read more about this event click here.
AM: Where did you work before becoming a College tutor?
SH: After my time at Thwaite’s, I went to work for English Lakes Hotel at Low-Wood as the Deputy Manager before moving to the Westmorland Hotel as General Manager where I oversaw a £1million development and refurbishment.
I was then the general manager of two Macdonald Hotels where I oversaw the build and execution of 30 new rooms and an 800-person conference facility.
For the past 16 years I have been teaching tourism, business and hospitality management courses.
AM: Can you tell us a bit more about the Hospitality & Events Leadership, Level 3 course?
SH: The course combines academic study with practical learning and is equivalent to 3 A-Levels. It provides comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the hospitality and catering industry, preparing students with the knowledge and skills to progress to supervisory level roles. Learners are involved with a range of trips and visits, guest speakers and also undertake relevant work experience.
AM: What advice would you give someone thinking of a career in Hospitality Management?
SH: A career in the industry opens opportunities locally, nationally and internationally in a huge range of sectors. This can include anything from event management at huge events such as Wimbledon and Henley Regatta, contract catering, working on a cruise ship or in Buckingham palace. The scope to have an exciting career is vast so keep your mind and options open. Career progression can be fast so you could be managing an hotel by the age of 25. The industry is hard work but very exciting and rewarding, no day is the same. If you want a challenge in an ever growing industry choose hospitality, travel the world and have a great journey.
If Suzanne has prompted an interest in the Hospitality & Catering Department @ Kendal College, we offer a fantastic range of courses. Start your future on our website.
The interview was conducted by Adele Mundy, the College’s Student Services Manager.