About you

Tell us a little about yourself such as your hobbies/interests that are related or not related to your course of study.

I am very interested in the craft beverage movement and have a passion for trying new products ranging from craft gin to craft beer. I regularly visit new distilleries and craft beer breweries, participate in tastings, and go to craft and food festivals.

I also regularly go to concerts, and I play the guitar.


What attracted you to this course and why did you choose Queen Margaret University (QMU)?

The International Hospitality and Tourism Management course spoke to me because my family has a strong background in hospitality and I’ve been working in the industry since I was 16-years-old. The opportunity to gain a vast amount of practical experience and a placement abroad seemed the perfect foundation for a career within the industry.

I chose QMU based on my time at an open day, where I saw how strongly embedded a sense of community is within the student experience.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

I knew from a young age I wanted to return to the UK after leaving for Germany at the age of six. Growing up being one part British motivated me to come back for study.

At a UK universities fair in Berlin, I came across several Scottish universities that I ended up applying for. Before making any decisions, I decided to take a peek myself and travelled to Scotland. Edinburgh seemed to me the most suitable with a combination of a young student community and a vibrant culture.

 Living away from home

If you are living in student residences or in a flat, what are the top three items that you packed that you wouldn’t be without?

  1. My guitar.
  2. A decent frying pan.
  3. Comfy slippers.

Life in Edinburgh

What’s the best experience you’ve had so far in Edinburgh?

One of the best experiences I’ve had in this city was in my first year at a student hangout, where I ended up dancing with an 83-year-old former ballet dancer to contemporary music. It helped me see Scotland and its people with different eyes!

Are there any hidden ‘gems’ you’d like to share with fellow students?

There are so many hidden gems to choose from but one of them, certainly, is the view from the rooftop terrace of the National Museum of Scotland.

For nightlife, there is a 1920s prohibition themed bar called Panda & Sons, where you have to knock before entering the premises through a door hidden by a bookcase! Another great place is the underground Edinburgh Gin Distillery.

The course

At the open day you attended, was there any aspect of the University which helped you make up your mind about choosing QMU? 

I really felt at ease when coming to QMU due to the small size of the institution - it felt like your voice mattered.

The interactive and engaging presentation from our programme leader also gave me that all-important push to finalise my decision.

What’s been the highlight of the course so far? What have you learned, or which particular course activity has been the most interesting?

My highlight of the course was our placement abroad. I chose Amsterdam and I could not have had a more interesting and fascinating experience. Within that five month period, I not only grew professionally but I also made great career connections and new friends.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

If you are looking for a well-rounded course with plenty of practical experience and opportunity to meet people from an international background, this is the course to go for.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I want to either apply for a graduate scheme of a new concept hotel within the UK or try my luck within the craft beverage industry.

Life as a student at QMU

Are you a member of a QMU club, society or group? If so, what was the reason behind your choice and what do you enjoy most about it?

Although I have only been part of a society [Futsal – or indoor football] for my third year at the university, I can say that it makes a huge difference since you effortlessly get to know people and have a balance that can be necessary when the academic life is giving you a tough time.

Even if you are not part of a society or a club, there are so many opportunities to make a difference at the university, for instance, through voluntary work, which I have always enjoyed.

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

No one is ever going to give you the chance again to mingle with so many people from diverse backgrounds. No one is ever going to hand you this much freedom to explore various interests or travel abroad. Four years might seem like a long time, but this will be the time you change the most and that shapes your personality and future.

The Lord Forte Foundation Scholarship

Tell us more about your applying for this year’s Lord Forte Foundation Scholarship.

I applied for the scholarship based on my struggle to balance my finances with a part-time job and my academic aspirations.  The scholarship allows me to focus entirely on my final year at university and work towards an overall first.

What was your response on being named as one of this year’s recipients of the scholarship?

For me, it was a huge relief because I knew I would not end up with more loans to pay back after university than I already have in the first place.

What are your plans for the funds?

The majority of the funds I will use to cover my rent for the final months at QMU and if something is left over, I will either invest in a beer sommelier course or pay off part of my student debt.

"I really felt at ease when coming to QMU due to the small size of the institution - it felt like your voice mattered."
Carl Schache-Parrott

[Story published 2019]