- School/DepartmentBusiness, Rikon Group
- Social Media
Following graduation from D.I.T. Cathal Brugha Street, Jennifer Hussey left Ireland to join the Holiday Inn chain’s graduate programme. Jennifer went on to become a major contributor to the development of Holiday Inn Express, a new brand within the chain. Opening her first hotel as General Manager, at the age of 25, Jennifer was involved in the opening of a further four Express hotels. Jennifer returned to the 5-star Radisson SAS St. Helen’s Hotel, before joining the Bewleys Hotels chain to assist in opening their 350-bedroom Leopardstown property. This lead to opportunities for promotion to the General Manager role in Newlands Cross, where Jennifer oversaw the full refurbishment of the 300 bedrooms and the addition of a further 50 rooms.
In 2009, Jennifer returned to academia to complete a Masters by research in Business Studies on ‘The evaluation of Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Learning Network (TLN) initiative – Modelling Best Practice.’ And it appeared to be an ideal opportunity to exploit Jennifer’s background knowledge of the tourism industry. Jennifer is now pursuing her PhD. Jennifer’s current area of study is in the area of tourism enterprise manager development, with specific regard to the professionalisation of the SME owner/manager through the use of a problem-based and blended learning approach. Jennifer’s current PhD research project is entitled ‘Developing Professionalism in the Tourism Industry: Evaluating the Effect of a Purposely Built BSc in Small Enterprise Management’. The calibre of Jennifer’s research work was acknowledged with a best paper award at the EUROCHRIE Conference in 2011 and a best postgraduate paper at the Irish Academy of Management Conference in 2010. Similarly, Jennifer’s recent work with RIKON has lead to amongst others the completion of a LEADER-funded project on tourism development in the Swedish region of Tranas.