Hospitality Management case study

Laura Milles - FdA Hospitality Management
General Manager - The Waterhead Hotel

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I graduated from the College in 2009 with a First Class Honours in FdA Hospitality Management. I relocated from the North East to the Lake District to take up a supervisor role at The Waterhead Hotel, a country house hotel in Coniston. I was then promoted to Assistant Manager and then General Manager, a role I’ve held for the past three years.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Busy! No two days are the same, it’s a very varied role. One day I could be helping with the breakfast sittings and the next working on budgets!

Why did you choose to study at Newcastle College?

I have always worked in the hospitality industry and I came to the College initially wanting to study a Level 3 in Cookery. However after chatting to course tutors I realised I could undertake the Foundation Degree in Hospitality Management. After seeing the facilities I would have access to I was sold!

Why did you choose the course?

I chose the course because of its hands-on practical nature as well as the amazing facilities and real working environments such as The Lifestyle Academy and The Bistro.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I really enjoyed building on my existing knowledge and being able to fill in the gaps. I loved being surrounded by motivated, like-minded people who wanted to do well and succeed. The best thing was that all of my classmates brought their own individual strengths to the table and by the end of the first year of the course everyone was at the same level.

Did you have the opportunity to go on a work placement as part of your degree? What skills do you feel you gained>

Yes I undertook a sixth month placement at the Angel View Inn in Gateshead as part of my course which was a fantastic experience and a real learning curve. I spent three weeks in every department so it gave me a really good grounding in the hospitality industry. It was great to be able to apply the theory I’d learnt in the classroom in a real-life working scenario. It made me realise that everyone has to play a part and everyone needs to work together effectively to get the job done.

How would you describe the course tutors at the College?

The course tutors were fantastic and so supportive to me. I was very determined to pass my course with a first so I would go and see my tutors regularly for advice and tips on how I could improve and develop my skills. I really looked up to them as they were so knowledgeable and as they’d worked in the hospitality industry before going into teaching they were able to give me examples of good practice and ways of working, something that has helped me a lot in my career.

Any words of advice for any student considering studying at Newcastle College?

Do it! Studying for a degree at the College was such an incredible experience and helped get me to where I am today, something I’m very proud of. If you choose to study here you’ll be supported by amazing course tutors who’ll help you realise your potential and you’ll have access to fantastic facilities. I would highly recommend the College to anyone.

What are your plans for the future?

I’d like to move into Operations Management at a larger country house hotel and just keep on learning and doing the best job I can.

Sum up your time at the College in three words

Challenging, unique, worthwhile.