The Edge Hotel School, alongside the Edge Foundation, has a proud history of supporting our students throughout their studies by offering bespoke scholarship opportunities. This year, we’re celebrating two scholarship recipients, both of whom were recognised by the department for their exceptional hard work and academic achievements.

Shelby Mayhew, awarded the Edge Foundation Scholarship, has had an unconventional journey into higher education. Following a nine-year career in hospitality catering, Shelby opted to leave her full-time job to join the Edge Hotel School, studying BA Hotel Management. As a mature student, Shelby is frank about the difficulties she has faced with her studies.

‘As a more mature student, who has always struggled with academia, I knew I was going to struggle in completing this degree. I’ve put my heart and soul into every piece of work I’ve written, and from the first day have shocked myself – receiving grades I never thought possible. On top of that, receiving the Edge Foundation Scholarship – I was lost for words. Knowing that I’ve stood out and that all of the hard work is paying off means absolutely everything to me.

I won’t lie, I definitely cried when I heard the news! Obtaining this scholarship will open doors for me, allow me to meet new people who one day I might have the pleasure of working alongside.’

Away from her studies, Shelby has set up her own baking business, providing gorgeous bespoke cakes for individual clients and offering wedding cake services.

Emily Clark, also studying BA Hotel Management, was this year’s recipient of the Sir Garry Hawkes Scholarships, named in honour of Edge Foundation founder Sir Garry Hawkes CBE. Much like Shelby, Emily’s pathway to higher education has been anything but straight forward. Having worked her way to a supervisory position at a local gastropub, and flirted with the idea of enrolling on to a Social Sciences programme, Emily settled on her true passion – food and beverage services. Since joining one of our accelerated degree programmes, Emily has flourished.

‘I am incredibly honoured to have been recognised in this way – being successful in this process has meant that the hard work I have put into myself is paying off. The extra activities that I’ve taken part in with the Edge Hotel School are really going to benefit my career. I have already booked a trip to Germany after finishing my dissertation to explore the wine regions there, and plan to use some of this scholarship funding towards my WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) training, gaining a qualification in wine before committing to formal sommelier training.’

Following her time with the Edge Hotel School, Emily hopes to open her own winery and restaurant, showcasing the wines she is able to create. And for the distant future? Emily likes the idea of ‘retiring to open a Bed & Breakfast in Devon.’ We’re sure with the skills and knowledge she’s developed with us at the Edge Hotel School, she’ll have every success!

These scholarships opportunities would not be possible without the generous support of the Edge Foundation.

“Edge is committed to making education relevant to life and work. We want our education system to help young people find out what they are good at; reward and recognise individual success in all its forms, not just exams; help people choose a path that supports their talents and ambitions and ensure they develop the knowledge, skills and talents needed by the UK economy. The Edge Hotel School at the University of Essex does all of this, and we are proud to sponsor student scholarships.”

Alice Barnard, CEO, Edge Foundation.

Person stood in front of Wivenhoe House HotelStudent in Edge Hotel School uniform stood in front of a bar