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Student ‘takeover challenge’ gets underway at The London Marriott Hotel County Hall

Student 'takeover challenge'

12 ambitious young dynamos from @LSEColleges are preparing for a huge challenge, with the ‘takeover’ project @CountyhallLDN

From Monday 9 to Friday 13 March, the group of 16-18 year old students will be putting their skills to the test at the prestigious London Marriott Hotel County Hall, situated next to Westminster Bridge on the River Thames.

The students taking part are studying on a range of courses – business, travel and tourism, ESOL and hospitality – at one of London South East Colleges’ campuses in Bromley, Bexley or Greenwich. They will each be occupying their respective roles as General Manager, Door, Porter and Concierge, Housekeeping, Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR and Events, Engineering, Culinary and Food and Beverage associate. The work immersion project is designed to launch meaningful career opportunities in the hotel, events and tourism sectors.

The selection process to find the successful candidates has been extremely thorough and required lots from the students in terms of application and CV writing and interview techniques. Each one has been encouraged to really sell themselves to their employer and, in particular, show great attitude and enthusiasm for this huge opportunity.

Last week, at a speed interview event at the College’s Bromley Campus, students were required to pit their ambitions, competencies, integrity and character against each other in pursuit of a place on the project.

Having been successful in becoming Shadow General Manager, Travel and Tourism Level 3 student Lois Buckland took part in the interview process with Multi Property Director of Human Resources at the London Marriott County Hall, Alex Dimsdale to select other members of the team.

Excited at the prospect of showing what she can do, as well as the possibility of securing an apprenticeship with the group after completing her course, Lois said: “I’m simply buzzing over this project and I am in no doubt whatsoever of the huge opportunity this represents for us all. We will endeavour to prepare ourselves well and do everything we can to impress.

“For me it means shadowing the work of the Hotel’s General Manager, helping to keep things in-check, going to meetings and taking part in strategic planning exercises. Yes, I’m going in at the deep end but I’m up for it – I love a challenge.”

Running through a briefing session before the speed interviews began, Mr Dimsdale said: “I and all of the staff taking part in the takeover are very eager to make it the best experience we can. This enables us to open the doors of opportunity to the best candidates and expose them to the real-time inner workings of our five-star hotel business. We are looking for people with energy, positivity, honesty and a willingness to take on responsibility; we also want to see a burning desire to work in the industry.

“From our side, we will nurture our home-grown talent and turn these young people into the experts and professionals of the future. It’s a two-way partnership from day one and an enterprise in which we are all stakeholders.”

This takeover project has been made possible through the partnerships London South East Colleges have with some of the largest and most distinguished employers in the region. Its Work Experience and Apprenticeships teams work with students to prepare them for opportunities such as this and with businesses to create them.


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