Student and Graduate Publishing

Tourism and Hospitality Management

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 15:24

Michelle Woodhead was living in Hong Kong when she was considering University options.  It had been her long term goal to study economics and banking but when the recession hit she started to look more closely at what really interested her.  After coming across the Tourism Management course at Surrey Business School she decided to change direction. 

“The tourism management course offered such a broad spectrum of training across finance, HR and project management as well as opportunities such as the professional training year and field trips to places like Kenya. 
I also knew that the University of Surrey had a good reputation and was very well known for its work in tourism so I took the leap and applied”.

Michelle’s fist year was a real learning curve as she was completely immersed in to British culture as well as the various academic aspects of her course.  She was keen to make the most out of every opportunity so joined the diving team, even trying her hand at ice diving as well as other union activities such as gliding which led to another field trip to Malta. 

In her first year at Surrey Business School she applied to the exchange programme and went to study at La Trobe University in Melbourne for one semester.  Following her first year students were then encouraged to apply and participate in a professional training year.  With many of her students looking to apply to UK based businesses, Michelle decided to look back east and apply for a place at the Hong Kong Tourism Board.  With a lot of help and support from the University, her placement was secured and she flew out to
Hong Kong following her second year exams. 

Michelle was quickly immersed in to working life as part of the digital marketing team at the Hong Kong Tourism Board.  She was part of a small team that took full responsibility for the re-designing of the website from customer research to user experience testing; Michelle was carrying out real work and gaining invaluable experience of working as part of a team.  In the lead up to her finalising her ‘professional training year’ Michelle was pleased to see the successful launch of the new website which was rolled out with great success.

“The opportunities that the tourism management degree has afforded me have been amazing.  Not only have I been able to travel and experience working in other cultures but I’ve made great friends and gained valuable work experience at the same time.  I now feel so much more confident going back to finish off my degree knowing I have some practical experience that will hopefully allow me to graduate and successfully move on to a good career in the industry.”

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