Guest blogger Produced by


Name: Mrs Sooksiri Church

Course: MSc International Hospitality and Tourism Management

Where are you from? Thailand

Placement: The Sailmaker pub and restaurant

Where was your placement and what was your role?

My role was originally front of house staff but I was promoted and am currently working in a supervisory position.

What was your strategy for finding a placement? How did you get the job?

I tried to look for a wide range of job roles, as I believed that I would learn more about the hospitality industry through gaining experience at the operational level before progressing to a management role.

I applied for the job with the Sailmaker through the Facebook page.

What did you find most difficult when you were looking for a job? How did you overcome these challenges?

I initially focused my search on a management position because I thought this would be more appropriate to my studies. However, I found that the process for getting a job in the UK is different from Thailand (in Thai culture we trust in the qualifications gained rather than any experience). I realised I needed to gain the experience and learn more about the hospitality industry before being able to reach the higher position.

What do you think helped you get the placement? (e.g. Extra-curricular activities at BU, volunteering, study/work abroad, etc.)

Some of my work experience (in customer service).

How do you think the Placement helped you professionally?

Prior to my placement I had never had any direct experience in this industry. I learned a lot:

  • When working as front of house staff, I mainly focused on the cultural differences amongst the people I worked with. Whilst in this role, I tried to learn about the contribution that this operational level provides to this industry and tried to promote a positive impact both internally (with colleagues) and externally.
  • As a supervisor, I got a chance to learn more about the management role. This enabled me to be more confident in dealing with the team that I now lead and the customers that I have to deal with.

What tips would you give to other International students considering placement now?

Don’t restrict yourself with a specific job position. Even though you may get a placement as a kitchen porter, there are many things to learn from the job. Most people who are successful in their work start their careers from lower levels and work their way up. My ex-manager started as a pot washer, and many times when we were short staffed, he would help out.

Choose the place that you feel you will be happy to do your placement in, because for the next 32 weeks this placement can influence your career in the future.

Any other comments:

You might think you can’t find a placement but as long as you try, there will always be a place for you.