Future is Grand for hospitality management student Jody

Torbay Weekly

The college is celebrating the reopening of tourism and hospitality, an industry at the heart of our local economy, with over 1,000 tourism businesses in Torbay employing more than 12,000 people, a figure that is set to rise with local developments.

Here, UCSD student Jody Green talks about her experience through the pandemic; of losing her job working for a national airline and finding her calling at The Grand hotel in Torquay.

“I started working in the hospitality industry 23 years ago for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

"I worked my way up through the ranks to management onboard. It was an experience I really enjoyed.

"Unfortunately, I was made redundant last year, so I had to use the skills I’d been taught at Virgin Atlantic and transfer them into other roles in hospitality available more locally.

“When I was made redundant, I felt vulnerable and didn’t know which avenue to choose for my future.

"The Grand Hotel in Torquay approached me and asked if I would work for them.

"They offered me the opportunity to learn more about the management skills I wasn’t quite qualified in from my time in the aviation industry despite being a manager for all those years.

“The team at the college’s University Centre worked really closely with the Grand Hotel and they designed an education plan for me over two years.

"It was a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management and both the hotel and the college were really supportive.

"I was able to work the hours around my study and similarly the university enabled me to study when I wasn’t needed at work, so they worked together.

“The apprenticeship during the lockdown has been a Godsend. It’s given me lots to focus on and plenty of material to read through.

"I’ve enjoyed learning and I’m excited to come back to the hotel and put into practice everything I’ve learned in lockdown.

“I’ve witnessed the increased demand in staycations and the influx of tourists into the area and I really feel positive and excited that there’s so much I can bring now into the area as a direct result of the hotel supporting me and the college giving me the skills I need.

"I’m excited about the future and I think I’m here to stay!”