Innholder Scholarships - Your Questions Answered

The application season for the Innholder Scholarships is in full swing, offering the chance for general managers and heads of department in the UK hotel industry to receive lifechanging leadership and career development opportunities.

In the many years of offering Innholder Scholarships, we receive many questions relating to the programme and what it offers. Why should I apply for the scholarship? What do I need to know about the interview process? What can I expect to learn from the scholarship?

All important questions, and who better to answer them than the St Julian Scholars who have previously graduated from the Innholder Scholarships and gone on to excel in their careers? We sat down with some of them to ask them some of your most pressing questions.

Why should I apply for the Innholder Scholarships?

Each Innholder Scholarship is comprised of a 9–12 month programme at either Cranfield University, Buckinghamshire, UK or Cornell University, New York, USA, providing award-winning university level training from some of the most prestigious hoteliers in the industry.

While one of the courses would typically set back an applicant thousands of pounds, one of the many benefits of the Innholder Scholarships is that successful applicants will have their placement fully funded, as Ajit Nair, Senior Associate (Operations Lead), Invesco Real Estate explains:

“The Innholder Scholarships offer a unique opportunity for individuals to pursue their academic goals and aspirations without financial constraints. By receiving this scholarship, you can focus solely on your studies, explore your passions and your problem preferences without worrying about the day to day running of operations (in my case!) and financial implication that comes with attending a prestigious institution.

“Moreover, the scholarship provides you with the chance to expand your horizons, network with fellow scholars, professionals from different industries and gain valuable experiences that will help you in your future careers.”

What can I expect to learn from the Innholder Scholarships?

Each course consists of various training focuses, with the General Manager Programmes focusing on leading teams and managing complex projects, while the Talent Development Programme is more geared towards training around leadership and management development.

Many of the St Julian Scholars, including James McComas, General Manager at Eastwell Manor, have emphasised that the training they received has remained with them throughout their career, continuously allowing them to learn and grow.

James McComas said: “The Scholarship helps build a framework around that experience allowing you to structure and draw upon it through the rest of your career.

“It provides theoretical understanding to the anecdotal learnings which you can project into future scenarios as you continue to grow. It is the door to an exceptional network giving you the chance to draw upon insights from the breadth and depth of an amazing industry.”

How have the Innholder Scholarships enhanced your personal and career development?

Many of our St Julian Scholars have gone on to have illustrious careers in the hotel industry, many of which cite their Innholder Scholarship as pivotal in helping them get to where they are today. David Lockhart, General Manager at Mondrian Shoreditch Hotel, shares how the programme has helped him:

“The scholarship has had a huge impact on my life, notably due to the course at Cranfield coinciding directly with my promotion to General Manager. This huge step in my career was very challenging but was aided brilliantly by the community and curriculum provided by Cranfield University.

“The skills and mentoring that has been offered to me across the scholarship year has without doubt provided me with the tools and drive to achieve the next step in my career.”

Other St Julian Scholars, such as Rob Flinter, have not only gone on to become General Managers but have even gone on to help support new students receiving  Innholder Scholarships by becoming the chairman of the St Julian Scholars itself.

Rob Flinter said: “The Innholder Scholarships have truly changed my approach to the commercial side of the business and it opened my eyes to working with high performing individuals at a crucial stage of my own development. It prompted me to take on further learning to continue my own development with an awareness I had not had before.”

What have been your best takeaways from the Innholder Scholarships? 

Training on the programme is composed of various elements that primarily take place at the universities themselves. These include authentic business simulations, strategic business projects, peer-to-peer learning, time-pressured team challenges and more.

Speaking about the training received, David Lockhart said:

“I attended The General Manager’s Programme at Cranfield which has a very unique approach. Unlike other courses this has been designed specifically as a full year programme with several key milestones to achieve across the year.

“Academically it has four modules which are intersected with three private coaching sessions, one including a full 360 feedback report. I especially enjoyed the modules that were focused on a global understanding, notably, competitive strategy, supply chain management and the global business environment.”

The programmes are composed of separate modules, each of which focuses on a specific area of hotel management, including cross-functional business leadership, business functions and strategy, innovation and more.

Rob Flinter said:

“The module on change management was the one that I have used most. I still refer to the course work regularly and use it to coach my own team.

“All of it was relevant depending on which business you are in and what challenges you are facing. My course was 15 years ago, and the course work is still close to hand!”

What interview advice would you give to this year's Innholder Scholarship applicants?

Shortlisted applicants for an Innholder Scholarship are invited to an interview day at Innholder’s Hall, with this year’s interviews set to take place on October 25th.

When it comes to advice for applicants, Rachel Angell, Chief Operating Officer at Domus Stay, stresses the importance of being able to talk about what you want to get out of the Innholder Scholarships is just as important as explaining what you can offer:

Rachel said:

“When it comes to the interview day, it’s important to think about what got you to where you are and what you really want to gain from the scholarship. Remember to also be yourself and of course be respectful!”

Ajit Nair also highlights that candidates should ensure they do their research beforehand and come prepared with answers to possible questions:

Ajit said:

“Before the interview, do your research on the scholarship beforehand.  This will help you gain a better understanding of the Master Innholder’s mission, values, and priorities. This knowledge can help you tailor your responses accordingly.”

Apply for the Innholder Scholarships!

Looking to gain the skills and experience to take your hotel career to the next level? Then why not apply for the 2024 Innholder Scholarships?

Applications are now open, with three courses now available for award.

For more information and to download an application form, visit our website.