What does it take to secure the Northern Ireland Travel 'Student of the Year' award?


Ready to collect her NI Travel ‘Student of the Year’ accolade at the Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards in mid-October, Travel and Tourism graduate Katherine Wilkinson from North West Regional College (NWRC) is delighted with her achievement.

As Luane Quigley, Curriculum Manager in Travel and Tourism at NWRC told the Derry Journal, “Katherine is the first student from Derry (Londonderry) to win the title of Student of the Year and, on behalf of the North West Regional College, I would like to congratulate her on this success.”

From living in Canada and then returning to Derry, Katherine is quite the traveller. Nominated by Quigley for this NI Travel award, Wilkinson’s win has triggered an influx of curiosity for other travel and tourism students about how to obtain such an achievement.

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How to win? Is it as simple as smothering your passports with stamps? Source: Giphy

The competition takes both adventures and academics into account. As the winner of this award, Katherine demonstrated a dedication to travel trips and career development.

For instance, she completed the Access Diploma in Combined Studies and then the Foundation Degree in International Travel and Tourism Management at North West Regional College.

At a young age, Katherine also dived into the unknown and worked in the US, Canada and Northern Ireland.

Upon winning her award, the travel and tourism enthusiast explained to the Derry Journal, “I gained valuable industry experience and loved every minute of it. Travel fascinates me. I love learning new things and immersing myself in new places, cultures and experiences.

“I believe that travel and tourism has the ability to bring people together, it has the capacity to change lives and, for me, it has definitely altered the course of my life and helped shape me into the person I am today,” Katherine adds.

How to utilise your travel experiences

If you’re reading this and thinking, how can I win travel awards like this? The first thing you need to do is be proud of your achievements. By showcasing to the world your incredible travel experiences and passion for tourism, you’re one step closer to being noticed by award judges.

By securing impressive certificates, you’ll be proud to show potential employers your efforts beyond the lecture hall. Even if you don’t win the competitions, you may still become a runner-up which is always a positive accomplishment to write on your CV.

Just by signing up for the contest, you’ll gain professional exposure, real-world insights and the chance to network with like-minded people.

Travel experiences always equate to learning opportunities. As such, you’ll also enhance your cross-cultural skills, self-confidence and your independence.

As an international student with ambition and a few travel awards under your belt, your career will be met with success!

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Keep an eye out for awards and keep your adventures going! Source: Giphy

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