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  1. Alumni
  2. Inspirational alumni
  3. SBS
  4. Kelly Watts-Kimball

Kelly Watts-Kimball

BSc (Honours) Tourism Management: International, Class of 2007

Kelly is the director of US sales and operations at UK-based stationary design company Caroline Gardner.

What happened after I graduated

'During my internship I worked for the Sea Pines Resort, South Carolina for a year. When I completed my internship I was asked to return as front office manager at their boutique high class hotel, where I worked for a further three years after graduation.

'After that time I was ready for a new challenge and a role where I could grow more, and I was offered a position with a company called Fieldstone Marketing – a brand-based company that grew speciality retail brands throughout the US.'

What my job involves

'I started as an office administrator and grew to become director of operations. I worked in this role for just over four years, where I met my latest employer Caroline Gardner: a UK-based design company specialising in gifts and stationary.

'My responsibilities include overseeing all the rep groups in the US, and it entails some travel to the gift shows including Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Chicago and more. I am currently about to travel back to the UK to visit the home office in London and experience the Birmingham gift show at the NEC. Exciting times ahead!'

How Sheffield Hallam helped me

'Being at Sheffield Hallam was a life-changing experience, both personally and professionally. I made lifelong friends who I still keep in touch with today (even though we live in different countries).

'The one-year internship program was instrumental for me. If that was not part of my course I would not be where I am today – living in South Carolina with a fantastic job and loving life!

'The support offered throughout the internship process was also very beneficial – staff were available every step of the way for all the interview processes and forms.'

A word to the wise

'Take advantage of the work placement scheme. Choose wisely, as if you make a good impression in that first year it is more likely they will offer you a position upon graduation. Really prepare for your interviews and do your research on the respective companies.'

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