Double celebration for China bound graduate

16 July 2017

Hospitality student’s hard work and multiple jobs pay off as she secures dream manager's job in Guangzhou

A first-class University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate is celebrating as she prepares to move halfway across the world after securing a position for a global hotel chain in China.

Kelly-Marie Staunton, from Shevington, successfully juggled three part-time jobs as well as fitting in voluntary work all whilst studying full time for a BA (Hons) in International Hospitality Management.

Now, she will move her life to the other side of the world to start a new role as a trainee manager for the hotel giant Marriott.

The 22 year-old said: “I’m nervous but also really excited to start this new chapter and move to Asia. I will be living in Guangzhou and my new role will see me working in room division, something I haven’t worked in before.”

Previously working as a supervisor at The Daffodil Hotel and Spa in Ambleside, an executive lounge host at the Hilton Hotel on Manchester’s Deansgate and a front desk agent at Blackpool’s Hilton Hotel simultaneously, Kelly-Marie worked seven days a week whilst studying at University.

"I really enjoyed my year abroad and was interested to see how hospitality was conducted over there."

She said: “I had a different role at each of my jobs and all of them were demanding. I had long commutes between places but I made it work. Although I had very little time to myself I put time aside each day to study. I really just enjoy working and that work ethic comes naturally.”

No stranger to adjusting to life in another country, the third year of Kelly-Marie’s course was spent in Nashville, in the United States of America. Working a rotational internship for hotel property management company Whitelodge, the former Runshaw College student said: “I really enjoyed my year abroad and was interested to see how hospitality was conducted over there.

“It was such a culture shock and hospitality is taken more seriously, with staff going the extra mile to make sure that the customer is happy.”

Earlier this year Kelly-Marie’s hard work and determination was recognised after she won a number of hospitality awards. She was presented with the Marriott Hospitality Prize 2017 and claimed three Student Employee of the Year awards at institution, regional and national level. The Student Employee awards were recognising a student who has demonstrated hard work and dedication going above and beyond throughout their degree.

Kelly-Marie was one of more than 4,000 students who graduated last week surrounded by family and friends at Preston’s Guild Hall.