Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) Future You ‘On the Road’ at Buxton: An ambassador’s role.

Emily B

ITT Future You conference

The Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) Future You conference came to Buxton campus on March 10th 2015. It is a travelling conference that the industries top employers attend and they give lectures on the latest trends within the travel industry and about future jobs. It is essential to attend if you are part of a tourism related degree or are looking to go onto such a degree.  It was mine and another student ambassador’s role to ensure the event ran smoothly.  Supported by industry experts, it was a day packed full of talks, speed workshops and networking.  With over 170 students attending from Derby University as well as prospective students from surrounding colleges including Burton and South Derbyshire College, Derby College and Buxton and Leek College, the event was a hub of information and networking.

Student Ambassador Role

As a student ambassador, one of my roles is to make sure that any events or conferences held by the tourism or events department are well supported and a success. It involves setting up the rooms ready for the events, ensuring the speakers are well looked after and making sure the attendees are directed on where to go and what to do. It is a busy time and a long day but the chance to network with the speakers and be involved is well worth it!

The Day

It was an early start because I needed to be up at Buxton for 8am to start preparing for the conference. We arrived at Buxton and were greeted by the College Marketing Manager for Business, Jenny and the Senior Marketing Assistant in Education Liaison, Sarah. Myself and my friend Lydia were assigned tasks for the day by the Event organiser for ITT, Kelly. The first role was to organise the tables for the day and set up the goody bags that each student and lecturer were going to receive upon arrival. There were 170 in total and so this was no quick task! Upon completion, we were informed of the itinerary for the day:

10:30am- Conference- Leading industry experts Guest Speakers educational conference

13:00- Lunch Break

14:00- Speed Group Networking

15:00- Coffee Break

15:15- Speed Group Networking Continued

16:30- Event Ends

At around 10am colleges and speakers began to arrive and it was my duty to check in each visitor and speaker and assign them a group number for the speed dating session. Here, they were also handed a goody bag and informed of where to go. Around 170 students from various local colleges came to the event which including New College Nottingham and Burton College as well as students involved in tourism courses at Derby University. Once everyone had arrived and been allocated their group numbers the conference could begin.

The Conference

The conference in the morning began at 10:30am and consisted of seven speakers. These were:

– ITT ‘Future You’      – Perfect Weddings Abroad           -STA Travel

– BH Mallorca            – Stella Travel Services                 – Derby University

– Chatsworth

Each speaker gave a presentation of their personal background in the tourism industry and how they got to the position they were in. They then spoke about the jobs they were currently in and the potential jobs available within these organisations currently. Some included graduate programmes, internships, summer jobs and straight from college/ university work. They gave a real, honest insight into the jobs and how it is best to apply for these jobs, including some hints and tips. It was great to see how people can progress in their jobs, with some even starting their own business.

There was plenty to take in and the size of the companies and job roles varied from each organisation so there was a wide range of information, which was great. Now it was time for a well-earned lunch break- which was free because we had worked the event- bonus!

The Speed Group Networking

Once lunch was over, the students got into their assigned groups and the speed networking workshops began. The companies that took part in the networking were:

-ITT                    – Perfect Weddings Abroad             -STA Travel

– BH Mallorca      – Stella Travel Services                   – Derby University

– Shottle Hall        – The Co-operative Travel Management

Each session lasted for 10 minutes and allowed students to ask the companies any questions they may have specifically for the company or of the industry in general. It was great to be able to chat to the people that new all about the tourism industry on such an informal level. They gave really useful hints and tips on improving your CV, interview techniques and how to approach applications.

Why the day was such a success

The conference was great as I further developed my skills in hosting and preparing for events but also I got the opportunity to liaise with the speakers themselves on a more personal level and gain a fantastic insight into their industry. It is with events such as these you get to get a real taste for the area of work you would like to be in and also really flaunt your skills to prospective employers.

If you get the chance to become a student ambassador- go for it! Not only do you get paid for your help but the experiences and people that you meet could help further your career in the industry.

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ERASMUS- student exchange programme

Emily B

Derby Uni students are lucky enough to have the chance to take part in a student exchange programme called Erasmus. It allows students who are studying at the University of Derby the opportunity to study abroad in a choice of 33 countries! It is an ideal experience for a Tourism student as it will broaden your knowledge and gain some really great cultural experiences. Two girls from my course have just gone to Hungary for the semester to study for a couple of months and they love it! If I didn’t have prior commitments I would have loved to have jet off to study abroad!

Why take part in ERASMUS?

  • Money won’t hold you back! You receive an additional grant allowing you pay towards your accommodation abroad whilst still paying for your tuition fees in the UK. You don’t pay anything extra to the hosting university, it’s all covered. All you will need is the flights and some spending money whilst you are there to enjoy the country and go out with your new friends.
  • It is open to ALL students! You can take part in ERASMUS no matter what your degree or whether you are in your first or second year. You will take identical or similar modules to your course in the UK so there is no need to panic that you will be missing out or delaying your course, you will receive the same amount of credits!
  • All lectures are taught in English! You won’t have to brush up on your French or German, as the lectures that you attend will be in English, and all lecturers will assist you in English. Phew!
  • You have a choice of 33 countries to choose from in the EU! From Poland to Hungary, Cyprus to Italy, there is a broad range to choose from!
  • It looks fantastic on your CV! To boast that you have studied in a foreign country looks great to future employers as it shows a range of skills and experiences. It demonstrates that you are not afraid of a challenge or getting out of your comfort zone.
  • It is available for 12-24 weeks! Whether you want to try it out for a little while or a bit longer, the programme is flexible so you choose how long you want to study abroad.
  • There is always someone to talk to! You will have full support from the International Student Advisor up at Buxton and will have access to talk to your faculty coordinator whenever you like to answer any queries.

So if travel and new cultures are a passion of yours, why not give ERASMUS a thought and have a chat about it with someone when you arrive at Derby University!

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Tourism students trip to Malta

Emily B, HRSM

One of the great things that drew me to the tourism course at Derby was the inclusion of a residential trip to Malta in the 2nd year, which was all part of the course fees!

Specifically organised for Tourism Management students, this gave us an opportunity to jet off with two of our lecturers, Peter and Iride, for a 4-night stay in St Julians to really experience what we have been studying.

Time for a quick snap!

Time for a quick snap!

We stayed in a lovely hotel in the heart of the main shopping, restaurant and nightlife areas of the town, which was a perfect base for our stay. Here we had the use of a great swimming pool and even a Jacuzzi – this was a welcome sight for everyone! To help us explore, we were also given a free bus pass making getting around really easy. In the evenings we were given free time to go out, explore and really got to know everyone on our course.

But this wasn’t just a free holiday!

The university had plenty for us to do to ensure, at least from an academic perspective, that we were really making the most of the trip. This included things like local sight-seeing trips and a more in-depth venture into the capital, Valetta.

This beautiful and historic city impressed us all for a few reasons:

  1. It was a vibrant and buzzing place, with breathtaking buildings and some fantastic restaurant and shopping areas.
  2. The shopping experience was great, with plenty of souvenirs and more traditional local gift shops around Valetta.
  3. Last but by no means least, we got to see where some scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed! As a Game of Thrones fan, it was amazing to be able to see some of the sets form the series. There are a few places in Malta that were used in the series, including Mdina and Gozo, both of which we visited.

    On the boat trip

    On the boat trip

Next we visited Gozo, a little island just off the coast of Malta, only accessible by ferry. It had some beautiful beaches and buildings, it was a really picturesque place. We had our own personal tour guide for the day and were transported around by mini van, giving us a great insight into the area. From here we had took a boat trip to see some caves and a place where blue coral grew under water, which made the sea look a vibrant tropical colour. Of course we couldn’t miss the opportunity to stop at the beach for a dip and some time to relax and unwind.

Peter had organised for us to visit the University of Malta, to meet students studying the same course as us, which was a really interesting opportunity. The University was great and we were given an all access tour of the campus by the students there. Later on, we met them back near where we were staying for some drinks so we could ask them questions about Malta and studying there. We got some great inside info from this!

Having dinner with the gang

Having dinner with the gang

The last day saw us attending the Mediterranean Tourism Forum, a conference hosted by top industry experts and even was even attended by the President of Malta. The event gave us a real insight into the tourism industry in Malta and we got a preview of the latest technology making its way into the tourism sector in the future, we felt like VIP’s!

What was great about the Malta trip was that there was a perfect balance between visiting places, meeting people and getting some free time to explore and hang out with our friends. I would recommend the trip to anyone as you get to know your classmates and lecturers on a more personal level and ultimately have a great time in the sun!

What more could you want from your degree?!

Emily B signature

Why was Derby right for me?

Emily B, HRSM

The main reason I chose the University of Derby was due to the variety of entry routes offered. This was perfect for me as I didn’t study traditional A Levels. By offering a foundation degree programme or an Access course, Derby enables people from all walks of life to study here.

After completing the foundation programme, I enrolled onto a full time Tourism Management degree at Derby, at the Buxton Campus. Ranked as the No. 1 UK University for degrees in Tourism, Hospitality, Events and Spa Management, it was obvious that continuing my studies at Derby was the right choice!

Now in my 2nd year, I have visited Ireland and Malta as part of the degree course, experiencing the tourism business first-hand. As well as the academic parts of these trips, we also got free time to explore and to give everybody a chance to get to know each other which helps to build a great community.

Regular opportunities to meet important industry employers such as Visit Peak District means I have already gained industry specific skills, making me as prepared as possible for my career ahead.

The lecturers are really engaging and are always there when you need extra advice or to point you in the right direction of some helpful contacts. You learn on a wide range of platforms, with spontaneous day trips not an uncommon occurrence, making the learning style varied and really enjoyable!

Once I have successfully completed my degree, I hope to move into the education side of tourism by becoming an education coordinator, liaising with schools and groups at a busy visitor attraction.  96.7% of last year’s graduates were in jobs or further study within 6 months of completing their degree, which is definitely a figure to boast about! Thanks to my degree and the support I have received whilst at Derby, I am confident I will be ready for the next challenge ahead of me – full time employment.