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From Guest House to Glass House

Kristyna Andrlova previously worked as a Front Office Manager in the hospitality industry and, although she enjoyed her job, she always wanted to return to education. A love of nature and an acute awareness of the challenges we face around climate change lead Kristyna to decide to change her path and seek a new career within garden, greenspace and landscape design by starting on the Garden Design HND at SRUC Edinburgh. 

Tell us a bit about your past career:

I enjoyed working in hotel industry despite many challenges I had to face sometimes on daily basis. Besides all acquired practical skills it taught me to be a good team player, it gave me resilience and problem solving skills. Working with people and customer service also made me more thoughtful, open-minded and always looking for ways how to improve myself and set practices.

I was lucky enough to be supported by amazing colleagues and managers throughout most of my time in hospitality. Especially in my previous workplace I was mentored by General Manager who enabled me to take leadership on various projects and supported my career development while gradually bestowing duties of great responsibility upon me. Such support and all its fruits made me realise, how important good leadership and cooperation is in every aspect of life.

Despite my successful path in Hospitality, I always wanted to return to education to expand my horizons. I saw years of my life invested in a field, which I was good at but without feeling of any greater fullfilment. And so over the last couple of years I was actively searching for courses from college to graduate level as I have already had an undergraduate degree in Tourism Management.

What lead you to make the decision to change your career path?

I am creative person with interest in arts; I love being outdoors and have great appreciation for mother nature and I want my career to be meaningful. Taking into account climate change and challenges faced by humanity, I believe that permaculture and green spaces within urban areas will play a key role in future sustainable development of our society. With ever-emerging innovations and technologies, while taking the best out of traditional practices I believe I can make at least a little contribution towards sustainable way of living we should all be heading towards rather sooner than later.

Therefore, after careful thinking and with great support of my partner I decided to return to full-time studies and encompass all knowledge and skills provided by Garden Design course at SRUC. At this point I am also hoping to progress further while keeping open to new ideas.

Why did you choose to study at SRUC?

The course offered what I was looking for and demanded relocation only within Scotland.

Tell us a bit about your experience at SRUC?

So far I cannot say much as it is only week one. But from the approach of all staff, lecturers and student association reps I feel welcome, valued and encouraged to make the most of my time here. I also appreciate great diversity in our class.

How involved do you feel in SRUC aside from your academic course?

I want to make the most of my time here so I will grab any chance to get involved as long as I can work aside my studies.

How has your decision changed your life?

It turned it upside down. I had to move house to a different city where I know very few people and leave my job. This would have been much easier, if there was for no COVID, that changed everything. I believe my decision was a good one, and despite all the setbacks and challenges and I look forward to meeting likeminded people, learning and getting inspired.

Luckily I also have very supportive partner, who agreed to relocate and change his job in order to allow me full-time study. I feel very humbled and grateful for such an opportunity and belive it will lead to successful and fullfiling career and also happy life.

Tell us three words to describe your life changing experience

  • Excitement
  • Curiosity
  • Determination

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