There's nothing more exasperating than knowing you've got what it takes to get on the next rung of the career ladder but finding yourself hindered by a lack of experience, training or the right contacts.
If this strikes a chord then you might want to consider applying to the St Julian's Scholarship, an initiative aimed at harnessing the talents of the hospitality industry's top young professionals.
It's designed to help bright young people already working at a supervisory level to move into senior management by training them through short intensive management programmes and providing access to expertise not readily available in the workplace.
Set up in 1997 by the Worshipful Company of Innholders and the Master Innholders, the scholarship now releases about 100,000 a year to fund the development of the industry's next generation of leaders.
Since its inception, some 80 scholars have honed their craft through the scholarship courses. Notable alumni include Caroline King, general manager at the Milestone, Zoe Jenkins, food and beverage director at the Dorchester, Bernard Murphy, resident manager at Gleneagles, and David Morgan-Hewitt, general manager at the Goring.
"There's no doubt in my mind that those of us who have been on the courses have returned with new skills and certainly more questioning minds," says Morgan-Hewitt.
"So many of the courses available to young managers at the start of their careers tend to be industry-based. The St Julian's courses are management-based modules specifically designed to improve strategic thinking."
The coming year's intake will choose from the following 10- to 14-day residential courses:
Competition for places is fierce, with only 12-14 scholars accepted each year. To be sure of being considered, check out the application details (see panel) and send your application in before 31 August 2005.
As with all elite educational programmes, your development doesn't end with the course. The St Julian's Alumni has been formed to bring together those who have passed through the scheme and ensure that education and valuable networking can continue. There are four main alumni events a year. The spring and autumn meetings invite leading lights from the industry to debate relevant topics, after which the floor is opened to the scholars while there are also two networking events in July and September.
Three steps to get your place
Who can apply
The scholarships are open to any young professionals who hold senior responsibilities within a hotel.
Candidates for the Developing General Management Potential course at Cranfield, for instance, have to be middle managers who are on track to be promoted to senior management within five years.
for the Business Leader's course applicatants will already be in senior managment.
Candidates for the Cornelll course will be in senior management with seven to 10 years' management experience while those applying for the Lausanne course will have to prove two years' management experience.
You will be well-placed for selection if you've got a relevant hospitality degree or simialr. Those without still stand a good chance of being selected if they have risen to middle management through a company scheme.
The selection panel tends to focus on those who work for independent hotels on the basis that they don't usually have access to structured training. They will also be looking for people who clearly understand the industry and can demonstrate that they want to remain in it long-term.
Application forms are available on the websites listed below: