"I was drawn to the wide array of modules, the extensive industry connections and to the fact that I would be taught by world class academics."
What attracted you to choose Surrey and to study your course here?
Ranked No. 1 for tourism and hospitality in the UK and one of the best in the world, when deciding to pursue an MSc degree in tourism Surrey was without a doubt the first choice for me. I was drawn to the wide array of modules, the extensive industry connections, to the fact that I would be taught by world class academics and the opportunity to participate in the applied dissertation scheme. I was also delighted that in my degree I could combine my two main interests: tourism and marketing.
What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?
Hanging out in one of the on-campus restaurants or cafés having lengthy discussions about school projects or just some good laughs with friends from all over the world.
What is the one thing you would say about Surrey (or your course) to someone who doesn’t know anything about it?
Studying tourism at Surrey is a life-changing experience, you feel like you are in the frontline of one of the fastest changing industries, acquiring hands-on knowledge about the most recent and up-to-date trends.
How did you change as a person during your time as a Surrey postgraduate, and how has your time here influenced your life and career since then?
I have developed my analytical skills greatly, I became a much more independent and confident person and a practical thinker with a wide ranging knowledge and awareness about the tourism industry. I learnt that hard work always pays off and that it is important to be proud of my achievements especially after completing my course with an applied dissertation at the National Trust where I could put everything I learnt into practice. Also, the fact that I had a degree from one of the top tourism programmes in Europe – accredited by the UNWTO – has increased my chance in the job market enourmously. Despite the fact that I had not have much industry related experience before finishing my degree, all of the above provided me with the sufficient professional background to land in a job as a destination manager at one of the top high-end tour operators in my country.
What do you find most enjoyable about your line of work and why? What has been your career highlight to date?
I love my line of work because it is diverse and dynamic. I get to work with people from all over the world every day. We offer tailor-made holidays so not one project is ever the same and I also get to travel quite a lot. As I am in charge of inbound VIP travel as well, I am in touch with a lot of influential people, which makes the job all the more interesting as well as contributes to widening my knowledge. My tasks at work touch upon a wide spectrum of tourism related fields such as destination management and marketing, CRM and pricing. The highlight of my career so far has been representing my company and my country in promotional workshops and roadshows that have taken me as far as Kuwait, India and China.