Graduate success story: Duncan Cameron

Name: Duncan Cameron
Course: BA (Hons) Hospitality Management
Year of Graduation: 2003

At the age of 17, Duncan Cameron was working in his local Mcdonald’s.

But even at this early stage, he already had his sights set on a career in the hospitality industry.

Now eight years on and with a BA (Hons) in Hospitality Management under his belt, he has a senior role working with some of the top brands in the world.

As Senior Hospitality Consultant for brand quality auditing company, Hospitality Now, Duncan works with industry leaders such as Costa Coffee, Premier Inn and Marriott hotels to ensure that quality standards are consistently delivered to every guest every time.

Practical experience

Duncan always knew that he was going to study Hospitality Management at degree level but decided to get as much practical experience as possible by spending two years working before starting his course.

“With most of my peers already two years into their degree course I decided to get some experience in the industry I was going to study so that I could graduate with a head start over my classmates. Having worked for an outside caterer, Holiday Inn and even McDonald’s, I was keen to progress within the industry but not as ‘just another manager’,” he explains.

First choice

When it came to choosing where to study, the University of Wolverhampton was always going to be Duncan’s first choice.

“It was well known that Wolverhampton’s Hospitality Management degree programme was highly regarded within the industry and fortunately for me Wolverhampton was also my home town!

“The lecturers were time served professionals that had come from the industry. They delivered the course in such a way that it was ‘real’ - the techniques and lessons learnt could be practically applied to the industry, so much so that I still use them today in my everyday work.”

After teaming his studies with more work experience, Duncan secured his first General Manager position - two months before he even graduated.

“I graduated with as much experience as I could possibly have. I had been a fine dining restaurant manager, Deputy General Manager of one of the leading country house hotels in the UK, spent six months working in the kitchens of a 4 rosette restaurant and had also worked as a fine wine advisor.”

Career plan

At age 25, Duncan’s career really began to gain pace when he applied for the position of Hotel Consultant with a company based in Boston, USA. Duncan became the company’s youngest consultant working autonomously throughout the UK and Europe, analysing and evaluating key strengths and weaknesses in the quality consistencies of businesses.

Duncan worked in this role for three years, consulting at over 500 hotels and 150 restaurants before deciding that he needed to fill a gap in his CV – experience running holiday resorts.

In 2007 Duncan accepted the position of General Manager of Windermere Marina Village in the Lake District.

With his career plan still set firmly in his mind Duncan gave himself three years before moving back into consulting.

Exactly three years and three months later, Duncan moved into the role that he enjoys today – and credits the University’s role in his success.

“I arrive at this stage of my career at a level I thought I could never achieve and when I ask myself what made a difference to my career, the answer without a doubt is studying at the University of Wolverhampton. I can offer a unique combination of experience and qualifications that employers crave.

“I thoroughly enjoyed and valued every minute studying at the University of Wolverhampton and I owe the lecturers a massive debt of gratitude for delivering a course that prepared me with the tools and insight I needed to build a successful career.”