Academic journal article Manager

A Chance to Shine

Academic journal article Manager

A Chance to Shine

Article excerpt

WHEN Bridgehouse hotels took over New Hall, Mark Maguire, the newly appointed manager, played an integral part in developing a formal management training scheme, which maximised the potential of talented trainees. Since its implementation in mid-2005, the trainees are already seeing huge benefits from the scheme and have an exciting new career path mapped out within the Bridgehouse hotels family.

The two-year schedule includes a module in every department of the hotel, from sales to services. The trainees start from the bottom in each role, working up within the department until they reach a supervisory level, at which stage they move to the next module.

A dream come true

One such trainee manager is Tony Somers, 21, who has worked at New Hall for five years, starting as a porter. Tony grew up in the local area. In fact his school overlooked the grounds of NewHall. As a boy, Tony would look out of the classroom window, watch celebrities' helicopters land on the hotel helipad, and dream of working at New Hall.

Tony originally had ambitions to be a chef, but after working as a porter, realised that a wider role, interacting with people within the hospitality industry, would interest him more. Recognising Tony's potential, Mark handpicked him as the first beneficiary of Bridgehouse hotels' formal management training programme.

Tony has already completed his first module, having literally been given a chance to shine - by polishing glasses in the hotel bar - then working his way up to bar supervisor within three months. He is currently working through the restaurant module, and two months in, he is managing private dining functions with a team of three staff reporting to him.

A positive challenge

Whilst working in the kitchens, Tony started out chopping vegetables and progressed to learning cookery skills from the chefs.

Tony views the management training as challenging him in a positive way, and with Mark supporting him through each step of the programme, he is learning invaluable skills for a career in hotel management.

Says Tony, "Rather than being thrown into tough situations without any experience, because I'm working from the bottom up in each department by the time I'm put in those situations, I might be a bit nervous, but I still feel well equipped to deal with them.

"Mark has been hugely supportive and helped to foster a real team spirit at New Hall. …

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