Interview with QMU international postgraduate student: Claire Dilley, MSc International Management & Leadership with Hospitality

By Press Office

Claire Dilley, 23, is from Palm Harbor, Florida in the USA. She’s currently studying MSc International Management & Leadership with Hospitality full-time at QMU.

Claire grew up in a small beach town outside of Tampa, Florida and moved to Orlando, Florida in 2012 to undertake her undergraduate studies. She studied Hospitality Management at Rosen College of Hospitality Management, which is part of the University of Central Florida (UCF).

During her time at UCF, Claire worked in a range of event roles, whilst creating magic at The Walt Disney World as a cast member. After graduation in December 2015, Claire moved to Greeley, Pennsylvania to work as the Dining Room Supervisor at an all girls’ camp before moving to Scotland to study at QMU.

Why did you choose MSc International Management & Leadership with Hospitality and why QMU?

“When I made the decision to go to graduate school, I knew I wanted to focus my studies on hospitality, as well as business. The course at QMU encompasses all aspects of a business degree, whilst still allowing me to focus on my love for hospitality management.

“I applied to different postgraduate programmes all over America before choosing QMU. I thought it would be fun to see what it would be like to study abroad, particularly in Scotland.

“UCF is the second biggest university in America, so I knew I wanted to pick a university for my postgraduate studies that was more friendly and supportive.

“QMU was the perfect choice for me. The class sizes are smaller and I feel that I have a support system that I didn’t have at my previous school.

“When I graduated from UCF, I had no idea what career path I wanted to take. The course at QMU has given me direction into where I see myself in the future. I have narrowed my career path down to marketing or events.”

How did you find the workload?

“It’s important to keep in mind that it’s a postgraduate programme, so a lot of work is required, but it’s 100% manageable. Because of QMU’s friendly size, you really do get support you’re your professors, programme leaders and peers. They want you to succeed, so they’re always there to help.”

How do you think your QMU degree has equipped you with the skills/knowledge to development your career?

“My undergraduate programme focused mainly on the hospitality side of the industry, so I didn’t learn much about business. My QMU degree has introduced me to different aspects of business, to where I now feel comfortable and confident in the business world.”

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

“When I made the decision to move abroad for my studies, I knew I wanted to go to a country where their prime language was English. I had never been to Scotland before, so I saw it as an adventure.

“The thing I like most about living in Edinburgh is all the history the city has. Walking around you can imagine what it must have been like in the past. I also love that all the museums are free, so I can learn more about the city in my down time.

“Another thing I also love about the city is how diverse it is. The city is a melting pot and being able to interact with people I normally wouldn’t have back home has really expanded my knowledge and experience.”

What top tips would you give prospective postgraduate students based on your own personal experience?

  • “Be outgoing! Everyone is just as nervous, and nobody knows what to expect. If you create a solid foundation with the peers in your course, you’ll be able to have a support system of people who know exactly what you are going through.”
  • “Don’t give up ever, even when you feel like it’s all too overwhelming. You will get through it, and it will be all worth it in the end!”
  • “Make sure to do your research before you get to the university. You only have a limited amount of time there, so embrace every aspect of the university and the city!”

QMU’s MSc International Management & Leadership and MBA student cohorts are truly International with a real mix of students from the East and West that enhance everyone’s learning at the University.

Smaller class sizes mean that QMU students get the opportunity to take part in industry visits and experiences that are unavailable elsewhere. Industry visits can include an overnight stay at the famous Gleneagles Hotel or afternoon leadership meetings at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, which are designed to offer students an experience of the industry they may choose to work in. Visits to food and drink factories like Diageo or Glenkinchie allow students to see how Scotch whisky is produced from distillation to export.

MSc International Management & Leadership and MBA students at QMU also have the rare opportunity to design and choose a business or organisation to work with on a specific final project that is both real and focused around their career aspirations.

MSc International Management & Leadership with Hospitality

More information on MSc International Management & Leadership with Hospitality at QMU.

International students

More information for international students at QMU.

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Marketing Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:  T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 and Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: T: 0131 474 0000.

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