Graduate profile
The Rik Medlik building

Michelle McLeod

When Michelle McLeod ran into financial difficulties while studying for a Masters in Tourism in the 2004-05 academic year, the Hardship Fund proved to be an invaluable source of support.

Course
Tourism

When Michelle McLeod ran into financial difficulties while studying for a Masters in Tourism in the 2004-05 academic year, the Hardship Fund proved to be an invaluable source of support.

Michelle's problems began when funding from her home country did not arrive as planned, but she was able to access emergency assistance thanks to the intervention of Surrey's Student Advice Centre.

The support enabled her to complete her studies and go on to undertake a PhD, which resulted in her achieving her current role as a lecturer at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

She explained: "I had my family with me and therefore the financial pressure was greater than a student without a family. I received attentive support from Dr Norma Denny, who I will always remember as a key person that helped me towards my progress.

"The knowledge that my financial burden was about to ease a little helped me to focus on my school work. Eventually I returned home before the course finished and wrote examinations through the British Council.

"Nonetheless, I completed my Masters with merit and eventually obtained a fully-funded PhD scholarship from another university. I completed my PhD with no corrections and I am now a lecturer in Tourism Management.

"This experience made me realise how real financial pressures are for students and how it can impact on their academic work. The role of Student Support (more so the Annual Fund) was vital to my success."