Huthayfah Madkhali - BSc (Hons) International Tourism Management and MSc Tourism and Hospitality Management graduate

Current employer: Jazan University

Current job title: Lecturer

Current location: Saudi Arabia

“The University keeps on developing and its annual ranking has increased dramatically. Tourism students will also have the opportunity to visit Paris, Bratislava, Prague, Madrid and several UK tourist destinations as part of their studies.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

As soon as I graduated from Plymouth University, I returned to my home country. Several companies and organisations offered me positions, but I applied for a teaching position at Jazan University and I was immediately employed.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

The tourism industry is in its early days in Saudi Arabia, so I wanted to contribute to its growth and help my country achieve the right level. Such a mission normally starts in schools; I wanted to be one of those who helps to share knowledge, translate what has been written in English, and deliver it in Arabic for the good of my community. I wanted them to achieve the same level of understanding of the tourism industry that people in Britain and Europe have achieved. I made several visits to high schools in my province to tell students about the importance of the tourism industry and how they should contribute to its growth. The next term, we had a larger number of students applying for tourism study at our university – many of them from the schools I visited. It was very exciting.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

The placement year was the most significant thing which I missed out on during my undergraduate study. Unfortunately, because of my sponsor, it wasn't possible for me to join one of the companies for training. I believe it is a great opportunity for students to practice what they have learned. I encourage every student to undertake a placement year, especially those enrolled on tourism programmes. Tourism requires a lot of practice and without this placement year, students will miss out on important parts of key knowledge.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

This is a very difficult question because I have many great memories from Plymouth. If I have to pick one, I would choose the Skern Lodge leadership challenge that the School of Tourism and Hospitality organises every year for its undergraduate students. It was both fun and educational at the same time; we had to cross rivers, go through jungles, solve problems, and find clues for puzzles. There were seven teams and my team was the team that won the challenge.

Do you stay in touch with other Plymouth University alumni or lecturers?

I am always in touch with my fellow alumni and also with my lecturers. I like to keep them updated with what I am achieving in my life. It was great when I emailed my then lecturer, Charlie Mansfield, telling him that I had become a lecturer at Jazan University, soon to embark upon my PhD journey, and he replied with the great news that he had also achieved what he was working towards and had become Dr Charlie Mansfield. It was great news to learn as he was one of my best lecturers.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

Plymouth University is a top university that offers a variety of subjects. Those interested in pursuing their academic studies will find it the best place for tourism and hospitality studies, whilst those interested in other subjects will also find it a great place to study. The University keeps on developing and its annual ranking has increased dramatically. Tourism students will also have the opportunity to visit Paris, Bratislava, Prague, Madrid and several UK tourist destinations as part of their studies.