Meet former Alumni and nominate your rising stars for this year's scholarships - closing date for nominations is 17th July.

Introduction

The Master Innholder Scholarships were established in 1997, and their objective is to develop middle managers in the hospitality industry by exposure to short intensive courses of management education, providing them with the skills, knowledge, and training not readily available in the workplace. Since 1997 over 220 managers have benefited from attending short courses at Cranfield University, Cornell University (USA) and the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland. The Master Innholder Scholarship programme is funded by the Worshipful Company of Innholders in partnership with the Savoy Educational Trust, the Lord Forte Foundation and the Master Innholders Charitable Trust. The entire cost of tuition, board and lodging is included as well as a contribution towards travel to Cornell and Lausanne. The total funds spent since 1997 exceed £2 million.

David Morgan-Hewitt, Managing Director, The Goring was amongst the first batch of scholarships awarded, and he comments as follows:

"I attended the very first Scholarships back in 1997, and the two weeks I spent at Cornell had enormous influence on my professional development. A couple of years later it was decided that past graduates of the various courses should form an Alumni. Thus the St Julian Scholars was founded. From the very start it was decided that everything we did should be to further educate and illuminate the scholars as they progressed in their career. The professional friendships which have been forged over the years have been truly amazing, and the network has created bonds across the country, and beyond, between successful young professionals.

There has been a reluctance occasionally on the part of some general managers and owners to invest time in allowing their rising stars to apply for these course. This is so short sighted, for it can only help their businesses, and our industry as a whole, when we support such educational opportunities for our brightest and best. I have taken every opportunity to encourage people who have worked here at The Goring to apply."

Claire Randall, Managing Director, Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, was awarded a scholarship in 2008, and she discusses how this has led to her current role.

"Since graduating from the Scottish Hotel School, Strathclyde University in 1983, I had a clear aim of becoming a General Manager. I mapped a plan to achieve that ambition, combining department line management positions in large, group owned luxury properties, a period with a top hotel and restaurant guide to gain an objectivity and eye for detail as a professional customer, and then returning to hotel operations.

I have been fortunate to be GM in three independent, beautiful, small luxury hotels, one in the city and two in the countryside, each presenting different challenges. What was common in all three was that any further structured professional development due to financial and operational restrictions would most likely come from attending occasional short day seminars, professional shows and my own research and reading. After 8 years as GM, I was driven to acquire some more serious expertise, to gain more strategic skills, and I successfully applied for a MI Scholarship to attend Cornell. I found the course provided the opportunity to consider all issues of management on both an industry and a property level, as well as the operational challenges within. It provided a platform to consider future solutions and highlighted the strategies to deliver them. I came away with the drive to reinvent both myself and my practices to keep up with the accelerating world of change. In addition, it instilled a required focus on what was required for the future to best position oneself to succeed, which was highly inspirational. 

I have no doubt that when presented with the opportunity two years later of applying for the MD's role at Lucknam Park the skills learned at Cornell greatly assisted me in preparing the application and being successful in achieving the role. Furthermore, over the last five years, these skills have been, and continue to be, invaluable since taking on the strategic responsibilities of the role, whilst still driving the operation of the hotel on a day to day basis. I cannot endorse this opportunity strongly enough; it opens doors to amazing development which simply would not be available to many managers without this wonderful scholarship."

Adam Worthington, General Manager, Harts Hotel, Nottingham has just recently attended the Cranfield Talent Development Programme, and has summed up his reaction as follows: 

"The Master Innholder Scholarship programme has been a most rewarding and life enriching experience for me, and has personally provided many learning and career opportunities, as well as a forum in which to share "pockets of good practice". The process itself is designed to test the very limits of your knowledge and capabilities. It provides a real-time opportunity for you to analyse your contribution to the long term strategic objectives of your business, and how you can influence the input of those around you. On completion of the programme you feel invigorated, recharged and completely inspired to bringing about real positive change in your business."

How to Apply

Applications are now invited for scholarships to be awarded for 2016. Candidates will be active middle managers from across the UK hospitality industry, irrespective of location and type of property. They are likely to be promoted to senior/general management positions within the next few years. Many of them will have had a formal education, and may hold a degree or diploma in hotel management (or similar). However, managers who have attained their positions through company schemes, or have worked their way up through experience, are also encouraged to apply, provided they can demonstrate an aptitude for the learning experience being provided, and are seeking further promotion. Candidates will normally have had at least four years' experience in management positions.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 17 th July. For more details of the application process, as well as further information concerning the Master Innholder Scholarships please visit:www.masterinnholders.co.uk/scholarships

You can also contact Philippe Rossiter FIH, Executive Secretary on 01252 624505 and at prossiter@masterinnholders.co.uk

or Gillian Croxford, Assistant Secretary on 0207 236 6703 Ext 3 and at Gillian@innholders.co.uk