Having recently completed her degree in tourism at BU, Amanda Hauso Sandven is drawing on her skills and experience to run her own business.

Amanda, from Norway, decided to study in the UK to widen her horizons and prepare her for a career in tourism. She said: “I knew that I wanted to study abroad and improve my English language skills. Studying in another country exposes you to new experiences and is also highly valued by those working in the tourism industry.”

After doing research into the best universities to study tourism in the UK, a variety of sources led Amanda to BU. She said: “When I visited, I was impressed. It’s a beautiful location and certainly a warmer climate than I am used to in Norway! I had visited the UK before but spending three years studying in the country gave me a new insight into British culture.

“My degree gave me lots of new skills and broadened my mindset. I was able to get involved in extra-curricular activities such as the Global Talent Programme (now Graduate Skills Programme) and I enjoyed getting to know and working alongside people from different countries. Arriving in a new country to study is always going to be a little scary for people but I felt very welcome and quickly settled.”

Since graduating in 2021 Amanda has returned to Norway, where she has launched a consultancy business providing digital marketing support to small and medium-sized tourism enterprises. The consultancy has a particular focus on sustainability, which is becoming increasingly important to consumers and business owners alike. Amanda said: “Small business owners are often trying to run every aspect of the business themselves, but benefit from bringing in extra capacity and particular skills.  I am finding that the support I can offer frees them up to develop their product or service.”

Thinking about her own decision to go it alone in business, Amanda says: “I always had it in mind to be my own boss at some stage. Initially, I felt that I should wait and get more experience or contacts, but then I decided to go for it. If you end up waiting for the perfect time to do something, it never comes along. It is scary and challenging, but it’s the best thing I’ve done. It means you are 100% committed to creating your own success. You have to try new things and be prepared to fail, but that’s the same in any job and with your own business the rewards are greater.”