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The value of experience

Posted on 29/04/2012 by

Industry experience is always valuable in airline, travel and tourism jobs – wherever you might get it.

General job skills like communication and time and workload management skills will stand you in good stead whatever you do. But specific industry skills are also often transferable between different travel and tourism operations.

A number of staff from Fullers, for example, have recently used their experience to gain flight attending roles. 

Fullers handles many of the Auckland ferries and harbour cruises and Project Manager Wolfgang tells us that working at Fullers is a perfect way for young people to gain the necessary experience to become flight attendants. 

Airlines told the successful Fullers candidates that there were a number of similarities between the two types of operation such as working shifts, dealing with cancelations due to bad weather, and managing large numbers of customers in a short space of time.
The majority of airlines like their staff to be 21 years of age or older, so spending a couple of years with companies such as Fullers is a great way for younger graduates to hone their skills before applying for flight attending roles.

While Fullers does offer career pathways for entry-level staff, Wolfgang and other senior managers are also very conscious that some of these staff have other career aspirations. They say they are more than happy to play their part in the helping young people land their dream jobs.



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Introducing Mel Verwijmeren

Posted on 23/04/2012 by

Mel Verwijmeren has recently started at ITC running the four short courses that we offer to give high school students a taste of the industry. Mel will be running courses in aviation, travel, tourism and the Big Day Out course.

Mel is the proud mother of two girls and says she is known for her bubbly personality and for always having “ants in my pants”.

She gained a travel and tourism qualification straight after high school and spent the next two years working in a call centre environment. She then worked for Air New Zealand for nine years, starting as a check in agent and moving on to work in an operational capacity coordinating aircraft and providing pilot documentation.

“I met some really amazing people,” she says. “Lots of sports teams and well-known bands, and I saw some fabulous aircraft.”

When she’s not working Mel says she loves to fundraise for foundations that need a helping hand.  “So far I have fundraised for Heart Kids and The New Zealand Heart Foundation, and I also help out at Christmas time at the Auckland City Mission, collecting items from local communities to give to families in need during the festive season.”

Always on the lookout for new adventures, Mel has recently decided to run the Rotorua Marathon. Previously, she ran a triathlon just eight weeks after having her second daughter. Mel says that realising what she could achieve “started the ball rolling in setting my own personal goals and achievements.”

Mel’s latest adventure is to join the team at ITC.

“The team at the college has a real family feel and I already feel part of that, with plenty of colleagues willing to help out at a drop of a hat. I look forward to my future with the college and seeing the students work toward achieving their own personal goals.”



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Distance Online Learning Career Successes

Posted on 17/04/2012 by

Three ITC online learning students share their stories

Sharon is working as the receptionist for Auckland Transport. The company wanted the person who took the position to have a qualification in travel and Sharon hopes to expand into other areas now the Rugby World Cup rush is over.

“I’m enjoying this position,” she says. “I’m working with a great bunch of people and my boss is just lovely. I really enjoy all the face-to-face customer interaction, so this suits me better than a call centre.”

Part of ITC’s distance online learning course is in career preparation. Sharon says: “Your help with CV writing and interviewing was invaluable. I have shared my CV with others who have been looking for jobs unsuccessfully for quite some time and were not getting interviews. As soon as they followed your fantastic pointers for a good CV they have had interviews straight away, and got the jobs as well! So thank you on behalf of my friends and myself!”

Laura in Nelson has found a job in the tourism industry.  She has some excellent advice for other students. “I applied for a job at a motel down the road from my house. They had an ad in the paper for a cleaner. When I had my interview they told me that they wanted to hire someone they could train up to do reception as well.

“I have been there since the middle of October and they have been great and taught me so much. I am now confident in answering the phone, taking bookings and checking guests in and out. My certificate from ITC has really paid off.

“I love my new job and am getting heaps of experience – and I thought I was just going to be a cleaner! My advice to other students is to take any job they are offered and let the employers know how keen they are to learn and take on more responsibilities.”

Laura from Christchurch recently found a job with House of Travel as an online consultant. “My new job is going really well. I love it! I sort out all the bookings from the website, ticketing them, informing passengers of schedule changes, assisting with flight date changes etc. It is good fun and very varied!

“I work with a great team of people, which really helps and my manager is lovely and very flexible with the roster. I work 4 days a week, 10 hours a day on shifts, which works well for me.”
ITC staff members were so pleased when Laura found this job. Laura did well in her studies, despite the fact that she lost her home in the September 2010 earthquake. After the February quake in 2011 Laura stayed with her mum in Auckland for a while. Even though this was a tough year, Laura did extremely well in her studies and received an ITC Award with Distinction.






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ITC Students Welcome International Counterparts

Posted on 11/04/2012 by

International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) students were once again an important part of the Auckland International Student Welcome.

The event, run by Study Auckland, part of Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), welcomed over 1600 international students to Auckland City.

ITC has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996, and working at large events like the Student Welcome provides excellent experience for its students, says ITC staff member Malia Otuhouma.

“This is a chance for the students to put into practice what they have been studying, and I was so proud of what they achieved on the day.”

As well as taking care of VIPs and performers backstage, the students handed out goodie bags and were just generally on the spot wherever they were needed.

And the organisers were glad of their help, too. ATEED’s Study Auckland Manager Debbie Chambers said ITC students once again stepped up to the mark.

“We are always pleased to have ITC students at our events. We know they are being taught by experts with industry experience, and it really shows.

“They always had a smile on their faces and they managed their many tasks on the day professionally, despite it being an incredibly busy event.”

Malia says the students enjoyed a chance to gain some real-world event experience.

“It’s such a big part of study at ITC. You can’t teach travel and tourism purely in a classroom. It’s about being on the spot and seeing all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make events like this look effortless on the day.”




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The Amazing Race – ITC Style

Posted on 15/03/2012 by

The International Travel College’s Amazing Race (based on the popular television show) has become a tradition at ITC’s City Road Campus.

For its fifth year the college decided to step it up a level and involve students from its Botany Campus as well. So with over 250 students, involved that meant it was the biggest Amazing race event in the ITC student calendar.

Over thirty-five teams joined in the madness, racing each other around Auckland’s CBD, following the clues that would reveal their final destination. The students knew there would be some awesome prizes and always keen to be competitive, the teams knew everything was at stake!!

The ITC Tutors were waiting at the finish line to receive the winning teams. First in was the City Road team “Holly Molly”; “Taparee” – also from City Road – came in second; and Botany team “Meow Meow” came third.

The students were dressed in some truly spectacular costumes representing this year’s Kiwiana theme. But the winning costume on the day was a City Road team whose members were dressed as pavlovas. Many of the students were also wearing ITC t-shirts made especially for the event. The creativity and lengths some of the teams had gone to was amazing!

ITC Marketing Director Claire Huxley says that the day was an incredible amount of fun, but it has other benefits as well.

“Amidst all the fun and laughter, the students were learning to work together to achieve a goal – it’s a really important part of our industry,” she says.

“Travel and tourism is an incredibly vibrant and lively industry to be in – but it also requires people to work well together. And it requires a great deal of enthusiasm – but I think it’s safe to say our students showed they have that!”


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ITC’s Offer Gateway to Career and Personal Growth

Posted on 28/02/2012 by


ITC prides itself on its relationships with secondary schools and making tertiary opportunities available to high school students.

Recently enrolled student Denzell Lio Joshua Patelesio completed the ITC gateway programme at the end of 2011 and this year has enrolled in the Certificate in Travel and Tourism (Level 3). Denzell loves his new study so much that he has enrolled to continue on and study for the Certificate in International Travel and Tourism & IT (Level 4). 

Denzell admits that when he was first offered the opportunity as a 7th former at St Paul’s College he hadn’t heard of ITC and thought he would “tag along” with the other students to “see where this place would take us”. He was thinking of the extra credits he could gain too.

Denzell says that he was very nervous on his first day “but then, as the days went by, we started to settle into our class and our tutor made us feel very welcome.”

“I honestly can say it was the best learning experience I’ve ever had, and ever since then I had this goal to join ITC in the New Year because I enjoyed it and I loved it!” says Denzel.

Denzell says that the most important thing for him about choosing a career was that he was happy and enjoying what he was doing.

“This is exactly why we offer the gateway programme,” says ITC’s account manager Ceri Jenkins. “It’s really difficult for young people to know what it is like to work in different industries or to undertake further study. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a 16 or 17 year old.

“The gateway programme allows them to experience a new learning environment, to start to take responsibility for their own career direction and to see what a wide world of opportunity is available to them.”

That is certainly what has happened for Denzell, who says that “the experience here at ITC is very different compared to the way I was taught in my school; you can share laughter and joy with your tutors as long as you do your work.”

As well as opening his eyes to future training and career possibilities, Denzell has experienced personal growth as well. “I am now a more open person, talking a lot in class, and I’m not afraid to answer difficult questions even though it’s hard. I love ITC!”

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ITC Students Get Rugby World Cup Experience

Posted on 09/12/2011 by

The Rugby World Cup 2011 gave the International Travel College (ITC) an opportunity to provide some fantastic real-world experience for its students.

ITC student volunteers worked with Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to provide information and assistance for visitors to Auckland during the Rugby World Cup.

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. The college has developed strong working relationships with Auckland Museum and ATEED, with student regularly undertaking work experience and part-time roles with both organisations.

The 20 students representing Auckland Museum were armed with energy drinks, water, Anzac biscuits and digital cameras to record the atmosphere within the city and their interactions with visitors.

Dubbed the Auckland Museum Student Army, the ITC students stayed in touch with the museum via a dedicated Facebook page, uploading images and reporting on their progress.
“The initiative was hugely successful and the museum is very grateful,” says Tourism Manager Adam Taylor.
“One student went so far as to escort a Japanese couple to the museum. If this student came to me for a job post study, she would be first in line for a role with us.”

“That’s exactly the kind of feedback we want,” says ITC’s Account Manager Ceri Jenkins. “The relationships we develop with industry are all about ITC students being known as highly trained and job-ready. It’s a win-win for the students, the college and New Zealand’s tourism industry.”

Adam Taylor agrees: “For the Museum, working with the best tertiary tourism institutes like ITC is a great way for us to help grow the next generation of tourism professionals, and it also allows the students to develop their own relationships before they enter the job market.”

The 15 student volunteers for ATEED teamed up with existing Wise Guides to help visitors in the city. The benefits to those students have also been hugely valuable, says Ceri.

“These students were able to start to develop some key contacts for themselves in the industry, as they received training from a number of key industry operators and were in constant contact with them throughout the event. As a direct result of these contacts, a number of these students will undoubtedly gain work through Tourism Auckland and their partners.”
“We’re really proud of our students,” he continues. “This was a unique opportunity for them to be involved in a major event and to enhance their customer service skills and general levels of confidence – and they embraced it with open arms.”

Another HIT fir ITC students :)



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“ITC is the place to study!”

Posted on 01/12/2011 by

We recently received an email from one of our graduates, Margaret Wilson, telling us about her fantastic new job and thanking ITC for helping to get her there. We wanted to share Margaret’s words because she is such a wonderful example of what ITC aims to do. Her dedication and commitment are also a credit to her and have helped her to achieve her dreams.

Margaret says she was “stoked” to receive the phone call from Qantas telling her she had the position of telephone sales consultant – reservations. She credits the mentorship of ITC’s tutors and staff with “getting me to where I am today, and changing me into a more confident person.” She says that the college’s training has provided her with the “experiences and qualifications I needed to secure my dream job.”

Qantas’s three-week interviewing process was “nerve-wracking, says Margaret, but she spent plenty of time researching and preparing herself. “I gradually became stronger, and more positive and confident, because of all the confidence each of you had given me by believing in me.”

Margaret says that “the many role plays – telephone and frontline” she had done at ITC meant that by the time she reached the group assessment interview she thought: “This is familiar and I’ve been trained for this by my wonderful tutors.”

She also called in and spoke to tutors Carla and Sam to help prepare for her interviews. Margaret was also grateful to Carla and tutor Steve for being referees for her job application. “You must have said good words to help me get through,” she says in her email.

Now that she has secured her dream job, Margaret says, “I will continue to work my hardest, and achieve the goals and tasks set for me to show that I am and will always be an ITC student. I want to show Qantas I was taught by the best.”

“ITC is the place to study and secure a career as promised!”

We are so thrilled for Margaret and we are proud to have helped achieve her goals. Congratulations!


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LordFrost’s Guide to ITC

Posted on 23/11/2011 by

Now, how do you survive at ITC one might ask?

There are lots of ways to get through the 12 months spent one of the best career paths in the world. I chose a variation of ways that I would never try to take back.

So I’m going break down this guide month by month, using my 12 months as a base for you all.

JANUARY – Welcome to the International Travel College.
It’s like starting a new job, going to a new school or going to your best friends family reunion. It’s awkward, annoying, and a little bit scary. So as the saying goes, take a big glass of harden up and be yourself.

Things started with Introductions of who you are & why you decided to go to International Travel College. Which for me, was a career change. I was in hospitality and while it was cool, it wasn’t quite for me – so I thought I’d explore the other side of it.

The same month was the International Student Welcome, the Student Council Election, and the Amazing Race event. Firstly, the Student Welcome.

When Michelle asked for volunteers for the event, I figured since I wasn’t the most selfless person at High School I figured to do as much as I could to meet and greet people who may help me at some point in my career’s future, not to mention that it led to some awesome experiences and times.

So myself, and a few other students were taken to the Aotea Centre, given the first of the ITC shirts that would become my small obsession from the course haha, and then asked to usher students to their seats, answer questions – “where are the toilets?” was a frequent one. It was a fantastic time, and had a few laughs with Michelle and other students.

Secondly, the Student Council.

This one kinda fell in my lap. We were told to have two people to represent us at meetings with Kerry & Michelle regarding upcoming events and just the goings-on in the college.

I’m quite the dominant person by nature, so I tried very hard to push the role onto people who’s voices weren’t heard during class, giving them the chance to make themselves known, but only one spoke up – and the class appointed me as the other. So I accepted. This too was a great experience. It was almost like attending a work meeting, and I made friends from some of the other classes that were enrolled at the same time.

Lastly, the Amazing Race.

Student Event #1 – this was incredible. It was the first of what now seems to be an annual event. A race around the CBD answering the odd question and filling out clues. We didn’t win, but we had great fun in doing so. I also managed to score a second ITC shirt – but then so did the rest of the college. Still, a lot of hard work, and in the sun it was a fantastic day out.

FEBRUARY – MARCH – APRIL – The Work Begins & Events Galore.

I don’t really remember the events for February & March. But I do know that the work was far more important. We managed to cover Destination NZ – and I’m sorry to say, but that was the longest most drawn out BORING assessment EVER …. Unfortunately for me it was but 1 of the 4 ugly assessments that had to be done. It was followed by Destination Australia, Destination United Kingdom & Destination USA. All of which just seemed to go on and on and on. A lot of self motivation and force was required to accomplish them. Needless to say, I was informed they were reviewed and I’m told shortened after my class did them – Thanks ITC, thanks a whole lot …. :P

The Easter Bunny Event. From what I remember was to dress up someone as an Easter Bunny. The best bunny won. That wasn’t us haha.

I also scored a ITC shirt for helping out at Pasifika – that was INCREDIBLE. The sheer amount of people there was amazing. It was a recruitment day for the college, and the students task was to show just how fantastique ITC is. I don’t know just how many people were involved, but there was a lot of interest.

I missed of couple of other events though, unsure as to why, may have been sick or late.

MAY – JUNE – JULY – Somewhere in here was TRENZ

TRENZ. What more can one say. The industry proved just how big it really was when they set up their tiny stalls at the ASB Showgrounds. The shirts here were a more professional look (though a collar with long sleeves would have been nicer :P). Anyway, we got to meet some future employers, but also got a look at some of the newest products or deals offered. The best thing was knowing TRENZ is an invite only event and that the products would be displayed later in the year at the public Travel Expo.

I think this same month was the Wearable Arts or Food Fun events. The Wearable arts was HILARIOUS, it was Kiwiana themed, and our model. She was the College Diva and she walked that plastic bag dress we made & made it work like it was Armani Couture, needless to say she won Best Model – we were happy with that.

AUGUST – SEPTEMBER – Global Wednesday.

Around this time, the decision to do the IATA exams had to be made. At the time I didn’t feel ready, but looking back, I should have just done it. It would have been FAR easier than juggling the classes like I did. Still was great to learn it. And I still retain most of the stuff learnt. Had like, youngest of our tutors for it and she made it like the most incredible subject to learn. Trust me, she made it look so easy – but it’s so much more of a challenge at times. A big ups for the homemade Play-Dough to help us too :)

Global Wednesday – ah the best event of the year. We got landed with France. Well that was it was in there with ideas like a bullet from a gun. We had a very wide range of cultures and personalities in our class and fitting them all into the concept was horrid. But we did it. We had a Mime, french maid, chef, artist, Coco Chanel, French Rugby player & Burlesque Dancer oh and 2 of three Musketeers. With out French Vanilla Cheesecake, Quiche & Grape Juice (Wine) and very lame attempt at the Can-Can since our song was like ….. well insert alternative name for dumb here. We still won and were over the moon.

OCTOBER – Halloween Trivial Pursuits, Coke Expo & Work Experience

This was a disappointing event from my class as only two others wanted to take part. So myself & my classmates went away from the Witches & Demons that plague Halloween. We were class, we were heavenly, we were Greek Gods – Apollo, Athena & Hera. We were also, LATE.

We won best costume, realized we knew like NOTHING about NZ or the current events at the time. BUT – we did have a ball and I thank those two for partaking.

Coke Expo – this was like a careers expo on steroids. Again the ASB Showgrounds hosted a HUGE number of High School Students looking at the many doors open to them. Myself (and what would be my last ITC shirt – i think ) and a few other students helped Michelle again with recruiting students or at the very least helping decide whether ITC was the right step for them. That was a huge event and from what I recall, we were the most visible of the tourism institutes – stall wise I mean.

Work Experience – ah the fateful encounter that got me my current job.

I was lucky enough to get to spend a week at Intercity Coachlines, while my first choice would have been Contiki if it was offered. I couldn’t see myself happy at Rainbow’s End, Thrifty Car Rentals, or Nomad’s Backpackers. And what a week. I learnt so much from the staff at the Travel Centre (which is where I work now) and I was so over joyed to hear from Ceri that I had been offered to work there. I went and discussed the hours with the manager, and soon I was a part-timer learning the Tourism Industry from within. With only a month left before I was finished, I was happy to have a place to go when I finished.

NOVEMBER – DECEMBER – The End of an Era, well 12 months.
It was time for the best 12 months of my educational life to come to end. And I mean the BEST. Like anything it wasn’t a bed of Roses. But the staff & students I met there I will never forget. Last event was the Beach Day out and it was a BEAUTIFUL sunny day, I know this cos I got burnt. It was a real fun filled day where students & tutors could completely unwind, which they did!

Last day was celebrated with a few classmates and nice STRONG drink. And the tutors had the same idea – as we saw them at the pub across the road, yeah don’t think you could hide behind the sunnies guys, we got you – you on Candid Camera now! :)

Overall it was one of the best times of my life. So much knowledge gained & shared. And when I’m all experienced and over travelled – I’ll be expecting a teaching position there. You know this don’t you Claire, Kerry, Michelle ….. Guys, you’re listening right?! o_O

So, if you’re unsure, and thinking if ITC is the place to study. I tell you – it is.

This is like, the clearest of my memories, and don’t let my thoughts of some of the assessments deter you – the good must come with the bad, you will enjoy it.

I guarantee you this – please note there is no money back guarantee you will need to make the experience your own – but the staff are there to help you, they want you to get the best out of the study so you can get the best out of the industry. Look for me on the ITC Wall of Fame in the City Campus. I should be there along with my fellow classmates and a few friends you may know who went there.

All I can say is if you’re wanting to get into Tourism, ITC is the place to be …..



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The Big City and the Little Village

Posted on 07/11/2011 by

ITC’s Managing Director Kerry Priestley tells us about two of his favourite travel destinations.

Working in the world of travel and tourism, I am often asked about my favourite destination, but it’s so hard to choose! I have been to many wonderful places over the years, but it’s the people you meet and the experiences you share that make a trip really stand out.

However, there are two destinations that evoke particularly special memories for me – one close to home and the other a little farther away.

Firstly, I love Melbourne. I have had some great times there, and I have travelled to Melbourne more than to any other overseas destination. So what keeps me going back?

It is so hard to describe the feeling of a place, but in practical terms Melbourne is really easy to get around thanks to a great public transport system; it has fantastic shopping precincts within the central city itself or just a short tram ride away; there’s a wide diversity of restaurants that cater for all tastes and styles; and then there’s the great night life, with excellent live theatre and clubs and bars to suit all ages. And you are only 45 minutes away from the Yarra Valley, one of the key winemaking areas in Victoria.

So for me, Melbourne has it all, and it is all there at your fingertips.

My other, and more recent, favourite destination is Provence in the South of France – in particular mid-Provence. This is where there are many (and I mean many!) quaint little villages that represent the France of a bygone era.

This is an unusual choice for me, because I am not generally a small village sort of person. I really like cities where there is a lot to see and do.

But these villages all have their own unique personalities, and I love to find a café in the village square and sit and watch the world go by. The French love of food (and mine!) is rewarded with some amazing restaurants turning out fantastic cuisine. Their passion for the culinary arts is obvious.

But, again, it is the indefinable feel of the place and its history that make the experience in these villages – many dating back to Roman times – so memorable.

My memories of both Melbourne and Provence are created from great experiences with good friends and I hope to keep adding to them!


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