A University of Northampton student has created her own recipe for a successful career after landing a role working for acclaimed celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay.
Hannah Orchiston has put her Events Management studies on hold to spend 12 months learning the ropes in the groups and events department at the Gordon Ramsay Group headquarters in South Lambeth, south London.
The internship sees Hannah assist the team with co-ordinating large bookings for the group’s 14 London restaurants, organising special events including weddings and looking after the accounts of high profile corporate clients.
Since joining the group in July, Hannah has impressed her colleagues enough to take on additional duties, and she’s now responsible for managing events held within a new addition to the Ramsay cannon – an intimate pop-up Gingerbread Cabin in the grounds of the York & Albany restaurant, Camden.
“The placement is fantastic,” said Hannah, who comes from Beeston, Nottingham. “Everybody on our course is encouraged to seek out a work placement, and although it can be quite tough at times, there is no better way to learn.”
And Hannah is certainly learning from some of the best in the business, while dealing with a raft of high-end clients.
She said: “We have some very big clients – for instance, I’ve been working with Team GB and got to meet most of the athletes in our restaurant at Heathrow before they jetted off to Rio for the Olympics. We also have plenty of well-known people dining with us, so it’s always exciting to go to work each day, not knowing who I might spot.
“I’ve met Gordon Ramsay himself a couple of times, and he’s been great. On the first occasion he introduced himself to me and welcomed me to the group. He’s nice and relaxed and really kind – a side people don’t often see on his TV shows.”
Hannah has sound advice for anybody who wants to get a foothold on the events management career ladder: preparation for interviews is vital.
“It might sound obvious, but it’s crucial you do your research before going for your interview,” said Hannah. “The more you know about the company, the better. Find out about its aims, where it wants to be in the future, and talk about that in your interview. Straight away your interviewers will be able to see you are dedicated and serious about the role.
“The internship I went for was for a six-month period, but because I prepared properly for my interview, I was offered a full year’s internship instead, and I am learning every single day.”
Hannah added: “I’m loving my time here at the Gordon Ramsay Group and it’s convinced me that I want to stay in the hospitality and events industry. I just want to grow and hopefully become a very successful events manager.”