Oldham Sixth Form College


Travel and Tourism Alumnus Talk

Travel and Tourism Alumnus Talk

Travel and Tourism alumnus, Oliver Walker recently returned to OSFC to speak with current Extended Diploma T&T students about his journey after college and working for the global hospitality company, Hilton. Oliver has worked for the company for over three years now, gaining this opportunity off the back of his second year work experience as part of his course. He has advanced from apprenticeship level to recently being promoted to a Supervisor position.

Oliver gave the students a valuable insight into the hospitality sector, drawing on his day to day experiences working for Hilton. Oliver stated that “Working for Hilton is a very interesting and exciting experience -  working for one of the biggest hotel chains in the world, there is never a quiet moment! I find working in the Conference and Events team is very diverse, you never know what each event can bring from one day to the next.”

Following his successful studies at college gaining impressive triple distinction star grades, Oliver began a full time apprenticeship with Hilton Manchester Deansgate in November 2019. He worked in the conference and events team gaining valuable practical on the job experience. Unfortunately, Covid-19 interrupted his studies in March 2020 when the hospitality sector was severely impacted. Thankfully, in November 2020, he was able to continue with his course off site and continue working towards his qualifications.

In May of 2021, Oliver was able to return to work, moving through many of the various Food and Beverage departments including the Podium Restaurant and Cloud 23. This allowed him to build upon his experiences across a wider area of the hospitality industry.  When the Conference and Events department reopened in June 2022, he returned to his original role and was soon offered a promotion to Supervisor.

Oliver thoroughly enjoyed his time at college, in particular he remembers fondly the variety of opportunities that were made available to students to ensure they went onto be successful and the lifelong friendships that he made. He also benefited from being able to immerse himself in several departmental trips and the annual 5 day residential visit to Spain.

Oliver’s advice for students thinking about moving on to an apprenticeship is make sure to seize the opportunity. Apprenticeships are an exciting way to get your qualifications whilst immersing yourself in your chosen sector;  “The reason I wanted to do an apprenticeship is because it was an alternative to university, whilst at the same time I could work in the sector that I love and be able to study the area of the hospitality industry that I’m interested in.”

Oliver’s former tutors are extremely grateful for him giving up his time to come back to OSFC to inspire current Travel and Tourism students to pursue a career in the sector.

Natalie Smith and Karen Bates, Course Leaders for Travel & Tourism said:

“We are extremely proud of Oliver and what he has gone on to achieve, especially as he gained his role at The Hilton from a work experience placement whilst at college; he is a fantastic ambassador for both OSFC and The Hilton Deansgate. Oliver has recently been promoted within the business and came to speak to the Extended Diploma students about his new position. He gave a really good insight into the day to day running of the hotel, what happens behind the scenes; alongside benefits and progression opportunities. The students really enjoyed Oliver's talk and we hope to make this an annual event and thank Oliver so very much for his time.”