Shine Awards winners to mentor hospitality and tourism graduates

A new mentoring initiative has been announced by Shine Awards’ organisers, Shine People and Places. Ten hospitality and tourism graduates from the London Metropolitan University Business School (LMU BS) will be mentored in 2010 by winners and finalists of the Shine Awards. Mentors who have already pledged their support include Vanessa Lenssen, of (corporate winner 2008); Leigh Jenkins of Von Essen Hotels (young achiever 2007); Lynn Westbury (formerly) of the Foresight centre (highly commended 2008), Karen Eason of  Sunshine Travel (young entrepreneur 2008) and Karen Illingworth of The Mersey Partnership (public sector winner 2008).

Pat Wood, Director – Corporate and Community Synergy at LMU BS said: ‘LMUBS prepares tomorrow’s industry leaders and entrepreneurs through a mix of leading edge teaching and industry-based initiatives. This programme provides our graduate students with the exceptional opportunity to be supported and mentored by award-winning industry leaders who can offer a wealth of knowledge, insights and inspiration. We are delighted that Shine People and Places have agreed to partner with us to make this happen.’

Vanessa Lenssen, a mentor and MD of said: ‘Winning a Shine Award in 2008 was a great opportunity to share my experiences from the past 20 years with others looking to work in the sector.  I have VL Resized for Web4worked in the industry for many years and have benefited from mentoring relationships. I am delighted to be able to give something back to younger professionals who are just starting out in this exciting industry.’

Alessandra Alonso of Shine People and Places added: ‘After five years of  Shine Awards we have identified many leading lights in the industry, so it seemed only natural to use these talented ladies to mentor tomorrow’s bright stars. Nurturing talent and supporting entrepreneurship is crucial to the future of the industry and we thank participants and mentors for their commitment.’

The Shine Mentoring Programme for LMU will officially start in January 2010 and mentors will see mentees either face to face or virtually over the following twelve months.  Mentors will be able to help mentees with a variety of issues such as ‘navigating’ the industry; developing a business idea or identifying the position to apply for and longer term prospects.