Published: 22 October 2015

Industry experts join Surrey's hospitality and tourism Mentoring Programme

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey has begun an exciting new initiative.

The University of Surrey prides itself on the provision of an outstanding learning experience and the high employability of its graduates. The Mentoring Programme is an exciting new initiative from Surrey’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) that promises to further enrich these experiences and provide students with the opportunity to learn directly from industry experts.

The Mentoring Programme is the capstone module of the Professional Development Programme thread at SHTM and brings 44 final-year students together with 43 industry mentors from across the globe. Working in partnership with Troika Recruitment in London, the School has attracted a range of exceptional mentors from across the tourism, hospitality and events industries, including professionals from Thomas Cook, Giraffe and London Hilton Metropole.

The focus of this new module is to develop a strong mentoring relationship between students and industry professionals, whilst actively encouraging students to critically reflect upon their professional development throughout the course of their studies. The mentors will help students further develop their professional identities by teaching them how to work through issues surrounding areas such as leadership and professional networking.

In addition to the academic support they receive throughout the module, the students will also meet with their mentors over the course of the semester. Working directly with the industry experts, each student will gain hands-on experience in researching an issue that their mentor is currently facing within the industry. Their efforts will culminate in a final report, in which the students will make sound commercial and business recommendations for the benefit of their mentor.

“Working together with Troika, this new module brings students and leading industry professionals together to form valuable relationships,” said Dr Caroline Scarles, Head of Tourism and Events. “Surrey is renowned for high employability rates following graduation, however the market is becoming increasingly difficult to infiltrate, and it is partnerships like these that give our students the edge in this environment.”

The programme launch was celebrated with a drinks reception at Rotunda Bar and Restaurant in London. Alumni and industry mentors shared expertise with final-year students and kicked off their mentor/mentee relationships with advice on how to develop the professional, personal and commercial skills necessary to succeed in the hospitality, tourism and events sectors.

This new and exciting programme demonstrates Surrey’s commitment to their students' learning experience and graduate employability, further illustrated by our Hospitality, Event Management and Tourism courses ranking first in the Guardian University Guide 2016.

Find out more about our courses in hospitality, events, tourism and transport.