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Tutor Profile: Tessa Henwood

Posted on 02/07/2013 by

Tessa & her class

ITC’s newest tutor Tessa Henwood tells us about how her love of hospitality and tourism has led her to travel all over the world: and how it all started in a Yorkshire pub.

I was born in the UK, and when I left school I started working as a barmaid in pubs. I met so many interesting people and had so much fun; I just knew I had to pursue a career in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Although I was not very academic I decided to try and gain a qualification, so I enrolled in a Higher National Diploma in Hospitality Management with Tourism. I loved the course; it was so practical and it taught me so many things that I have used in my working career. In the end I stayed on an extra year to complete the Hospitality Business Management Degree. I graduated with a First Class Honours degree, which is one of my proudest achievements.

After university I just wanted to see the world! I worked hard, saved money and went traveling to as many amazing places as I could. Wherever I went, whether it was Cuba or Peru, Europe or Africa, I enjoyed amazing adventures and learned so much about myself.

After landing in New Zealand, I travelled for a year, working my way around the country in different backpacker hostels. I loved working in the tourist industry in New Zealand! The range of adventure attractions, beautiful national parks, and interesting cultures and history make the country unique and different to anywhere else I have ever traveled.

I eventually settled in Auckland working for the YHA as operations manager. Around this time I also started working with ITC, providing work placement opportunities and giving career presentations.

When I first visited the college I felt I had found somewhere that not only shared my passion for the travel and tourism industry, but that was also encouraging people to dream big. I believe that everyone has the potential to do anything, and I feel that by working with ITC and all my colleagues we can help people achieve their dreams.

 

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Tutor Profile: Hala Akkad

Posted on 19/06/2013 by

ImageITC tutor Hala Akkad has over 25 years’ experience in staff training and customer service in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Here she shares some information about her background and her love of travel and adventure.

I started working as a guest relations officer at the Sheraton Hotel, then moved into sales and marketing with the international hotel brand Le Méridien.

I decided to move into the airline industry, which was a great life-changing decision. I began as a flight attendant, and then became a flight attendant safety instructor with Saudi Airline. During my time there I enjoyed teaching 54 different nationalities of flight attendants from all around the world.

After this I worked as a senior airport service agent and training facilitator for Emirates at Auckland airport, where I gained extensive knowledge about the airline airport operations, customer service and experience with reservations, fares, ticketing and the Global Distribution system relating to the travel industry.

Having a passion for airline travel and cruising I have myself taken trips to many countries around the world. Places I have been to on my travels include the entire Mediterranean, most of the Asian countries, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, USA, Canada, Panama Canal, Fiji, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Bahamas. The best thing about travelling is experiencing all the different cultures, food, shopping and the great outdoors. I am an outdoor person who loves walking, biking and kayaking and I try to work this into my travel whenever I can. The extent of my travels, my passion for the outdoors, and my staff training and hospitality experience means I am an enthusiastic teacher and I love to share this knowledge and experience with our students at ITC. I have enjoyed working with many different cultures during my working life, which has given me a cultural awareness and an appreciation of diversity that I also try to pass on to our students.

 

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ITC 2014 Scholarships Are Open and Online

Posted on 13/06/2013 by

International Travel College of New Zealand’s (ITC) 2014 scholarship applications are now open to those who want to study for the airline, travel or tourism industries.

This is the second year that ITC has run the application process by asking students to create a video or a blog to be posted online. The entry needs to show the student’s passion and enthusiasm for the travel and tourism industries and commitment to learning.

“The technology and social media element of the scholarship makes it particularly relevant to this generation of students and to the changing way that travel and tourism operates,” says ITC’s Marketing Director Claire Huxley.

Applications are open earlier this year to give students more time to plan and create their online masterpieces, and the voting element has been removed.

“We initially thought that would be a fun element to the scholarship applications, but we have discovered that it put some people off. We want this to appeal to as many potential students as possible; and although it is a fun exercise, it is an important and serious decision we have to make regarding who receives the scholarships,” says Claire.

A group of ITC’s tutors and management team will select the recipients, and they will be looking for that special something that makes ITC’s graduates so successful.

“There are a number of qualities that people need to really contribute to the travel and tourism industry and to have a career that they love,” says Claire.

“All of our tutors have worked in these industries and the college has strong connections with organisations and employers in airline, travel and tourism, so we know what they are looking for.”

“We are all excited about seeing what this year’s applicants can show us!”

To find out more about the ITC 2014 Scholarship competition visit: https://www.facebook.com/ITCNZ/app_399543336780182

ITC, which has campuses in Botany and central Auckland, has been a premium supplier of training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996.

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Cathy Alder: “Just How I Always Wanted It”

Posted on 04/06/2013 by

ImageITC Tutor Cathy Alder (nee Morris), shares her experience of getting married in beautiful Rarotonga, surrounded by friends and family.   I chose to get married in Rarotonga because it is my favourite place on earth.

As a flight attendant I went there many, many times and in the back of my mind I always thought this would be the place I would get married.

Because I wanted my wedding in a specific place and time, I spent a year planning. It felt like a long wait, but to me the excitement of a holiday starts right at the planning stage, and it was definitely worth it!

Getting on the plane felt so familiar and made me miss flying, but my main feeling was excitement and when we landed I thought: “I’m finally here!”

Waking up on a beautiful beach in Rarotonga is bliss. I’m an early riser, so at 6am I set off for a walk to soak in my first day in paradise. Because I was thinking about fitting into my wedding dress I ran the rest of the mornings before the big day! You couldn’t find a nicer place to exercise.

I spent the days before the wedding hanging around with family and friends, being looked after by the amazing staff at our hotel, shopping in the local markets, swimming, kayaking, sunbathing and eating some of the best fish in the world.

And then I got married on a perfect day on a perfect beach with all the people I love around me… just how I always wanted it.

If you have never been to Rarotonga, I recommend this little island for so many reasons: it’s close; you can use NZD; it’s cheap; the people are lovely; there are Kiwi cafes and great coffee; and the swimming and snorkeling is some of the best in the world. You can find plenty to do or really just do nothing at all.

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ITC Finalist in Auckland Export Awards

Posted on 29/05/2013 by

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The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has been announced as a finalist in the Auckland Export Awards in the QBE Insurance Exporter of the Year category.

This category is open to businesses with total sales under $25 million and with a minimum of 20 per cent of revenue from exports.

“This recognises our excellence in export education, which is so crucial to New Zealand, and also to our industry,” says ITC’s Marketing Director Claire Huxley.

ITC, which has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996, is well placed to understand the importance of international markets.

“Our industry, by its very nature, requires that we have well-trained people from all over the world here in New Zealand, and also that the graduates we send overseas represent the very best Kiwis have to offer,” says Claire.

ITC has strong industry connections and an excellent reputation both in New Zealand and overseas, which Claire believe has been critical to its success in the awards.

The college’s international students make up around 10 per cent of its student body and have a strong 95 per cent completion rate. International students are given support to become familiar with the New Zealand tourism employment market once they have completed their studies and regularly gain employment in their chosen industry.

“At ITC we really celebrate that, more than ever, travel and tourism is a worldwide concern, and we work hard to make the most of the international aspect of this industry.”

As well as welcoming international students to New Zealand, ITC’s New Zealand graduates regularly gain positions with international air and cruise lines, and on international cultural exchanges, such as Disneyworld’s “Live, Learn and Earn” programme.

The college’s tutors come from numerous places around the globe and have worked all over the world in a wide variety of companies and organisations.

“It’s a real cultural exchange,” says Claire. “There are very few places where people cannot travel these days, and there are so many opportunities for people to gain experience and to work and live within different countries and cultures. It’s fantastic to be able to offer that opportunity to international students. ”

“This is the first year we have entered these awards, and we are absolutely thrilled to be among the finalists. We are proud of our international student success and delighted to be able to contribute to contribute to New Zealand’s education community and its travel and tourism economies.”

The Auckland Export Awards are run by ExportNZ, which is a division of BusinessNZ and, at a regional level, a division of the Employers & Manufacturers Association. For more information see: http://hookedonexport.co.nz/

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ITC to offer Aviation Course via Distance Learning

Posted on 20/05/2013 by

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The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) will be offering its popular Certificate in Aviation by distance online learning from August 2013.

The level 3 course will be titled the National Certificate in Aviation Core Skills and will prepare students for entry level jobs in the aviation and travel industries. Its particular focus is on students who want to work for an airline or airport.

ITC has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996, and has campuses in Botany and central Auckland. Since 2006 the college has also offered a number of its courses via distance learning.

“There are many people in New Zealand who are unable to come to on-campus classes,” says Carla Sutton, ITC’s Distance Learning Programme Manager. “The reasons vary from having young children to other study or work to living far away from a campus.”

Students of the new aviation course will be able to choose between a 25-week full-time course and a 49-week part-time course.

“It’s not always easy for people to fit study into a life that is already busy with other commitments,” says Carla. “So we provide specific options and support wherever we can to help our distance students succeed.”

And ITC’s students agree that it all makes a difference.

“I thought it was going to be difficult, as I am also studying at university and looking after my son, but with the help and support from fellow students and ITC, I DID IT!” says graduate Caroline.

And Sarah says: “I have had so many changes and challenges over the last 6 months, and having study on top of it all seemed to be too much at times, but all your kind words and listening ears have made what seemed impossible very possible and easy.”

As with other ITC courses, students are given advice and help to create a CV that puts their best foot forward and highlights their particular strengths. And distance learning support staff put the students through a practice interview to help prepare them for real-world interviews and boost their confidence.

ITC graduate Carla recently got a job at Menzies Aviation: “This is exactly what I want to do and I cannot believe it,” she says. “It is really happening for me! Thank you so much for your wonderful teaching and the time and effort that you have invested in me. You have no idea how much it really means to me.” “That’s what it’s all about for us,” says Carla Sutton. “Knowing that we have made a genuine difference in helping someone to change their life and achieve their dreams. We are really looking forward to being able to offer the aviation course to people who want to work in this exciting field.”

For more information, please email carla@itc.co.nz or wendy@itc.co.nz or check www.itc.co.nz.

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ITC Students Get TRENZ Experience

Posted on 24/04/2013 by

International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) students recently had the opportunity to highlight their skills and gain valuable industry knowledge at New Zealand’s premier tourism trade event – TRENZ 2013.

TRENZ 2013 ran from Sunday 21 – Wednesday 24 April at Auckland waterfront’s Cloud and Shed 10 and comprised an opening function, the Auckland Airport International Speaker programme, workshops, and a farewell ‘Taste of New Zealand’ dinner held at Ponsonby Central.

Inu – The TRENZ bar – was also open at select times during the event to provide opportunities for networking and meetings.

Michelle Chatfield, ITC’s Campus Manager – City, says the students took on a number of important roles at the event, including meeting and greeting delegates and assisting them with general queries. They also helped with setting up and packing out the trade sites.

“Our students were just fantastic,” says Michelle. “They were enthusiastic about helping in any way they could. Working at these kind of events is a great deal of fun if you are prepared to get in stuck and do what is needed. You need to be able to think and respond quickly to a number of different queries and situations.”

It was also a chance for the students to see the tourism industry in action.

“This is one of the largest tourism events in New Zealand,” says Michelle. “We are proud that each time TRENZ is held in Auckland the organisers, Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand, approach us to provide students to help at the event. The students were able to meet representatives from national and international travel organisations. It was a real eye-opener for them to see what a range of opportunities the industry offers.”

ITC has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996, and has campuses in Botany and central Auckland. The college is committed to providing real-world experiences as part of its training.

“It’s one of the reasons our students have such good job placement rates,” says Michelle. “They are given plenty of opportunities to showcase their skills to the companies that will ultimately hire them, and it gives them a real feel for what working in the airline, travel and tourism industry is all about.”

 

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ITC’s Distance and Online Learning Creates “Memories for Life”

Posted on 04/03/2013 by

The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996, and has campuses in Botany and central Auckland.
Since 2006, ITC has offered several of its courses via and distance and online learning (DOL).
ITC DOL graduate Anita van der Mespel recently achieved her goal of entering the travel and tourism industry with a position at American Express.

“Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me to get me to this place,” says Anita. “You have been truly amazing!”

Anita says that her time with ITC has “created memories that will stick with me for life. I’ve loved my time with you, right from the phone interview at the very beginning!”

“That’s such a wonderful thing to hear,” says ITC’s Marketing Director Claire Huxley. “One of ITC’s strongest features is its sense of being one big family – we really mean that – all the staff know the students by name and we have a huge range of activities that include our on-campus students.

“It’s important to us that our distance and online students feel that same sense of community and connection to the college.”

Many of the DOL courses have on-campus components, such as the Customer Service Workshop run in February this year.

Chantell Awheto attended the workshop and says she had “an awesome time”.

“It was nice to finally meet everyone,” she says. “The hard part is over – graduation, here we come! I look forward to seeing you all there.”

“The workshops give the students a chance to meet each other and their tutors face to face and have some fun in the campus environment,” says Claire. “Learning via distance has many advantages, but it can be isolating. It boosts the students’ confidence when they get together and see how much they have learnt.”

ITC also ensures that its DOL students are included in its prize giving and recognition of special achievements.

“Many of our off-campus students are working and caring for family members as well as studying,” says Claire. “It takes a lot of commitment to remain motivated and connected with your studies when you are not physically surrounded by others who are studying.”

One student who shows such commitment is Greg Bellett, who recently received a Spot Prize for Excellence.
Greg says: “I’m absolutely delighted and humbled to receive such an award. Too much! I’m sure you could have awarded it to any number of hardworking students in any number of classes. I’m enjoying my studies immensely and thank you for your guidance and support.”
“This is our seventh year of offering distance learning,” says Claire, “and its appeal is growing. It allows more people the freedom to upskill in a flexible and supportive environment. We hope it also encourages lifelong learning, where following your interests and passions is an ongoing process.”

Perhaps the best endorsement of that comes from Anita: “I have enjoyed it so much! Should I ever study again, I hope it is with ITC.”

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Beyond Expectations – ITC Famil Trip February 2013

Posted on 26/02/2013 by

Another semester, and another group of ITC students get to experience the fabulous North Island famil trip. The trip never fails to impress our students with the adventure, the beautiful destinations, and the professionalism that the New Zealand tourism industry has to offer. This semester’s trip was no exception.

The first mention of famil got us all excited; we had very high expectations, and right from the start it exceeded those expectations. Our bus driver was a real character and things got a little bit crazy on the bus ride, but with everyone’s levels of excitement rising, who can blame us? Besides who can say no to a good old sing-along?

On arrival at Base Rotorua, our rooms were sorted quickly. The addition of a swimming pool at the backpackers was not wasted on any of us! After settling in, we set off for the Tamaki Maori Village. This was a genuinely culturally enriching experience, and as soon as we arrived we felt engulfed in Maori culture. On the way to the village we elected a male student to play the role of the chief when the powhiri was performed. The ceremony seemed intimidating at first, but finished with the village chief laying down a peace offering. Our elected chief stepped forward to accept the offering.

We then ventured into the village where we were fortunate enough to learn more about Maori culture. A traditional haka was performed in one part of the village, with students joining in on the fun. In another area of the village a group of Maori women performed with poi, and again many of us joined in to try this traditional art. We also witnessed some traditional Maori games.

One aspect of the Maori culture that we were able to truly experience was the hangi. The meal had something for everyone and was enjoyed all round, with pavlova and steamed pudding finishing off the evening. With day one of our famil over, we headed back to our accommodation to get a good night’s sleep in preparation for day two.

Day two was adrenaline-filled and showed us the best side of adventure tourism. We kick-started the day with white water rafting with Kaitiaki Rafting, and those of us looking for a little adventure gladly took the opportunity. White water rafting was an experience I will not soon forget. It was as terrifying as it was exhilarating as we overcame three waterfalls, including one 7-metre fall, continuous rapids along the river and a few other bumps along the way.

To top off the day we headed to Agroventures for another adrenaline rush. We had the option to take part in one of four activities: the Agrojet is equivalent to a formula one racing car – on water; the Swoop raises you over 40 metres into the air, and then drops you to swoop over the ground at 130 kmph; the Freefall Xtreme gives you an experience similar to that of a skydiver; and last but not least, the Shweeb is the world’s only human-powered monorail racetrack. There wasn’t a dull moment while visiting Agroventures!

Early on Wednesday morning we departed Rotorua and headed to Whakahoro. Our destination was Blue Duck Station, but we made a quick stop at the lovely Huka Falls just out of Taupo. On arrival at Blue Duck Station the first thing we noticed is that surrounding scenery is absolutely beautiful. It’s a place where you can truly just soak up the magnificent atmosphere, and part of that are the great people working on Blue Duck Station.

We settled into our rooms and then set off for a beautiful walk down the beaten track with our guide Maggie, who told us the interesting history of the station along the way. One of the greatest things about Blue Duck Station is that it is an exciting location for eco-tourism, with its huge conservation area focused on the endangered blue duck.

We followed another one of our guides, Wendy, down to a well-known spot for seeing blue ducks, but unfortunately it wasn’t our lucky day. We then headed down a narrow and exceptionally muddy trail to the bottom of a waterfall where we took turns kayaking through a beautiful and undisturbed natural wonderland. The narrow river took us down a peaceful path covered in parts by overhanging trees, which made the area seem surreal.  To top off the evening the staff at Blue Duck Station served us a delicious home-cooked meal. Our night ended on a high note as we celebrated one of our fellow student’s birthdays and cooked marshmallows over a bonfire.

Thursday morning’s bus ride home contained a group of exhausted students all ready for a good night’s sleep in their own familiar bed. The famil was an exciting experience for all – whether it was white water rafting, dancing on the bus or encountering the serenity of kayaking on Blue Duck Station – but one thing is for sure, this famil went above and beyond everybody’s expectations.

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ITC Excels with International Student Success

Posted on 25/02/2013 by

International students make up around 10 per cent of the International Travel College of New Zealand’s (ITC) student body. Recent education performance indicators reveal a strong 95 per cent course completion rate for these ITC students.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with that result,” says ITC’s Marketing Director, Claire Huxley. “We do a lot to support our international students, so it’s fantastic to know that it is working.”

ITC’s International Marketing Manager, Lesley Brough, says that she regularly gets positive feedback from the students and thank you letters from parents.

“It’s a big deal to send your son or daughter overseas to study, for any parent from any culture,” says Lesley. “They are genuinely pleased to have made the right choice for their child.”

Lesley credits the college’s small class sizes, the strong tutor support and the “personal touch” as contributing to the success of ITC’s international students. 

“Before they arrive we give them a lot of help and advice about what will happen when they get here, how to set up a bank account or get accommodation in Auckland, for example.”

“Once they are here we meet with them regularly to make sure we know how they are doing; and we hold international student lunches every three to four months to help them connect with and support each other. Our tutors make sure the students get extra personal or academic support if they need it.”

Lesley also keeps the overseas students in touch with what’s happening around Auckland, sending regular emails about events such as the recent free movie nights at the Wynyard Quarter’s Silo Park or ideas for what they can get out and do over a long weekend.

And, as with all ITC students, says Claire Huxley, the international students benefit from ITC tutors’ industry experience and the college’s commitment to providing work experience and employment opportunities through its industry contacts.

“We help our students prepare their CVs for the New Zealand market, hone their interview skills and guide them through the employment process, which is often different from what they are familiar with,” says Claire.

“It all goes a long way to providing a secure and supportive environment for our international students. And their strong completion rates are a fantastic indicator that we are providing what they need.”

 

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