Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland

 

About You

Tell us a little about yourself such as your first degree and any other qualifications, plus if applicable, the most previous job you have held or what you were doing prior to the course.

I had graduated from Stirling University in 2007 and had been working within my family business from 2006 – 2010, and again from 2011 until now. Entering education again as a mature student whilst working and with a young family was not a decision taken lightly, and I looked at many different courses and options. From my research, the MBA Hospitality course seemed ideally suited to my needs. The benefits of completing the QMU MBA program is that you get in depth and critical understanding of the key areas of business including finance, human resources, marketing, operations and strategy. There are then opportunities to relate these to modern management issues, real life situations and reflect on this accordingly.

One of the reasons I choose QMU was because of its commitment to hospitality and the real life experience of the lecturers in this field. Their insight into the hospitality industry is unrivalled and many are actively working on government policy as senior advisors on areas such as alcohol licensing or tourism.

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU/ Edinburgh and Scotland?

I chose Edinburgh because it is where I live with my family so not really relevant. I chose QMU as it was really well connected to Edinburgh city centre via the train service which takes six minutes.

 

"This MBA, combined with my working experience, has enabled me to gain expertise and knowledge that will provide me with the tools necessary to manage and grow a business."
Barrie Henderson

The Course

What did you hope the course would give you? Career change/progression? Continuing personal development?

I work for Henderson’s in a managerial position which is a demanding role. The company currently has three café / restaurants and one deli, it employs more than 60 staff. The company is looking to expand by opening two more units next year and carry out a £200k refurbishment of its main site. This MBA, combined with my working experience, has enabled me to gain expertise and knowledge that will provide me with the tools necessary to manage and grow the business.

How did you find the work load? Could you comment on the support available to you?

The course co-ordinators were extremely helpful and the way that the course is designed means that you can complete the modules in any order, and at a faster or a slower rate. Throughout the course, I had a number of conversations with them in which I was provided with advice on what they thought was an achievable amount of units to take on, based on my work and family commitments. I completed the course in two years, completing two modules a term and completing my business based project during the second year.

In a way, the most challenging term was the first term. Adjusting to uni schedules and standards took some time, but a lecturer was really helpful in giving me some advice that really improved quality of my academic work.

Are you working during the course?

Yes, I was working around 25-40 hours a week.

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

Don’t leave things to the last minute and get involved in the classes - the teachers have so much knowledge you can tap into.

Life after graduation

What are your future plans in terms of career/ charity work/ further study do you have once you have completed the course?

Currently I work as Business Development Manager for Henderson’s. I obtained this role during the last six months of my course at QMU and can see myself staying in this position for the time being.

Henderson's, an Edinburgh vegetarian restaurant, with its international reputation for cutting edge vegetarian cuisine has been hailed by 'Scotland the Best' as a 'Scottish Pioneer', a ground-breaking business that changed the nation forever. 

 

Story published 2016-2017

 

MBA Hospitality

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