Oliver Khan

Tell us a little bit about you?

My name is Oliver Khan, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Kent. Having previously studied Business Management at both GCSE and A-Levels I really do love Business Studies. I’m one of six Red Carnation Hotels Degree Apprentices since the course first started in late 2018. The programme lasts for 3 years in which we cover every aspect of Hotel Management, including Conference, Banqueting, Housekeeping and Guest Services as well.

What are you studying?

BA (Hons) Business Management

Where are you working?

I’m currently working at Hotel 41, one of Red Carnation’s 5 star properties, Forbes 5 star. I work in Guest Services: my role includes checking and welcoming guests, preparing management reports to use daily, making various reservations and communicating with both internal and external stakeholders.

Why did you choose a Degree Apprenticeship?

I chose a degree apprenticeship because for me, the low contact hours associated with the traditional university route wasn't what I was looking for. Don’t get me wrong, the traditional experience is perfect for certain courses. However, I desired a more hands-on approach. This has allowed me to apply real business situations to certain aspects of my business course, and vice versa.

What have you enjoyed most about your course?

I think what I have enjoyed most about my course is the actual subject itself. Business is a very broad subject and ‘Principles of Business’, the first module I studied, focuses the six main pillars: finance, marketing, sales etc. So if you haven’t studied Business before this really is a fantastic introduction to the subject, for both apprentices and traditional students at Pearson College London.  

What have you learnt so far, during your work placement?

I have learnt a great amount already in these first 3 months. Everything I do links back to providing the highest level of customer service possible. The Red Carnation way is: "No request is too large, no detail too small." As a company, we do really mean that.

How has your placement helped you with your studies?

My role is very hands on and therefore I’m often in situations
which can be applied to a business scenario. However being surrounded by both hospitality, educational professors and other apprentices has motivated me to impress both academically as well as professionally.

Do you have any advice for anyone applying for a degree apprenticeship?

My advice to anyone applying for a degree apprenticeship is firstly to be persistent and be prepared to take knockdowns. Sometimes businesses really don’t see your true potential as well as other businesses can. I applied for several degree apprenticeships during my A-levels, although getting close into the final stages, I still didn’t get accepted onto several courses, with little feedback as to why.

However, looking back, I would really advise you to determine your strengths and weaknesses and chose an apprenticeship which personally suits you. Research the business as well as the provider: what do they stand for? Where is the business currently heading? Can I see myself working here?

You really do get out what you put in from the process and so far both Pearson College London and Red Carnation Hotels have allowed me to do so.