Lisa Mason.JPG

I left school after completing 6th year and my priority at the time was a job and an income. I started work in a small restaurant

I enjoyed my job and decided I wanted to study a qualification which could lead to a range of opportunities. As I was working in a restaurant the Introduction to Professional Cookery made sense.

I stay in Kilwinning but had heard about the fantastic reputation of the hospitality department at Ayr Campus. My sister also attended Ayr Campus and extremely enjoyed her experience so I was keen to secure a place.

When I first started college I was very shy. I felt a little isolated and didn’t really talk much to anyone. I am so different now. I became totally comfortable within my college surroundings. I learned so much from the course alone but the additional opportunities I was given really enriched my experience.

I was invited, along with students from other colleges, to prepare meals for over 200 guests at the Scottish Parliament. I also attended Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland – the first hospitality management school in the world, renowned for teaching excellence in customer service and hospitality. This was a dream opportunity and one of the highlights of my time at college.

During my time at college I have developed time management skills and organisational skills. I was able to utilise everything I learned at College in my workplace. I felt that fellow staff listened to me and often came to me for advice as they seemed to value my ideas and opinions probably because I had the appropriate training.

I attended Ayr Campus for five years in total. During my second year I gained employment with Chesnuts Hotel in Ayr and continued to work there part-time throughout my studies. I enjoyed my role as Chef, it was challenging but I feel I work well under pressure.

My dad passed away earlier in the year, not long before the end of my course. I took some time off and did not think I would be able to finish my qualification but somehow I found the strength to return to complete my final assessments.

I’d like to thank my lecturers for their support, they were fantastic all throughout my time at college and always seemed to go above and beyond what was expected. I am overwhelmed to be receiving this award and a little bit emotional. I know my dad would be extremely proud.

I love the Hospitality industry, no two days are the same. I am now employed full-time with the Chestnut Hotel and have been promoted to Front of House. I plan to continue to work within the hospitality industry. There are still so many areas in which I would like further training such as housekeeping, bar and reception.