This scholarship is designed to give a strong insight into management and leadership techniques. It is aimed at relatively new managers or those in charge of smaller teams.  Recipients benefit from learning in an environment with like-minded individuals striving to further their careers within the hospitality industry. The tutors of the École hôtelière de Lausanne share the latest techniques in hands-on management, which encourage team members to thrive and excel.

We asked Charlotte to keep a diary of how she got on…

My experience in Lausanne is one I will never forget. From that first moment of meeting a group of like-minded hospitality strangers in the airport to bonding rapidly over the four days of our intense management and leadership course. When we all arrived in Lausanne, I don’t think any of us really knew what to expect.

What stunned us all from the word go was the plethora of state-of-the-art facilities and an underlying ethos of respect for each individual department, be it front-of-house, the kitchen or house-keeping. We were given a breath-taking tour and it was explained to us that every first year student spends a week in each department, learning the challenges and motivations for each team. What a difference that must make to team morale: to really understand what your colleagues are up against and their departments from the very beginning.

We were then quickly whisked away to a conference room to meet our tutor Alexis, who was enchanting and engaging in every way, a credit to this industry and the perfect person to be leading our development.

What we learnt over the next two days was just invaluable. The course really made us all focus on what it takes to become leaders, not just managers. Alexis helped us understand the difference between being a manager and a leader, what techniques to apply and crucially, when to apply them.

Being a manager is all business, making the hard decisions and detaching yourself emotionally – that’s the easy bit.  Being a leader requires so much more skill. You need to be flexible, constantly available and an active listener for all your staff. What most of us didn’t realise is that to become a good leader, you must first learn to take command of yourself, gain self-knowledge and examine how you instinctively deal with challenges, before you can consider aiding others. This I think, was the hardest challenge – first to be honest and realistic about oneself, then to work at developing a true sense of self-confidence and be able to project this image for others to see.

We were made to practise techniques which we would all take back home with us.  From giving and receiving feedback, how to manage up and down, how to motivate teams and many more useful managerial tips which by the end of our scholarship felt almost automatic responses.

Every member of staff, no matter what department they belong to is an individual and we must celebrate them. More often than not, we get tied up in the little things and we forget to appreciate and indulge the reality that we all have different strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who is committed to hospitality will understand the value of supporting our peers, watching people grow and achieve their aspirations.

You are only ever as strong as the team around you.  For me as a manager in The Three Chimneys restaurant that includes both the kitchen team and the front-of-house team alike. The kitchen brigade never ceases to amaze me with their tireless hard work, creativity and resilience day in and day out. They really are a force to be reckoned with. It is our role as leaders to strengthen the bond between these two teams.  We are nothing without each other.

If everyone is moving forward together, then success will take care of itself.

The deadline for this year’s HIT Scotland Scholarships, which offer programmes for all ages and levels of experience is fast approaching on Friday 25th November 2016. Why not visit their website right now and apply for an experience as inspirational as the one Charlotte has just enjoyed:


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