Galway students win prestigious national Hospitality competition

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Galway students win prestigious national Hospitality competition
Irish Hospitality Institute Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Students from the Galway International Hotel School at GMIT were chosen as the winners and runners up of the prestigious Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) competition this year.

The team of five were selected as the winners of the 37th IHI National Hospitality Business Management Game, while another GMIT team placed second in the competition.

The winning team of Emer Leonard, Milltown, Co Galway, Skye Stagno Navarra, Ennis, Co Clare, Ellen Ryder, Strandhill, Co Sligo, and Julia Rodriguez de la Fuente, Toledo, Spain, scored top marks in the competition that attracted teams representing tourism and hospitality colleges around Ireland.

The second place team consisted of Angelica Wilcox, Sweden, Kerryn O’Sullivan, Ballymahon, Co Longford, Ronan Kingston, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, Shane Egan, Sligo town, and Éire Garvey, Dublin.

Winning team Captain Emer Leonard shared her excitement, saying that the competition was an “amazing experience”.

“We are ecstatic to have had the opportunity to represent GMIT and very proud to have walked away as the IHI Business Management Games winners.”

She added that the competition helped them acquire “lifelong skills” that will help with their careers, and thanked their tutor Jack Carty, and the support shown by GMIT.

The competition, supported by Fáilte Ireland, The Russell Partnership, and Irish Hotels Federation and Center Parcs, saw the teams complete three challenges,

These were designed to test the students’ business acumen and management skills in the areas of financial planning, human resources, and business development strategies.

Second place team captain Angelica Wilcox said that the competition was something they’d never forget.

“Going in to the IHI Business Management Game I did not know what to expect, but I can now say it has definitely developed our skillset in various ways.”

“We are all honoured to have represented GMIT, and we encourage all final-year students to participate next year, as it is an amazing opportunity and an unforgettable experience.”

Tutor to the teams, lecturer John Carty said that they are proud of the achievements of both teams.

“It was great to win back the title that we also won in 2021 and to have our other team place second.”

He added that the competition is a great chance for students to test themselves in a high pressure environment, and that it was particularly pleasing to see the collaboration across different courses.