Two Oxford Brookes students were recently selected as finalists in the Council for Hospitality Management Education 2019 Young Guns Competition, with one going on to win the top prize. The Young Guns Competition is an annual contest for final-year hospitality management students run by industry body Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME).
A shortlist of eight finalists are invited to a networking lunch in London with senior industry professionals who subsequently judge the students. The lunch took place this year at the RAF Club in London. There are two winners and the prize includes an invitation to the exclusive Catey Awards at Grosvenor House in London.
Mariana Zilhao De Sacadura Botte and Virginia Attina are both final year International Hospitality Management students studying at Oxford Brookes. Having joined the other finalists at the lunch, Mariana went on to win one of the two winners’ places.
Peter McGunnigle, Senior Lecturer in Hospitality Management in the Oxford School of Hospitality Management, encouraged Mariana and Virginia to enter the competition and provided them with support throughout the experience.
Peter said: “Mariana and Virginia completed placements at the exclusive Ritz Carlton ‘Hotel Arts’ in Barcelona. Their appraisals and feedback were exemplary, showing clear passion for and knowledge of what it takes to provide high levels of service and customer satisfaction in such an operation. They showed great maturity, confidence and ability and thoroughly deserve their success.”
Mariana described her time at the competition as incredibly rewarding, saying: “The whole experience at the jaw-dropping RAF Club was unforgettable. In meeting such incredible and varied industry figures, other talented students and enjoying a delicious four-course meal, I forgot we were there ’competing’ in the first place. Being chosen as a winner was just the cherry on top.
“I have to give massive credit to the Oxford School Hospitality Management staff, especially Peter McGunnigle, for constantly encouraging me to apply and supporting me through it. The Oxford School of Hospitality truly is like a family. A family committed to continuously enhancing our growth.”
This is the latest success for the Oxford Brookes School of Hospitality Management, which is in the top ten in the world for Hospitality and Leisure Management in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject.