Audrone Nevulyte, BA (Hons) International Tourism Management graduate spent her placement year working with hotel giant Hilton. She remains close relations with her course leader Dr Carley Sutton and visits UCLan as a guest speaker for current students. Audrone has kindly shared her experience of how her placement year has transcended to her current job role at Hilton.
“My career journey started when I secured a placement year at Hilton Birmingham Metropole. It was based in a Food and Beverage role, where I had the chance to work across all hotel Food and Beverage departments. I starting working in Boulevard restaurant moved to Room Service, then to Lounge/Coffee Shop and eventually had a great last 3 months in the Conference and Events Department. It is an experience I would recommend not to miss! During this year, I felt that I gained an exceptional amount of knowledge and skills to work in the hospitality industry. Despite that, I also had a chance to meet new people and build a great relationship and most importantly gained new experience working in such a huge company.
After my placement year, I felt ready to face any challenges that life throws at me. During my final year of studying International Tourism Management at the University of Central Lancashire, I continued working for the Hilton brand at Hilton Manchester Airport as a Food and Beverage Assistant. Those 8 months were a great experience and I had a chance to see how Hilton follows their brand standards in other properties and sites.
After graduation, I moved to Birmingham and Liz Watson - Business Development Director at Hilton Birmingham Metropole - contacted me to offer me an Event Planner Trainee position at my original placement hotel. I never thought I would be able to do this role as I was very quiet and shy and I was looking to get work experience outside of the hotel industry such as within travel agencies or marketing.
However, I think I made the best decision to come back to Hilton as Event Planner Trainee. I faced so many new challenges that made me become a stronger and more confident person! After a year and a few months, all my hard work was recognised and I was promoted to Event Planner.
Audrone with International Tourism Management Course Leader, Carley Sutton.
A photo from the Hospitality Dinner that Audrone attended.
More challenges and more responsibilities to face but I would be lying if I said I do not enjoy it. Meeting and visiting clients, attending their events, doing menu tastings, dealing with suppliers, finalising event details, it is just a small part of what we need to deal with every day in order to make sure the events goes smoothly and the organisers are satisfied with the service they received would like to come back next year.
I am thankful that after graduating I still have a chance to keep a great relationship with the university and my personal tutor, Carley Sutton. Since graduation, I have starred as a guest speaker for the 2nd year Event Management students and shared my career story with them; I also had a great opportunity to attend one of the 1st year Hospitality student’s projects – a Hospitality Dinner.
The students organised a 3 Course dinner, which went very smoothly, and the food was just delicious! A lot of effort was put into decorating the room which presented a ‘4 seasons theme’. I think projects like this not only help students to gain as much practical experience as possible but also compliments the theoretical part of their studies.
The evening was a great success and I had an amazing opportunity to meet many new people! What is more, a huge thank you to Jane Shaw – Division Lead for Tourism, Hospitality and Events at UCLan - for her hospitality and accommodating me with an overnight stay in one of the Preston hotels, allowing me to enjoy the evening to the fullest.
I think projects like this show what opportunities are on offer to students at the University of Central Lancashire in order to progress and succeed in their careers.
I hope everyone was able to get some inspiration from my story and it motivated you to not to be afraid to try something new. A lot of good comes from trying new things!”
30 May 2018