Making the most of the placement year
International Hospitality Management BA(Hons) student Johanna Oehman took the opportunity of a placement year in industry during her course. Johanna is spending her year working at the Royal Air Force Club; a private members’ club open to serving and former serving Officers of the RAF and Allied Air Forces.
Johanna reflects on her placement so far and how she is most definitely making the most of all the opportunities being offered to her:
“The two main things I wanted was to gain important experience from many departments, and make contacts. To rotate between departments I would be able to decide which department I would like to specialise in the future.
“The CEO of the RAF Club is my mentor. The mentoring has been one of the best things to happen to me during my university time and without my mentor I would have not had the opportunity to apply for this Internship at the RAF Club.
“I am executing an Operational Internship at the Club, meaning I am rotating. I have already worked in the front office, marketing and events, and helping a little bit in membership and the admin side of conference and banqueting. Currently I am working in the HR Department and when I finish I will be moving to the finance department.
“In addition to the work experience, I have been able to attend some of the Trustees, Executive and Supervisors meetings which have been extremely interesting. I was also able to attend one of the club events where we went to see the 42nd Street musical and I have been invited to attend a dinner with hospitality managers from UK Hotels. This will be an amazing opportunity for me to network with some great managers.
“I have been introduced to so many amazing people, even from outside of the RAF Club. I got the opportunity to meet up with a director of finance who showed me around his hotel in Kings Cross and I also have visited The Dorchester and had Afternoon Teas at Claridge´s, The Ritz and The Brown´s Hotel. London has just been an amazing place for a hospitality student to see different hotels and other hospitality businesses.
“Through my mentor I met one of his other mentees who is the director of finance of St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and two other hotels. He was extremely kind to show me around St Pancras and we had interesting discussions in the Private Chambers Lounge of the hotel!
“We have also had many staff events. The boat party held at the Thames was one of the most memorable ones definitely. We had our own boat with music and food which sailed to the both ends if the River. During the time I got to see almost all of London´s best attractions from the river which was magnificent!.
“I would definitely recommend a placement year. It is not only a great opportunity for gaining work experience but the extra things, such as, networking, attending meetings, making friends and a boost for your career. I know some might think a year is such a long time and they wish to graduate and start working however, it will be worth it. Just take the effort to find a perfect place where you can grow professionally and as a person. Make sure your job role will be challenging enough for you, and just take everything out of it!
“My time at the RAF Club has been amazing and really rewarding, I could not have landed with a better placement! In every department I have been welcomed in and everyone takes their time to teach me, and answer all of my many questions. I have been nominated as the Employee of the month and also the Newcomer of the Year.
“I am excited to see what the rest of my time in London holds!”