Gleneagles Hotel: CIM Case Study

Graham Hesketh
Regional Sales Manager,
The Gleneagles Hotel

CIM Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism Marketing 2009-2011

Why did you choose to study the CIM Diploma in Tourism Marketing?
I have had a lot of experience in sales roles, and that is my primary skill. Seeing as sales and marketing go hand in hand, my practical knowledge of marketing was pretty good. However, I felt that I needed more theory to support this marketing experience, and that a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma would be the ideal step.
I had not realised that there was a specific Tourism and Hospitality qualification, but as I want to continue my career in the industry, it was the perfect match. The ability to combine the basics of marketing, but with a specific tourism and hospitality twist gave me a clear and defined reason to study the course.

Was the Capela course what you expected?
In the first instance, I wanted to attend the course locally. I am not the best when it comes to willpower, and planning ahead – as my tutors are now aware of – so I wanted the structure of having to attend a weekly tutorial. Fortunately, the course was not available locally, and/or did not start at the required time.
Due to Capela’s remote flexibility, it was easy to slot into one of the modules, and due to my personal circumstances, also allowed flexible study time. The 2-day tutorials were a welcome support, and without doubt helped with confidence, and direction. Having not studied since 1995, any education was going to be a shock, and judging by my module result C, B, A (in that order), I was clearly in a state of shock to begin with.
There were no great surprises about the course, and having had experience of marketing, a lot of the module elements made complete sense. My main failing was that CIM obviously require answers in a very set and theoretical format. I had initially thought there might be more creative opportunity, but they obviously need you to cover all the main topics without getting sidetracked. I got there in the end.

What impact has this qualification had on your career or ability to carry out your job?
I am still in a sales role, but as a result of the course, I am a lot more confident about the ‘reasons’ behind marketing decisions. I am also a lot more knowledgeable about the marketing processes involved. I work closely with the marketing team at Gleneagles, so I hope the marketing theory I now have will allow me to work with them even more effectively. My future ambitions involve sales and marketing, so the Diploma will stand me in good stead.

Any further comments?
Capela is obviously committed to success, and have a very good understanding of how the CIM ticks. They are judged by their students’ success, and their reputation and results speak for themselves.
I probably did not use the tutors as much as I should have (their opinion may differ!?), but I found them to be confident, comfortable and reassuringly persuasive. At the end of the day, it was my choice to do the course, and at times I wished I hadn’t bothered. At 4am on a dark, cold Scottish Thursday morning with the deadlines looming, a friendly push in the right direction was all I needed, and they certainly achieved that. They are an immensely knowledgeable bunch, and I thank them for their patience.
I am really proud of my achievement, and my success has inspired me to keep pushing the boundaries of my knowledge. It will help the tourism and hospitality industry, I am sure of that.