Posts Tagged ‘Graduate interview’
We were fortunate enough to meet Shania Wheatley when she studied with us at ITC on our City Road campus. She studied with us in 2016, and very quickly landed a sought-after spot in Disney’s Cultural Exchange Program following her qualification.
Now, Shania is back in New Zealand, both studying our level 5 course through the Upskill4FREE initiative with Study From Home and working in the industry. We thought it was the perfect time to catch up again!
What have you been up to since we last spoke?
I’ve done a lot since we last spoke. I went off and completed a Disney internship working as a slide operator at Disney’s Blizzard Beach, and then transferred to merchandise at the emporium in Magic Kingdom.
Once I returned to New Zealand I started working for Air New Zealand for a while before transitioning into a more admin role with Haka Tours which was a fixed term contract.
How did covid-19 impact your career?
In February of 2020 I had signed a contract and was supposed to start my dream job becoming a travel agent. However at this stage Covid had spread from China and had hit all over Europe, so a week before I was supposed to start I lost the job due to the impact of the spread internationally.
It was a very confusing time as no one in New Zealand really understood the virus and no one realised the impact it would have on our country, let alone the world, as it hadn’t even transitioned onto New Zealand soil yet. So at the very beginning I thought I was quite alone.
ITC was great though, when it happened, and I got the email that I had lost this role I called Sarndra straight away and she had a list of roles available which she talked through with me and was ready to put my name forward for. Little did I know, 1 month later our first case arrived in New Zealand.
What is your current job position and how are you finding it?
I have recently moved to Christchurch and I have gained a guest services role with the Chateau On The Park, a Double Tree by Hilton Hotel which is currently a isolation facility. It sounds daunting, but honestly I feel more safe checking in a guest there than I do walking around in the community due to the health and safety and PPE protection protocols they have in place at the hotel.
How did you hear about the Upskill4FREE program and what made you decide to try it?
I actually reached out to the chief executive of ITC Claire Huxley as she posted on Linkedin how ITC has been impacted by Covid, and I just sent her a private message about the praises I had for both Toni and Sarndra and she mentioned it to me and it just went from there.
What are your ultimate career goals?
To this day I have worked for airlines, cruise-lines, entertainment, and at the moment breaking into hospitality so to answer that now I don’t actually know. The tourism industry has so many areas that you can work in.
You really aren’t limited to a certain sector when in the industry. I would love to go back to being a travel agent as I didn’t really even get to start that but right now opportunities are popping up left right and centre. I’m happy where I am now but in a few years you just never really know what doors can open up as with my current role I could go worldwide.
What do you think is next for New Zealand’s tourism industry?
The tourism industry in my opinion struggled the most, but we are also recovering the strongest. The way tourism companies have established new ways to do things and the new roles that have been created show Covid isn’t going to hold us back. Even with the borders closed there are still so many opportunities being created daily by operators.
If I was a student at the moment worried about the future of tourism I’d just want them to remember that a few years ago we were affected by the swine flu and look how we recovered from that. Tourism may be affected with huge global pandemics like this but you won’t see any other industry bounce back like we do.
Use this opportunity while the borders are closed to network! As soon as the borders open up it’s going to be as busy as ever and they will look for the most qualified, but while it’s calm and borders are closed operators are more than happy to train up from the beginning, so use this time to attend events and network with those in the industry.
Personally while I was at ITC I was attending International Travel Summit conferences with industry leaders from around the world, which have been held in Auckland, and also TIA – Tourism Industry Aotearoa – conferences in Rotorua. These allowed me to network and I actually received business cards from senior leaders from different tourism operators telling me to reach out once I had finished my Disney internship, but I didn’t end up needing them as having Disney on the resume opened a lot of doors for me.
If you’re interested in studying from home while working like Shania, get in touch with the team to see how our courses can work for you.
Study From Home – firstname.lastname@example.org 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.studyfromhome.co.nz/contact-us/Posted in News, Student Success | Tagged Distance Learning, Graduate interview, Level 5, Online courses | Leave a reply
We’re welcoming in a bright new year at Study From Home, and what better way to do that than with an interview with a past graduate?
Aishwarya Rangarajan graduated with ITC back in 2008, and has since found a sparkling career in travel and tourism. We love hearing about our incredible graduates and keeping in touch as they make waves in the industry in in New Zealand and around the world.
Here’s a little more about Aish’s time studying travel and tourism, what she’s doing now, and her advice for current students.
What is your current role and how is it going?
I am currently working as a New Zealand Sales Executive for Qatar Airways. In a nutshell, it’s an account manager role which is extremely exciting as I deal with New Zealand travel agents from all brands and all walks of life, helping them promote and sell Qatar Airways as a number one choice of airline for all customers travelling to predominantly Europe and Africa. It’s a very rewarding role and I love it. Through work, I have travelled to many exciting destinations which I probably wouldn’t have otherwise such as Qatar, Hungary, Austria, Melbourne, Germany, Netherlands, Wales, Ireland just to name a few.. and in Business Class!
What made you decide to study travel and tourism?
I was always very interested in Tourism since high school and was openly looking for options where I can further that interest but didn’t want to get stuck being amongst 300 students. I came across ITC, thoroughly researched everything they offered and felt they stood out from the rest, so I decided to give it a go and attend. ITC provided the support the students needed to excel and I really feel they genuinely care.
How did our courses prepare you for your career?
ITC was a great stepping stone into Travel and Tourism that gave an outlook on what to expect in many aspects of the tourism industry in New Zealand and abroad. It provided me with basic skills which high school didn’t teach at the time which was customer service, team work, presentation skills and boosts confidence level as you learn to work with people from all cultures.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Find a job as soon as possible (within the industry if you can) while you study – even if it is temporary, voluntary or an internship!!! I cannot emphasise on this enough. No job is big or small as all of them with entail some skills you will use once you graduate and will stand you out from the rest when employers begin to look for ideal candidates to join them. Often students will expect to come out of a college or a university and wonder why it’s taking them so long to find a job in the industry.
When I started studying, I found a job as a customer service agent for InterCity Coachlines (now called the Entrada Group) selling domestic tours, and transfer tickets. The employer explained to me that she hired me because not only was I studying but I was already working at Hells Pizza and McDonalds prior to that which showed that I had transferrable skills such as Customer Service, Multi-tasking ability, Cash Handling and will soon have the tourism knowledge through the course I was studying. It stood me out from someone who was applying with no work experience at all. So please, find a job (trust me on this).
How do you think the industry will recover in the coming months/years?
NZ is working on some travel bubbles in the next couple of months. Everyone is making an effort to make the travel bubble open soon as possible. Airlines have started flying back to New Zealand and domestic tourism is now stronger than it’s ever been with more Kiwis exploring their own backyards than ever before. Although a long recovery journey – there is definitely a glimmer of hope and light at the end of the tunnel.
What are your future career plans/goals?
My career plan is to continue working and growing in this industry – and when opportunity arises, I would like to eventually become a mentor / tutor at a travel college so I can share my experience, knowledge in order to help more students prepare, grow and have an exciting career as I have in the travel industry.
If you can see yourself following in Aishwarya’s footsteps and entering the world of travel and tourism, consider enrolling with SFH. Get in touch with us today to find out more.
Study From Home – email@example.com 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.studyfromhome.co.nz/contact-us/Posted in News, Student Success | Tagged Graduate interview, ITC Award winning training, study success | Leave a reply