With aspirations to travel the world and experience new places, former student Patrick Upton studied a FD Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management locally at the South West College (SWC), Enniskillen campus. After achieving success in his studies, Patrick is now set to live out his long-held travel and career dreams and is looking forward to moving 'across the pond' to work with CIE Tours, a travel agency in America.

Patrick from Enniskillen was a waiter and bartender at the Lough Erne Resort but aspired to explore the world and progress within his people-orientated career. He began his studies with a FD Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management at the South West College, Enniskillen campus, before progressing onto an Honours degree at the University of Ulster, studying International Travel and Tourism Management.

Patrick said: "I saw SWC as a great opportunity to achieve a Foundation Degree which would help me progress into university for a future Degree in my chosen study."

Patrick credits the course for giving him an exceptional understanding of the industry and says it has opened the door to his future.

"the College experience and the opportunity to continue as a waiter and bartender at the Lough Erne Resort has made my experience easier and better. Through work-based learning, the course provides opportunities to develop and enhance your practical, personal and interpersonal skills vital to successful performance in the workplace."

The course focuses on the application of knowledge relevant to the role of a manager in the global hospitality industry. This has enhanced my knowledge and prepared me for the next step in my educational journey at Ulster University."

Now in his second year, and as part of his placement, Patrick is excited to progress within his career and meet new people from various cultures. After securing an incredible opportunity to work in America with CIE Tours, a well-known Travel Agency.

For Patrick, it is a dream come true, and it's an opportunity that he believes wouldn't have been possible without the dedicated support of the Lough Erne and the College.

Patrick said: "The College offers tremendous opportunities to those looking to start or progress within their careers. It allows students to go through a system where they may not be ready for the next step of university, or they just want to complete a foundation degree which is a great opportunity that takes you straight into a career in Hospitality and Tourism."

Patrick explains, ‘it's important to understand that the FD degree in Hospitality and Tourism is a pathway that can take you anywhere, but also, you don't have to leave home to reach your full potential. There are many excellent opportunities available locally in a wide variety of organisations at junior or duty management level, especially within Fermanagh, as it is one of the most vibrant tourism destinations in Northern Ireland.’

To start or progress your career in Hospitality and Tourism, see below.

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