In the Community
Brent Westein started his career working in hotels in 2001 as a food and beverage attendant. He is now the HR manager for the Novotel & Ibis in Ellerslie in Auckland. We are lucky to have Brent as one of ITC’s industry advisory members. Here Brent tells us about his journey so far, and the importance of getting your foot in the door.
My first role in a hotel was in 2001 as a food and beverage attendant during the busy breakfast shift in Gantry’s restaurant at the Centra in Auckland (now the Crowne Plaza). Eventually I moved onto night shifts and this gave me the opportunity to work at the bar as well.
I then got my first role in the rooms division as a porter. This was an excellent job – we were the face of the hotel, as we were some of the first staff guests met on arrival and we carried their bags to their room.
After about 6 months in the rooms division I moved to the telephonist office. This gave me the chance to learn a whole new range of skills, including how to use the hotel computer system and the workings of the front desk. I actually moved to a role at the front desk next and was there for another two years, by which time I had been made front office supervisor.
The Centra was now the Crown Plaza Auckland, and I was lucky enough to gain the role as the human resources co-ordinator. I remained in that role for two and a half years, after which I was promoted to a 12-month maternity leave position of human resources manager of Centra Auckland Airport. This was an awesome opportunity to take on my first head of division role.
At the end of that contract I transferred to Wellington to work as an assistant manager at the Intercontinental Wellington. After being blown around in the capital for 14 months, I took up a role as the human resources manager at CityLife Auckland Hotel. CityLife is a great, vibrant hotel in the heart of Auckland’s CBD.
Early in 2012 I moved on to become the human resources manager at Novotel & Ibis Ellerslie in Auckland with Accor.
Having so much early experience in line level roles gave me a great understanding of what hotels are all about – it allowed me to experience different aspects of how hotels work behind the scenes and how all the divisions work together to support the overall running of a hotel. This was vital experience before I took my first steps into a supervisor’s role.
International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has recently become a sponsor of Bellyful NZ.
Bellyful is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. The organisation delivers free precooked meals to families with new babies and families with a critically ill family member.
“It’s such an incredible organisation,” says ITC Account Manager Ceri Jenkins. “I met Jacqui Ritchie, the executive director, at a careers expo and was just amazed at the service they provide.”
“We have many working parents studying at ITC,” says Ceri. “Study is always a real commitment, but it is even more so when you have a family to organise as well. At ITC we love that this service offers such practical help to new parents.”
Bellyful has 16 branches around New Zealand and aims to have one in every town in the country by 2016.
“That’s an amazing goal,” says Ceri, “and we seriously hope they can achieve it. A lot of new parents entering tertiary study aren’t in the main centres.
“At ITC, for example, new parents often choose our distance learning courses, as they don’t need to uproot their family and they can organise study around their busy schedules.”
Each branch of Bellyful does its own fundraising and is supported by local donations and volunteers. Parents with babies under three months old and families struggling with illness can contact their local area coordinator via the Bellyful website: www.bellyful.co.nz
“A home-cooked meal is such a simple thing to offer,” says Ceri.“ But when you are juggling the demands of family life and work or study, it’s sometimes the simple things that make all the difference.”
Bellyful’s ambassador Pippa Wetzell agrees: ““Bellyful – it’s simple and yet when you’re struggling with the challenges that a newborn brings into your life, something like a cooked meal and someone to talk to can make a world of difference. Getting off to a good start in the first few months of your baby’s life makes a huge difference to the wellbeing of a whole family.”
Posted in In the Community | Tagged Charity, ITC and community | Leave a reply
Thanks to the guys at Nomads for sharing their blog. A great read :)
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International Travel College (ITC) students now have the opportunity to be part of an exciting new tourist operation – Skydive Auckland.
ITC, which has campuses in Botany and central Auckland, has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996.
“We are always looking for new way to connect our students with the industries they are training for,” says ITC Account Manager Ceri Jenkins.Skydive Auckland is a new venture from the creators of Skydive Taupo, which has been operating since 2003. In December 2011 the company opened its operation in Auckland.
Skydive Auckland’s Marketing and Advertising Manager Stacey Carson says, “Since opening we have been building on the relationships we already had and creating new ones with anyone we see as beneficial to us and the industry. This is where the ITC comes in.”
ITC students will have the opportunity to take job placements at Skydive Auckland, earning them some much-coveted real-world industry experience.
“These kinds of relationships are one of the most effective ways we can help our students to make a real start on their careers,” says Ceri. “And they have ongoing positive effects for the college; for example, Stacey approached us initially because of the successful relationship we have with Nomads Backpackers ”
Stacey was also a guest speaker during ITC’s careers week and the feedback from tutors and students alike was fantastic.
“It’s another positive spin-off,” says Ceri. “Having someone with Stacey’s experience giving students advice on topics like interviewing and CVs, and how to build and maintain a professional reputation within the industry was hugely beneficial.”
Stacey says that in the near future they may be able to offer part-time work for students, with the potential for these positions to become full-time employment.
“I am extremely excited about working with Ceri and ITC over the coming year and look forward to developing a mutually beneficial relationship,” says Stacey.
“We’re thrilled,” says Ceri. “We have great industry connections with organisations like Nomads, Auckland Museum and JUCY rentals. This relationship with Skydive Auckland opens another door of opportunity for our students.”Posted in In the Community | Leave a reply
Here is an awesome blog from Curtis, an ITC Graduate and a NZ Wheel Black! Read about his impressions of travelling in Egypt. As always, Curtis’s blog is a great read filled with lots of adventure, laughter and inspirational messages. Whoever said that travel broadens the mind must have read one of his blogs!! Thanks alot Curtis :)In the Community | Leave a reply
The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has formed a strong industry link with Auckland War Memorial Museum to help students gain practical experience in the areas of sales, marketing, and account or relationship management.
ITC has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries for over 14 years. ITC Botany has been based in the Botany shopping mall since 2005, and is now training over 300 students from Manukau and the surrounding area.
ITC’s Sales Executive Ceri Jenkins has been working with Auckland Museum’s Tourism Manager Adam Taylor to place students in volunteer positions. They have created a programme that will see students keeping the museum’s agents up to date with events and activities.
“The students will be representing the Museum every month by visiting the hotels, motels, backpackers, I-sites, language schools and other tourism operators” says Adam.
“The museum’s staff has placed a great degree of trust in our students and in our ability to train them well for these kinds of roles,” says Ceri.
And the students are already validating that level of trust. They visited Daniel King, Auckland shop manager for Stray, Spaceships Global, and Adventure Tours NZ and OZ. Daniel emailed the museum “Just to let you know we have your brochures in my shop, also we got some new stuff from your charming assistants. They just came into the shop and they were awesome! You did well to find them.”
“You can’t ask for better than that!” says Ceri.
The museum’s staff was so impressed with the standard of ITC’s training that it decided to use ITC as its only source of candidates for ten part-time positions in its two onsite retail outlets.
Jude Bottomley, the museum’s retail operations manager says, “Many thanks to you and your team for the outstanding group of young people, who will be great ambassadors not only for ITC, but also for the Museum. I wish each and every one of them the very best for future.”
And the future looks bright for the ten selected students. If they impress during their part-time roles, they could very well land themselves full-time positions at the museum. They will also be building valuable relationship networks throughout Auckland’s tourism industry.Posted in In the Community, News | Leave a reply