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Get to know tutor, and brand new Employment Consultant, Kirsten Leith

Posted on 26/04/2023 by

We’re excited to have Kirsten move into an Employment Consultant role!

It’s been a whirlwind of new hires this year, and our latest addition to the team is every bit as exciting – but not exactly new.

Because Kirsten Leith is no stranger to ITC.

Kirsten has been a full-time tutor and Course Advisor for our Botany Campus, and now we are lucky to have her in the role as our Botany Employment Consultant. Her incredible expertise in the industry will prepare any graduate for an exciting career in our tourism or airline industry.

Not only that, but she also is our wonderful Business of Tourism Academy tutor for our South Auckland Academy. She will be delivering the 30 days over the year to our wonderful high school students from a variety of South Auckland schools.

We reached out to Kirsten to hear all about her story to date.

What does your travel career look like so far?

I was fortunate to travel a lot with my family when I was growing up, and when I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. A friend gave me a prospectus for a polytech and I remember reading through all the courses they offered and they all seemed so academic – until I saw the travel and tourism one.

I loved the description of the course and knew it would be great for me. During my studies I worked in a 5 Star hotel and did work experience as a domestic check-in agent at the airport which I loved!

When I graduated, I landed an awesome job working as a travel coordinator for a student exchange programme. I worked with high school students sending them on international exchanges, mostly to Japan. I got to travel there twice for my job which was such a great opportunity. I learnt a huge amount about Japanese culture.

My next role was working for a travel company who specialised in educational travel, the likes of group trips overseas for languages, geography, music and sports. In this role I got to escort a French class to New Caledonia! All this experience meant working with high school students, and teachers, something which set me up well for becoming a tutor at ITC. I loved sharing my industry knowledge with students and having fun in the classroom.

How are you looking forward to your new roles at ITC?

Over the years I’ve had lots of involvement in job placement, so it’s exciting to be back doing this again. I look forward to helping students find their dream job in our fabulous industry.

It’s also really exciting to be teaching the Business Academy students. This is such a great course for high school students who love to travel. It exposes them to all aspects of the industry which means all the different jobs they can do, and it’s fun to see them learn about them and keep changing their minds about which role they want to do. One week they want to be a flight attendant, next week a tour guide!

What is the most important skill for the tourism industry right now?

I think the most important skills to have in the tourism industry are great communication and people skills. Dealing with travellers is so much fun, and as industry workers we represent our amazing country and we can hugely influence a visitor’s experience by the interaction we have with them. If you love people and travelling, then this is definitely the industry for you.

What should students know about entering the industry right now?

Now is the absolute best time to get into the industry as it rebuilds after the pandemic. Employers are desperate for good, hard working staff. Pay rates are good and industry benefits mean you get to experience lots of activities yourself.

If this is your dream, get a qualification, and take any opportunity that comes your way (work experience, volunteer opportunities etc), get your driver’s license and be prepared to work hard when you get your first industry job to prove how awesome you can be!

Earn that qualification at ITC or Study From Home

Like so many in the industry, Kirsten suggests that students earn a qualification to help them get a foot in the door (and to be a step ahead of their peers!).

ITC and Study From Home offer industry-recognised qualifications, and are well known amongst New Zealand and international providers for our excellent reputation for skilled, knowledgeable graduates.

If you’re dreaming of a career in the travel and tourism industry, and want to find your way there with our wonderful team like Kirsten, get in touch to find out about our courses and how you can enrol today.

Study From Home – college@itc.co.nz 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.studyfromhome.co.nz/contact-us/

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Meet Louise Swann: Tourism guru and ITC’s newest Course Advisor

Posted on 18/10/2022 by

Louise Swann is ITC and Study From Home’s new Course Advisor.

All of the team members at ITC and Study From Home have a genuine passion for travel and tourism, with countless years of experience in the industry. We believe that’s vital if we’re going to train the next generation in how to work in travel and tourism.

With our newest team member Louise Swann (or Lulu), we’re bringing in decades of experience. But not just that, we’re welcoming back a student who graduated 20 years ago, spent that entire time travelling the world, meeting people, and gaining experience in the industry.

Now, Lulu is back at ITC as a brand new Course Advisor, and is ready to share her wealth of experience and relentless energy and passion for tourism with students.

We asked her a little more about how it all began and what she’s been up to over the past two decades. Here’s what she had to say!

How did you begin your passion for the tourism industry?

My passion began for the industry when I first set foot on an Air New Zealand aircraft in 1973, we were off to Samoa to see family and friends. I loved every minute, the excitement of travel exceeded my expectations. From the moment we arrived, there were lovely welcoming friendly staff, so helpful, and nothing was a problem. The crew stayed at the family Hotel Aggie Greys, so we had an incredible time with them showing off the beautiful island waterfalls and swimming with the turtles and blow holes. I knew then I had to work in the industry, it was absolutely my first love.

What does your travel industry history look like?

My travel industry history began when I was a student here at ITC 20 years ago, when I graduated armed with Level 3 & 4 Diploma in Travel and Tourism.

My first job in Auckland tourism was amazing – it was the America’s Cup. The city was buzzing with tourism and I booked people on boat trips to see the race from private yachts to Fuller Cruises, and helped book their accommodation ranging from hotels, motels, backpackers. We got to experience it ourselves which was rewarding. I also booked transport on land and sea nationwide, adventures such as AJ Hackett Bungy, Auckland Bridge Climb, Canyoning down waterfalls (Coromandel), and Skydiving (Mercer/Taupo). Each day was an adventure.

I joined Air New Zealand and worked for 18 months in reservations before commencing my flying career as a domestic flight attendant showcasing our passion for Aotearoa. This included operating flights to Australia and the Pacific Rim. I later trained as a long-haul flight attendant, trained on 6 different Aircrafts exploring USA, North and South America. We also went to Asia Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Korea to name a few. The world was literally my office – the views at 30,000 ft are remarkable, my wildest dreams had suddenly became reality! I loved meeting new crew and people everywhere I went. I gained lifelong friendships.

The last aircraft I trained on was the B787 standard and B787-9 Aircraft. These wowed the public with a new and exciting experience, desired mood lighting and leather seats. It was an honour to be part of an everchanging industry that never sleeps but continues to strive to be the very best in everything, from service focus on operational surety, to health and safety and on-time performance.

I have to tell you that my highlight with Air New Zealand was joining the Legacy team of Management & staff on an expedition to climb Mt Everest! This is where I found my spiritual place on our beautiful planet!

How will your experience help support students?

I love sharing my experience with students as I can give them firsthand experience of what it is like to have ”The day and the life of a flight attendant.” You must be passionate, you must be proud and dedicated, love challenging yourself, as every second counts. It is a daily surprise, it is a demanding role, that will push you to your full potential!

I am your Course adviser for today, who knows what the future brings, I am ready for any challenge, if it dares to present itself.

Get taught by the best

At ITC and Study From Home, our tutors, advisors, and team members all share a love of travel and tourism. We’re so lucky to have Louise join the team, and when you give ITC a call to talk about course options and where they might take you, she will be the one answering the phone and chatting through it all.

She’s energetic, so friendly, and as a past student who has enjoyed an incredible career as a flight attendant, she’s perfectly qualified to help direct new students. So get in touch today to say hello, and learn about where ITC and Study From Home can take you.

Study From Home – college@itc.co.nz 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.studyfromhome.co.nz/contact-us/

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