Catering and Hospitality – Nick
Nick Challinor from Rotherham started at Rotherham College in 2006 doing Food Preparation, Cooking and Service at Level 2. He came to College with the intention of taking the Catering route but after experiencing it first-hand he decided that he didn’t want to affect his love for food by working so closely with it on a day to day basis. Nick chose the Hospitality route and progressed on to the Hospitality Supervision and Leadership Level 3 course.
Nick said: “By coming to College you learn the practical trade. Doing A Levels is mainly theory.
You get a practical mind-set coming here. Coming to College has given me the perfect mix of practical and theory. You get more understanding of timings because of the realistic working environments. You also get to participate in valuable group work.”
During his time at the College he trained in The Wharncliffe training restaurant and kitchen gaining valuable skills that would set him up for his career.
Nick left the College in 2008 and went to Sheffield Hallam University to do a Hospitality course. He chose to do a sandwich course which meant that his course was done over 4 years rather than 3 but in his second year he went out on a placement. Luckily for him he was offered a placement working in hotels in New Zealand. During his time in New Zealand he even had a visit from his tutor at the College, Alison Lomax. In his final year of study he also did his assessors qualification.
When Nick finished university he went on to be the Restaurant Manager at Chequers in Spalding, whilst working there he was even featured in a magazine, but sixth months into his role he was offered the opportunity to go out and work in China. While out in China, Nick taught English to adults and children and worked as a part-time manager. He always knew that he wanted to teach so this would give him the experience that he needed.
Nick said: “The tutors from College made sure that I got on that plane. They didn’t want me to miss out on such a great opportunity.”
When Nick returned to the UK he got offered a role as the Front of House Facilitator in The Wharncliffe, almost as soon as his feet hit the tarmac. He also got offered a teaching role at Sheffield University not that long after.
Now Nick splits his time with working the commercial hours in The Wharncliffe restaurant, when the students are
training, and teaching Hospitality at Higher Education levels at Sheffield University.
Nick said: “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for College. Alison has always been my go-to person for advice. All the tutors in the department support their students.”
Nick’s long term goal is to be a Hospitality Specialist. He also wants to help bridge the gap that exists between Further Education and Higher Education within the Hospitality subject area. Nick hopes by being the link between Rotherham College and Sheffield University he may be able to encourage more students to move in to HE. Nick said: “I’ve never regretted anything. I wouldn’t have taken the route I have if it wasn’t for College and Alison.”