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Queen Margaret University (QMU)
Queen Margaret University (QMU)


Claire Dilley is from America and is studying MSc International Management and Leadership with Hospitality

“I am from Palm Harbor, Florida in the USA. In 2012 I moved to Orlando to study Hospitality Management. I worked in a range of event roles, whilst creating ‘magic’ at The Walt Disney World as a cast member. After graduation in December 2015, I moved to Greeley, Pennsylvania to work as the Dining Room Supervisor at an all girls’ camp before moving to Scotland to study at 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 courses all over America before choosing QMU, but I thought it would be fun to see what it would be like to study abroad, particularly in Scotland.  I was also keen to study at a university that was friendly and supportive after having previously been at a very large university.

“QMU was the perfect choice for me. The class sizes are fairly small and I feel that I have a support system.

“One of my favourite trips that we have taken in this course was to Gleneagles Hotel. Being a hospitality major, I was so excited to be able to not only see the famous hotel but also stay a night in it. We had the opportunity to tour the back of the house and have dinner with some of the hotel’s directors. Interviewing the directors, we were able to hear outside perspectives on the industry, and gain knowledgeable tips. Learning about the hospitality industry in a classroom is great, but having the ability to see what is taught in the classroom in a real-world setting was unreal.

“The classes on the MSc are so practical. When I was an undergraduate student, I took classes that weren’t going to help me in any way once I entered the real world, they just acted as fillers. Every single class you take in this course will benefit you in some way once you graduate. The professors are there to support you and guide you in the right direction, but you really have full range to learn on your own. I’ve learned more in these past seven months than I did during my four years of undergraduate study.

“When I was researching postgraduate courses, one thing that really stuck out to me about this one was the project that we do at the end. Traditionally, master’s students have a dissertation, but doing the project instead allows for us to gain practical experience in a work setting. This summer in addition to my working as a dining room supervisor at camp, my project will be focusing on creating a special events calendar for the international staff that work at camp. The camp has students from all over the world who come and work during the summer. It’s a great way for them to be able to see and experience America, while earning some extra money. Through my time at camp, I have found that because everyone works so much they aren’t able to benefit from the activities that are around them. I was able to reach out to former employees and see what it was that they wished they had experienced during their time at camp. I have received a wide range of answers back, and plan on putting them into action.

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


Adrian deBattista is from Malta and is studying MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management

“I studied for a degree in economics in my home country of Malta and worked for five years at the Maltese finance ministry, but I was keen to change career. With experience of performing at, and as a volunteer organiser for, several music events, I was keen to steer my career towards the cultural sector - particularly at policy level.  I felt that this course would offer me the academic knowledge, skills and confidence to get me where I wanted to go.

“The knowledge and experience of the QMU lecturers was astounding and guest lecturers had a wealth of experience in the field of arts, festival and cultural management to share.  My class received continuous support from the course leader and he encouraged us to challenge him during class, making the process more participatory. A culture of knowledge sharing was also present amongst all students, which strengthened the social bond between us.

“I started working as a research associate at Arts Council Malta just one week after I had finished my final project at QMU, thanks to this MA, I believe. My role involves developing and managing the Council’s research programme through qualitative and quantitative research, whilst gathering statistics and data mining, analysing cultural practices and monitoring trends affecting or resulting from cultural participation, production and consumption. I’m also responsible for ensuring quality control of research by setting up appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems. I have also been involved in writing the Council’s five-year strategy with regard to research for 2016-2020 and have been working on the formulation of data collection methods for internal evaluation of national cultural organisations, which came into effect in 2017.

“The MA helped me improve and optimise my research skills, especially in terms of qualitative research. This proved to be useful in terms of documentary analysis in relation to cultural policy texts, which are a key part of my current job. The course also equipped me with valuable skills for critical thinking and writing that have given me the confidence to debate and question underlying discourses that exist in my daily work.”

Samantha Prowald is from Germany and is studying MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations

“I am from Schweinfurt, Germany. At undergraduate level, I completed a BSc Media Communication from the University of Wuerzburg. Whilst studying, I volunteered in the local public relations department at AIESEC, a student-led organisation promoting international cultural exchange. This position gave me a thirst for a career in PR. I went on to complete a complete a six-month corporate communications internship with the sportswear company, PUMA, in Germany. This was a great opportunity: not only did I gain some fantastic work experience,  I also had the pleasure of working with people from around the world.

“I was keen to study PR in more depth, hopefully allowing me to better focus my career. I wanted to gain concrete knowledge about PR theory, as well as practical application. I researched courses online and foreign European countries offered more postgraduate courses in strategic communication and public relations than Germany. With this in mind, and having enjoyed previously working with people from around the world, I decided to study overseas  - and chose QMU after having enjoyed a visit to Edinburgh on a school trip.

“As a current student on the MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations, I am finding the modules really interesting and they include a lot of digital communication elements, which is very useful.  The workload is manageable, especially as we’re mostly able to tailor assignment topics according to our interests within the thought module area, but it can be quite stressful when deadlines are looming. The staff are very approachable and supportive.

“I am also working as a part-time International Conversion Assistant at QMU which I am really enjoying. This position enables me to utilise the skills and knowledge from the course and I am enjoying the social media and communications dimension.  It feels like the ideal preparation for a full-time job as a PR professional.

“When I graduate from QMU, I will have a great base to progress my career. I’d like to work as an in-house PR manager rather than at a PR agency, preferably within an international organisation where I can take care of content management, including website and social media.”


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