As the Master Innholders searches for its next intake of talented operators to complete its hotel management scholarship programme, former scholar Serena von der Heyde, owner of the Georgian House Hotel in Marylebone in London, tells James Stagg the difference it has made to her strategic outlook
Which course did you choose to take as part of your scholarship?
The General Managers Programme at Cornell University in New York.
What did it involve?
The programme is a 10-day intensive course with approximately 10 hours' worth of pre-course work to complete. The course is designed to mould decision makers into strategic thinkers by taking on top-level issues in great depth.
What was the most useful aspect of the course?
I found the strategy element of the course the most interesting and useful part as it made me really think about how I can take my business to the next level. Being on another continent with other like-minded professionals really helped to separate the dayto- day running of the business from the focus of the course.
Do you think the scholarship will have a significant impact on your career?
How has it changed your future plans?
It has clarified my ambitions for the business and helped me to express them. The Georgian House is quintessentially English, it brings the care and values of a country house hotel to the centre of London. I want our hotel to be a model of training and development and a gem of a place when it comes to customer service.
What would you say to someone considering applying for the scholarship?
If you have energy and determination to improve things in your career, in your workplace and in the industry, then applying for the scholarship should be the most urgent and important thing on your to-do list.
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