Written by Guest blogger
This is a guest blog by Danni Gilligan, BA (Hons) Tourism Management student. Danni discusses her placement experience at Stay U-nique, a Unique Vacation Rental Management company in Barcelona.
Placement year approached fast and it was a chance for me to chase my dream of working abroad. I’d always felt happy experiencing new cultures when on holiday and working abroad had always appealed to me. Before attending Bournemouth University, I had left a different University as I developed severe anxiety, so taking the step to complete a placement abroad was for my personal and professional development. Stay U-nique stood out to me on MyCareerHub and the next thing I knew I was undergoing skype interviews and was offered the job face-to-face at the career fair!
June soon came around and it was time for me to leave, my nerves became overwhelming in the build-up, but my parents initially travelled to Barcelona with me and helped me settle. Fortunately for me, another girl on my course was doing the same placement so we lived in an apartment by the beach together. Living with someone familiar really made my experience and after a few months both our best friends came out to live in Barcelona too.
Would you recommend Stay U-nique to future placement students?
I can’t recommend Stay U-nique enough. The support and the opportunities provided will ensure you return home a new person. A great incentive at Stay U-nique was ‘Uniquely Points’ which were points employees gave one another for a good deed or simply making them smile. We could spend them in restaurants or on attraction tickets, I treated my mum to a flamenco show on one of her visits. They also offered free Spanish lessons.
What have you learnt from this experience?
I learnt so much on my placement since I was given a lot of responsibility. I worked autonomously for large parts of my role, which encouraged me to make quick decisions and rely on my initiative, especially when problem solving. I was able to split my time between two departments which enabled me to transfer my knowledge from one to improve another.
Personally, I have learnt not to doubt myself and that I am stronger than I think. I have gained lots of valuable knowledge of the travel & tourism industry and acquired great insight into how issues such as riots and COVID-19 can impact the industry.
What are you most proud of?
My greatest achievement is that I completed the full placement abroad as I didn’t think I would last longer than 2 weeks. I’ve made friends from all around the world, memories to last me a lifetime and professional skills I will continue to use throughout my career. I am more independent and have grown into a working professional.
I would recommend every student try to go abroad for their placement if they can, particularly when studying a degree like mine. It will help you stand out to future employers and give you unforgettable memories and life experiences.