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21.09.2015
 
Alina Sile, a year 4 student at Shannon College of Hotel Management is now a world champion in Restaurant Service. Last month Alina took home the gold medal from the World Skills Competition held in Brazil. World Skills is the world’s largest education and skills competition, giving young people a much needed platform to showcase their chosen discipline on the world stage. 
 
 A group of 14 young professionals travelled to Sao Paulo to represent Ireland across a range of skill disciplines.  Ireland brought home two gold medals, eight medallions of excellence and achieved an 11th place ranking out of 70 countries.
 
Alina Sile was chosen to represent Ireland after winning gold in Restaurant Service at the Ireland Skills competition earlier this year, guided by her lecturer, Mr Andrew Langford. In preparation for the World Skills competition, Alina spent the summer training under the mentorship of Mr Ray Cullen, a service skills expert. Alina competed with trainees from all over the world in the Restaurant Service category which had a wide range of test elements including barista service, casual dining, banquet service, liqueur knowledge and fine dining.
 
As a hotel management student, Alina’s degree studies at Shannon College include training across a range of professional areas including restaurant service, culinary studies, accommodation services, food science and front office. These professional, practical classes are balanced with extensive business studies and international work placements. The unique ethos and study environment at Shannon College ensures students develop a high level of professionalism before they graduate. According to Mr Andrew Langford, Lecturer in Food and Beverage Studies, Alina’s professionalism was a deciding factor in taking the gold medal; “Alina’s maturity, industry experience and dedication to her training all came together on the world stage and it was a combination of all these elements that saw her win the gold medal.”
 
Alina, like all Shannon College students, began her restaurant service training during her first year at the college, starting with the basics and going on to perfect her technical skills, many of which were tested during the competition. One such skill was the preparation of the perfect Irish Coffee. Ireland has a long history in the hospitality and service industry, with Shannon College graduates holding top positions in many of the world’s leading hotels. 
 
World skills highlights the importance of practical skills in industry and Alina’s success is testament to the high level of training she received from her mentors. According to Dr Phillip Smyth, Head of College at Shannon College of Hotel Management, professional skills training has always been a very important part of the Shannon College curriculum.  “Shannon College of Hotel Management, a College of NUI Galway, has always placed a strong emphasis in its curricula on the importance of hotel managers having professional skills. This emphasis is highly valued by the hotel industry and is one of the main reasons for the success of our graduates and our 100% employment record. Alina’s success on the world stage is a testament to this ethos and her own professionalism”
 
 
Image 1 
Alina Sile (4th Year Student ) with her Gold Medal 
Image 2
(From left ) Andrew Langford, Food and Beverage Lecturer, Alina Sile and Kate of Connell, Deputy Head of College.
 
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