|Maura Lavery, Deputy Director for Curriculum Services presents Nicola Wallace from Annahilt with the BMC Apprenticeships NI Student of the Year Award for Hospitality Supervision (Level 3).
LOCAL girl, , from Annahilt recently received the BMC Apprenticeships NI Student of the Year Award for Hospitality Supervision (Level 3) at an awards ceremony at Belfast Metropolitan College.
Twenty three year old Nicola, attended Belfast Met for one day per week and completed Apprenticeships NI Level 2 & 3 whilst working as a Supervisor at The Pheasant in Annahilt where she had responsibility for food and bar service. She has gone on to study part-time for the Foundation Degree in Hospitality and Tourism at Belfast Metropolitan College.
Eleanor Lewis, from the Centre for Hospitality and Catering at Belfast Met said that Nicola was a natural choice for the award: "Nicola is an excellent ambassador for the Hospitality Industry. Having completed NVQ Level 2 Service of Food and Drink Certificate, Nicola, with the full support of her employer, progressed to NVQ Level 3 Hospitality Supervision. Throughout the year, she has demonstrated her ability to undertake a supervisory role within her workplace.
"She has developed the multi functional skills necessary to lead a team and to organise the daily operation of a restaurant. We are delighted that Nicola is continuing her studies at Belfast Metropolitan College."
Nicola, a former pupil of Dromore High School, didn't start her career in hospitality.
"After my A levels I completed a Diploma in Secretarial Administration and worked in an office but I soon realised that I wanted a job where I would work more directly with the public so decided to re-train for a career in the hospitality industry and undertake Apprenticeships NI Level 2 and 3 qualifications" she said.
Speaking about her decision to progress onto the Foundation Degree Nicola said: "I feel the Foundation Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management will give me a recognised qualification that demonstrates my abilities and complements my work experience to date.
The Pheasant is a really dynamic place to work and they have really supported my decision to combine working and studying part-time. I'm really interested in becoming more involved with the events management side of the business.
"One of the most rewarding aspects of working at The Pheasant is being involved in events such as The Hillsborough Oyster Festival or catering for weddings at the neighbouring Larchfield Estate."