We’re so proud of our class of 2023. They’ve overcome enormous challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities, and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. And they’ve done all of this during a pandemic when life – and student life – changed beyond recognition. Here, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of their stories.
Wed 5 Jul 23
According to Nicholaus Harrington university is “what you make of it” and he’s certainly made the most of his time at Essex helping to de-colonise his school’s curriculum, playing a key role in a sustainability project and securing a prestigious scholarship.
Nicholaus, who is graduating from Edge Hotel School with a BA Hospitality Management, chose Essex because it offered everything he was after: the right course, a chance to learn Japanese through Languages for All, opportunities to play volleyball, and an Innovation Centre where he could get entrepreneurial advice.
He cites a passion for “politics, diversity and social welfare” and a desire to “enhance the module by including more representation of anticapitalistic views within hospitality” as the inspiration for helping to de-colonise Edge’s curriculum. It was an experience that taught him how important collaboration amongst students and teachers is to create an education system that is inclusive of traditionalist as well as progressive concepts.
Driven by his own commitment of prioritising sustainability in business, and lecturer Dimitri Lera, who Nicholaus cites as a “luminary”, he also got involved in helping Edge meet its sustainability goals by developing a new sustainable hotel room at Wivenhoe House Hotel.
Working in a team, he helped choose sustainable materials, cosmetics and amenities for the room and proposed decorative ideas that told the story of the room’s refurbishment.
“Businesses have a significant impact on the environment through both direct actions and external operating networks. As consumers, we’re becoming increasingly conscious of how misconduct in these areas can affect the value of products and therefore influence purchase intentions,” he said.
“Since hospitality is an industry that thrives from additional value beyond tangibility, seeking to provide a sustainably-conscious service allows businesses to produce innovative ways of catering to the customer experience whilst also earning profitability by satisfying the changing market demands,” he added.
With the help of a Master Innholders scholarship, Nicholaus has been able to take advantage of numerous opportunities including: planned international educational trips, a platform to talk about how the industry can better support people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and networking opportunities with industry leaders.
Perhaps the experience he’s most proud of though is becoming a published author. His first article, published by EP Business in Hospitality, addresses accessibility to the industry and how managers can better support people with disabilities, ex-prisoners and others from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Now that he’s an Essex graduate, Nicholaus is hoping to put the theory developed at Edge into action through a graduate scheme, but hasn’t ruled out a future in consultancy or developing his entrepreneurial plans.