David Taylor is general manager of London's Hoxton hotel and chairman of the St Julian's Scholars, the alumni association for graduates of the Master Innholder (MI) scholarship programme. He tells Janet Harmer how studying on the programme has benefited his career and how hotel managers can participate in this year's scheme
When were you appointed to the chair of the St Julian's Scholars and what does the role entail? I was appointed chairman at our spring meeting, which was held at Coworth Park in April. My role, working with our committee, is to strategically direct the St Julian's Scholars to ensure it provides a platform for continuous professional development for all those people who have been awarded a MI scholarship, and work to promote and increase the number of applicants.
Where and when did you study on the MI scholarship programme? I studied on the accelerated talent development programme at Cranfield School of Management in March 2009.
Where were you working at the time, and how difficult was it to combine your studies with the day job? I was general manager of the Hoxton at the time of the course. The only effective way to utilise my time at Cranfield was to completely disengage from the business for two weeks. It was fortunate that my directors fully endorsed this, as they saw the benefits of how my time away would help both the business and me, personally.
How has the scholarship helped your career? The scholarship has helped me immensely in terms of giving me a clear direction of where I want to take my future career along with giving me more tools to be an effective and progressive leader. The other benefit was becoming a St Julian's Scholar, which not only helps my own professional development but provides great networking opportunities with like-minded individuals.
Does it still benefit you today? Indeed it does. I think very differently now and I am much more aware of my credibility and visibility within the business. I also benefit greatly from having a mentor who is a well-known Master Innholder. All St Julian's Scholars have the opportunity to be paired with an MI through a unique mentoring programme.
www.mi-scholarships.com. The deadline for applications is 30 June.
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