A retired police officer from Glasgow who is working towards a new career in hospitality has scooped the top prize in Apex Hotels’ annual scholarship scheme.
Mary Kelly, 54, who lives in Glasgow and studies Hospitality and Tourism at Queen Margaret University (QMU), has been awarded a £3,000 bursary as part of the QMU Springford Scholarship.
Established in 2015, the QMU Springford Scholarship sees Apex Hotels partner with the university to give four students studying Hospitality and Tourism or Events Management the opportunity to gain invaluable industry experience in the hotel group’s Glasgow or Edinburgh properties.
Students selected for the 11-week scholarship are paid an hourly wage and awarded £1,000. During the placement, students follow a varied timetable, rotating across multiple areas of the business including housekeeping, F&B, reception, sales, HR, Reservations, Events and Marketing.
The programme culminates in a final presentation where students are asked to present their findings and business recommendations. Mary, who undertook her placement at Apex City of Glasgow, scooped the top prize and was awarded with the £3,000 bursary.
She has also secured a part-time role at the Glasgow hotel as she embarks on the final year of her studies.
Mary said: “Undertaking the QMU Springford Scholarship has been a fantastic experience for me – and to be selected as the winner of the scheme’s top prize is just wonderful. I took the option to retire early from my previous career in the police force and wanted to do something different, so the hospitality industry seemed perfect.
“Through the scholarship I’ve had the opportunity to learn about different areas of the business and gain some real world experience to help me kick-start my second career.”
Danielle Ramsay, Apex Group Recruitment Manager, said: “The QMU Springford Scholarship was set up to provide students with an opportunity to gain industry experience in hospitality, which is increasingly invaluable in today’s competitive graduate job market. Mary was a standout student during her time on the placement and showed a real passion for the industry. I have no doubt that she will excel in her final year at university.”
Lindsay Sturrock, GM at Apex City of Glasgow, said: “Mary has been a fantastic addition to our team and has built great working relationships over the last few months. We are delighted that she has been selected as the top scholarship student across the portfolio – which is testament to the hard work and passion for hospitality that she has demonstrated – and we’re thrilled to welcome her to the team in Glasgow as she starts the final year of her studies.”