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Norwich Student Take Over ‘17


Each year over 150 students from City College Norwich ‘take-over’ three Holiday Inn Hotels in Norwich, UK. The IHG Academy empowers these students with a truly unique experience to run a hotel for 7 whole days where they gain a ton of hands-on experience.


A little context

The Holiday Inn, Norwich takeover was conceptualised 18 years ago by Bill Heath (now General Manager at the Holiday Inn Norwich North). The initiative has evolved over the years to last one week and is spread across three hotels in Norwich: Holiday Inn Norwich North, Holiday Inn Norwich & Holiday Inn Norwich City.

When we say students ‘take-over’ we really do mean it, they run all aspects of the hotel from Front Office Manager, Head Chef roles, Functions Manager & General Manager. These functions are shadowed by the hotel teams but all students involved will gain practical experience of the day-to-day running of a busy, fully functioning hotel. 

What our students say

Paige Blundell, City College Norwich, acting General Manager

“I feel there’s a massive benefit from this, especially in the future – it’s about understanding what it’s actually like to be a General Manager and how many things you have to do.”

Marcus Haskey, City College Norwich, acting Receptionist

“I was acting Receptionist and it really helps to ease you into the industry of hotels and it’s taught me a lot.”


What IHG’ers say

Bill Heath, General Manager

“The students who have been involved in Hotel take-over, we’ve actually employed once they’ve finished college, while others have gone on to be managers elsewhere.”

Jacob Golden, Conference & Events Supervisor, Holiday Inn Norwich North
Jacob is a former IHG Academy participant, he’s now a full time colleague;

“I shadowed the Operations Manager and it was really good, really beneficial – I worked in every department, I met a lot of people and learned new skills and realised I’m not actually too bad at it.”

Students love the regular contact they receive with Hotel colleagues who act as mentors in some cases, imparting their knowledge and advice. This in turn helps create further opportunities for the students within the industry. They practice networking and communication skills all while getting to know more about the way the Hotel operates.

If you want to learn more about the IHG Academy, go watch our short explainer video, and see if this is something you would like to get involved with. After all these students are the future of Hospitality, so we love being able to facilitate the Academy to give them a great place to start.


Jacobs journey: From Holiday Inn Takeover student to Events Manager

Jacob took part in our Hotel Takeover four years ago, at Holiday Inn Norwich North. We caught up with him to find out about his journey from student to Events Manager, in the very same hotel!

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