Find out how one student went through Clearing to secure his dream job in the sun working for a luxury hotel brand. 

Johnny Elmer came to QMU via Clearing and just a year after graduating, he jetted off to sunny Cyprus to take on an exciting new role with an international travel company. Loving his new life in the sun and excelling in his job, Johnny’s passion for team work and great customer service were recognised by his company. He was promoted each year and given the chance to further develop his managerial skills in new roles based in Cape Verde and then Mexico. Developing teams to deliver outstanding customer experiences in a five star luxury hotel group with travel company Tui, became Johnny’s passion.  However, the journey to his dream job all started at Clearing when he chose a course at QMU.

He said: “I was interested in the creative industries, so was delighted to secure a place on the BA (Hons) Drama and Performance. I chose the course because it gave me the flexibility to learn and appreciate all the different roles in theatre. I loved the variety of the course and was lucky to have such great support from the incredible staff that work within the QMU’s School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management. I also chose QMU because it seemed like a lovely modern campus with a close knit community and a Students’ Union and accommodation on site, so I thought it would be easy to get to know people and get involved in student life.”

Johnny continued: “However, QMU also offered so many opportunities to build skills and experience outside of the degree. It’s a great place to develop good interpersonal, group working, communication and problem solving skills which you will continually draw upon when you join the world of work. Importantly, these are the kind of skills that employers are looking for.”

Discussing his highlights, Johnny said: “Being elected Student Vice President of the Queen Margaret University Students’ Union (QMUSU) for a two year term was a great way to build my CV and spend my last years with the University. It was an amazing experience to work with a team who were focused on supporting students throughout their student journey. I represented the student body at meetings with university officials; ran large and small scale social and creative events for students; supported our clubs and societies; and was Co-founder and Chair of the NUS award winning Edinburgh Student Arts Festival.

“The more you put in to university life, the more you get out! At QMU, it’s easy to get involved in things and it’s a great way to meet people and make friends. I was Chair of Cobweb Theatre Company, a QMUSU student society, which was great fun and helped me acquire financial and project management skills. All of these opportunities helped to build my confidence and experience, and expand my outlook. Nowadays, QMU offers an incredible range of scholarships, awards, paid internships, international travel opportunities and community and voluntary work experiences. I’d urge all students to take full advantage of these initiatives to build their knowledge, skills and confidence, as these experiences really can help strengthen your CV and open doors to future employment.”

"The more you put in to university life, the more you get out! At QMU, it’s easy to get involved in things and it’s a great way to meet people and make friends."
Johnny Elmer, BA (Hons) Drama and Performance

Discussing his time as Student Vice President, Johnny said: “The role gave me a greater insight into the workings of the University. Until I became Student Vice President I had no idea just how hard the academic and professional services staff worked to ensure students got everything they needed to excel. QMU is certainly very committed to delivering a high quality student experience. You won’t get lost in the crowd at QMU and that’s what sets it apart from other universities!”

Although Johnny didn’t end up working in the creative sector, he developed transferable skills on his drama course and at QMU that he has continued to use every day in his role as Service Delivery Team Manager. He said: “The course helped me think creatively and take ideas from their conception to implementation. I also learned to work as part of a team and how to communicate with people. The QMU learning experience really does prepare you for a real job – you’re equipped to hit the ground running when you enter the workforce.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on the travel industry, and Johnny had to return from Mexico to the UK. With outstanding transferable skills, it wasn't long before Johnny was snapped by another employer. During his time away from the travel industry he worked as a general manager of a Scottish based bar restaurant and hotel. As the world starts recovering from pandemic and international travel resumes, Johnny is delighted to be back in Mexico working as  Service Delivery Manager with the international luxury hotel brand, Tui Blue. He's in his element - back doing what he loves and living his best life in the sun!

Drama and Performing Arts

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