Rotherham: Hospitality course leads to work experience in China and New Zealand for Nick

Nick Challinor says his experience learning at Rotherham College helped him to achieve goals of working in both New Zealand and China
Nick Challinor says his experience learning at Rotherham College helped him to achieve goals of working in both New Zealand and China

A former hospitality student recalled how Rotherham College helped prepare him for work experience in China and New Zealand.

When the opportunity to travel to the other side of the world to gain work experience was presented to Nick Challinor, jumped at the chance and used the skills he gained at Rotherham to make the most of it.

Nick started at Rotherham College in 2006 with the intention of a career in catering.

But after experiencing the course first-hand he discovered a bigger passion for hospitality and perused his passion and studied Hospitality Supervision and Leadership at Level Three.

“You get a practical mind-set coming here (to Rotherham),” he said.

“It’s the perfect mix of practical and theory, and you get more understanding of timings because of the realistic working environments.”

During his time at the college, he trained in The Wharncliffe restaurant gaining valuable skills that prepared him for a career in an exhilarating industry.

He successfully completed his course in 2008 and progressed to study hospitality at Sheffield Hallam University.

As part of his course, he went out on placement and was offered the chance to work in hotels in New Zealand, an opportunity he grasped.

After completing his placement he returned to the UK and upon finishing university, he landed the job as a restaurant manager at Chequers in Spalding.

Six months into his new role, he was offered an exciting opportunity to go out and work in China.

Whilst out in China, Nick taught English to adults and children whilst working as a part-time restaurant manager.

Nick was enthusiastic about teaching and always had an ambition to progress into a teaching role, so it was a fitting role to equip him with the essential skills and knowledge he needed to work in education.

Upon returning to the UK, Nick was offered a role as the Front of House Facilitator in The Wharncliffe.

He also took on a job teaching hospitality at Sheffield University.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Rotheram College,” he said.

“Alison (Nick’s tutor) has always been my go-to person for advice but all the tutors in the department support their students.”

Nick’s long-term goal is to be a hospitality specialist but he also wants to help bridge the gap that exists between Further Education and Higher Education within the hospitality subject area.

Nick hopes by being the link between Rotherham College and Sheffield University, he may be able to encourage more students to move into Higher Education.

For more information on catering and hospitality courses at Rotherham, visit