Mariana Sacadura-Botte AIH from Oxford Brookes University and Sophie Chapman AIH from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen have been named the CHME Young Guns 2019 Hospitality Students of the Year.
The winners receive a year’s membership of the Institute of Hospitality and an invitation to the Catey awards dinner in July 2019.
The finalists were invited to a networking lunch at the RAF Club in London where they met industry executives and were judged based on criteria such as career aspirations and leadership potential.
Mariana commented: “The whole experience at the jaw-dropping RAF Club was unforgettable. Times does fly when you are having fun. The afternoon went by so quick and in meeting such incredible and varied industry figures, other talented students from a wide range of universities and enjoying a delicious four course meal, I forgot we were there ‘competing’ in the first place. Before the winners were even announced, I was so fulfilled with the experience as it was. Then, being chosen was just the cherry on top.”
Sophie said: “There is no doubt the written, spoken and interview aspects of the application process have improved my communication skills and confidence. It was an honour to be in the final, held at the very impressive RAF Club in Piccadilly. The competition was fierce with five other fellow impressive and dedicated student finalists… winning was a feeling I will hold onto for a long time. Thank you to the CHME for an enlightening and fun experience where life-long memories were created.”
The finalists came from all corners of the UK (pictured left to right) Niall Beatty from Ulster University; Viktoria Radauska from Bournemouth University; Sophie from Robert Gordon University; Miriana from Oxford Brookes; and Oliver Dickinson from Leeds Beckett. Virginia Attina from Oxford Brookes (not pictured) was also a finalist but was unable to attend on the day.
Peter Ducker FIH, chief executive, Institute of Hospitality, said: “It is very important for us as an industry to recognise young talent and provide encouragement and support right from the start. The competition is a great way for final-year students to demonstrate their passion and drive. All of the finalists have exciting and fulfilling futures ahead of them.”
In addition to Peter, the judges of the competition were Miles Pooley FIH MI, chief executive, RAF Club; Tim West FIH, chairman, Lexington Catering; Liz Hartstone FIH, Hartstone Executive Search; and Liz Cave, director, Your Invisible Partner.
The Young Guns competition is administered by the Council For Hospitality Management Education (CHME). Isabell R Hodgson FIH said: “Thank you to everyone who supported this competition which proves to be much appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed by the students.”