The multiculturality at the University of Surrey is great and it is a very welcoming place. After living in London for several years, I really appreciate the quietness of Guildford, while being a stone’s throw away from the Surrey Hills.
Showering smartly. Exploring hotel guests’ environmental values, inconvenience, smart water-saving technology and persuasive communication.
I chose to study for a PhD while I was working full-time in London, in the hospitality industry, and studying for my masters in responsible tourism, part-time. After completing my masters, I decided to go to the Republic of The Gambia to volunteer for a year. This offered me a great opportunity to put some of my learnings into practice. While I was there, I had the opportunity to publish my masters research and I really enjoyed the whole process of researching and preparing for publication.
With more than 10 years’ professional experience in the industry, I’d never thought about doing a PhD. However, life surprises us all the time, and a few months after my volunteering trip, I was already working hard on my PhD proposal, on a topic that followed my masters’ thesis; a better understanding of ways to foster pro-environmental behaviour. I knew I wanted to be supervised by Professor Xavier Font, a leading academic in sustainable tourism, so I applied to the University of Surrey. I was not only accepted, but also offered a full-time three-year scholarship to pursue my research.
"I enjoy working closely with the industry to enforce societal change, in terms of reducing water use, energy and carbon emissions, by fostering pro-environmental behaviour among consumers."
I had the opportunity to test a smart device developed by Aguardio, a Danish start-up, in seven tourism accommodations around the world, among them including TUI, the biggest tour operator in the world, and Hostelling International, who has more than 4,000 affiliated hostels around the world.
The multiculturality at the University of Surrey is great and it is a very welcoming place. After living in London for several years, I really appreciate the quietness of Guildford, whilst being a stone’s throw away from the Surrey Hills.
Besides my PhD, I’ve been part of two research projects at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) Digital Lab with external organisations, I’ve become the Digital Lab assistant and the Sustainability Champion for the School. I am also preparing a bid in collaboration with the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing and my PhD business partner. In the near future, I will be running a meeting in partnership with the School of Psychology, the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, SHTM and an external company, for a potential research project.
If I had to choose one reason to come to the SHTM, it would be because of the people. The School attracts not only the best hospitality and tourism academics and staff, but also the best colleagues. They are all very approachable, supportive, creative and efficient. This provides the School with an excellent and inspiring working environment, that supports us to reach our potential.