Kathryn Fry, MSc Environmental Health 

Having graduated three years prior to my MSc with a maths and biology degree, I tried various job roles including teaching English abroad and marketing and selling language courses for a small company. In 2007, I began the MSc in Environmental Health. I was excited about going back to university to continue academic learning in a field of public health (something I had always been interested in) and to study in something I could make into a future career.

Kathryn Fry receiving the Acorn AwardMany of my fellow students were on the course to further their careers in local government as Environmental Health Officers, or because the course led them to a job as an EHO in a local authority, neither of which had been a focus of mine. However, I found the course was exactly what I had hoped for in an MSc, varied, stimulating and challenging. With tutors, experts in their fields, the lectures were interesting and relevant and I thoroughly enjoyed the course.

Unlike other degree courses, this MSc provided many contact hours to guide students through new and complex subjects. Support and guidance were always available and the method of assessment stretched the mind and kept our concentration.

As a health and safety manager for Hilton hotels, I have been able to put the knowledge gained from the MSc into practice and two years on from graduation I also have some wonderful friends as a result of the MSc.

My job role at Hilton in London is varied and interesting and there is never a dull moment! On a daily basis i oversee health and safety at the hotel, working with over thirty different departments including engineering, housekeeping, gym and outlets including a nightclub, to develop a safety culture and to ensure safe working practices are maintained. I also coordinate food safety for ten kitchens and help develop and implement food safety policies and practices at the hotel. Other roles include emergency planning (fire evacuation, norovirus/flu outbreaks, major disasters such as flooding, gas leak, power failure, legionella etc) licensing, trading standards, access and facilities for the disabled, fire safety, building control and assisting in security matters (e.g. Counter terrorism, armed robbery, suicide etc). These various aspects of my job role keep me on my toes in the dynamic world of hospitality management.

I recently won an Acorn award for managing health and safety in the hospitality industry, I was proud of this achievement as I felt that health and safety had finally received the recognition it deserves. I look forward to completing my ELP and continuing my professional development in a such a dynamic and interesting field where new discoveries and theories are put into practice through evolving legislation. I continue my work in the private sector with opportunities in future to work in the public sector and to potentially take my qualification and experience to another country to help to improve public health both here and overseas.