A student from Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, is a step closer to kick starting her career in the hospitality industry after winning a prestigious scholarship from Edinburgh-based Apex Hotels.

Scholarship award-winner, Erin Gilroy, 21, is currently final year Events Management student at QMU.

Apex Hotels has partnered with QMU to set up the Dr Norman Springford Scholarship, which is named after the hotel group’s founder. The Dr Norman Springford Scholarship aims to create a new generation of hospitality leaders who can transform Scotland’s hospitality industry so that it is a key player on the world stage. The Scholarship gives students the opportunity to get paid work experience with Apex Hotels, including hands on experience across all areas of the business. They also conduct a research project which aims to find solutions to internal organisational problems.

Erin has now received a total of £4,000 in scholarship funds from the Apex Hotels and the Dr Norman Springford Scholarship fund to help support her postgraduate studies at QMU. There may also be opportunities for Erin to embark on a management apprenticeship with Apex Hotels after she graduates.

Commenting on her award success, Erin said: “The highlight of my time at QMU for me was being awarded the Apex Hotels Dr Norman Springford Scholarship and getting the chance to do an internship with Apex Hotels, where I’ve learnt a number of new practical skills, including more in-depth knowledge about the hotel industry, presentation skills, research and consultancy, as well a practical application of computer programmes.

“I went through an interview process where eventually three students, including myself, were chosen for a £1000 scholarship and an internship where we would learn about all the different departments in a hotel. During this time, we were to complete and present a research project based on an issue within the organisation. Out of the three of us I was chosen to win a second £3000 scholarship based on my research, presentation and performance throughout the internship.

“I’ve been able to put in to practice a number of theoretical practices and knowledge I learnt at QMU and transfer them in to a real-life situation. The Scholarship will also be used to further my events management education.”