Graduate to Merlin entertainment manager
Born and raised in the Fylde Coast where tourism features very strongly in the local economy, Lucy Hodge had always worked in the local tourism business part-time and where she discovered her passion for the industry. For her it was a natural step to study the more about tourism in higher education.
“UCLan was a local university to me and I’d heard some amazing things about it,” she says.
Studying BA (Hons) International Tourism Management, Lucy enjoyed her time at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and even got the opportunity to do “life-changing” voluntary work in Cambodia as part of her studies.
“I had amazing time and I had some of the best experiences. It was challenging emotionally but gave me a great perspective on things”
During her time at University, Lucy undertook a placement year.
“Experience really is key upon graduation. I lived in Austria and France: it gave some personal and working challenges. I was proud of my achievements and work ethic on returning.”
“My degree absolutely gave me the upper hand alongside my experience over other candidates for job roles. The theory side of the industry is vital to have and I believe will have had an impact on the fast track of my career.”
After graduating, Lucy went straight into full-time work, securing a job with Devere Hotels in Blackpool as Guest Services Manager. After working in various roles in events, Lucy joined Merlin Entertainments Ltd in Blackpool, one of the leading entertainments providers in the UK. She now works as Business Development Manager for the Blackpool cluster of attractions, with her venue portfolio including the iconic Blackpool Tower, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life.
Lucy explains: “I am tasked with positioning and selling our incredible and iconic venues to private clients out of general trading. This may be to private celebration events, filming and television, live music events, VIP venue takeovers, weddings, awards and corporate events.”
“Never would I have imagined growing up that I would be working for such iconic attractions in the role.”
Reflecting on her time at UCLan, Lucy says, “I realised at University what motivated me in life and the success I was hungry for in the first decade of my professional career. UCLan was an incredible start for this, I honestly believe you get out what you put in.“
“You have to do it for yourself but with the support of professional and experienced tutors and a university with a great reputation, the world is your oyster!”