Friday, 4 November 2016

International Tourism Management Graduate Lauren is Discovering Texas!

Lauren, a 2016 graduate who achieved a upper 2:1 BA Hons in International Tourism Management updates us on her amazing career in Texas since graduating and details how her UCLan experience got her to where she is now.

She stated her decision to study at UCLan was because the International Tourism Management course really appealed to her as it offered a four year academic learning experience with the opportunity to undertake a 48 week industry experience placement.  

I'm currently enrolled on a graduate scheme at the JWMarriott in Austin, Texas holding a supervisor position which is a huge privilege for me. I'm working within the Front Office department, with recently completing a four month rotation within the Rooms Control department. This was a strategic role, involving me controlling all 1,012 guest rooms within the hotel and setting up the day for the Front Office. My second and current rotation is working the Front Desk, this is a customer facing role as i'm the first face guests will see when they walk through the door. The hotel leads with 'YES'! This means all guests needs are catered for, and no request is to big. Every day is different and I have a new learning experience each day, which allows me to grasp a better understanding of how to do deal with a variety of situations.

This opportunity came to me from UCLan themselves. Whilst getting ready for University one morning a received a text message from UCLan, stating that there were two HR managers from Marriott International coming into UCLan to discuss career opportunities they had on offer and to arrange interviews with students who were interested. My lecturer allowed me to leave my seminar early so I would be able to attend the talk and sign up for an interview. I was accepted for the interview process and was offered a position within their graduate scheme on the spot, and was asked which area of America I would like to work in; I decided to go with Austin, Texas as I heard about the lifestyle over there. Within four months I was put in contact with a sponsor agency who helped me with my transition to America, and start the next journey in my life.

The travel opportunities within UCLan will leave a lasting memory in my mind. Especially during my second year, I received the opportunity to carry out my studies in Malta, which was an unforgettable opportunity. I was able to meet and make life long friends with those from across the world.
My third year as an UCLan student was spent gaining work experience within the front desk department of a hotel in Lanzarote, The Canary Islands. The hotel I worked at was an adults only hotel with a relaxed atmosphere, there were a few things to adjust to such as the front desk computers being programmed in Spanish or the island being more on the relaxed side however it was a nice learning experience. The course also involved an study trips to Barcelona to enjoy numerous cultural activities and another study trip to Poland to co operate with the Dark Tourism module I studied in my final year. 

The course has too many opportunities not to miss, apply for e study abroad programmes, apply for the work placement and make the most of the vast opportunities available. If there is something that I could say to future graduates who want to experience something similar it would be..."Go for it! The chance to be independent living and working abroad is a huge accomplishment!" 

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