I began my career in travel just as you are, as a student studying towards a Certificate in Travel, Tourism and Business. This gave me a great foundation to launch my career and introduced me to the wide variety of work available in this exciting industry.
After completing my study I moved to Australia and began my first job in travel working for the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane. My dream of becoming a flight attendant came true when I was hired by Virgin Australia to be part of the crew that would launch Virgin’s new international airline out of Sydney. After four years in Australia I decided it was time to return home and have since worked for a travel wholesaler and as a travel agent.
My favourite part of working in the travel and tourism Industry is, of course, the travel. I have been extremely fortunate to see some amazing destinations through my work including Fiji, Thailand, the United States of America, South Africa, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Working in travel can be extremely rewarding and fun. If you work hard and want to succeed the world truly is your oyster!
I can genuinely say that I have used all of the skills that I learnt through my Certificate in Travel at some point in my career, and that is why I am so thrilled that I will be teaching such a practical and valuable course. As a tutor I hope to be able to inspire in you the same passion for this industry that I have discovered, and I can’t wait to share my knowledge and experiences with you.
I’d like to leave you with one of my favourite travel quotes: The world is like a book and those who do not travel read only a page – Saint Augustine.
I look forward to meeting you all!
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.
Posted in News, Staff News | Tagged Aviation Training, Awards, ITC, New Zealand Tourism Training, Passion for travel, Tourism training | Leave a reply
ITC 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.
Posted in News, Staff News | Tagged Airline training, Aviation Training, Blogs, Export Education, International Awards, ITC, ITCNZ, Tourism training | Leave a reply
ITC 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.
Posted in News, Staff News | Tagged Beach, Rarotonga, Wedding | Leave a reply
Two of ITC’s staff members recently reached their 10-year anniversary with the college. Both Justine Glackin and Steve Burke received a certificate and a trip to the value of $10,000 to thank them for their hard work and dedication to ITC.
Justine initially worked in ITC’s student services when she returned to New Zealand after six years of overseas travel. After two years at the college she took some time off for maternity leave.
“When I wanted to return to work part time in April 2006, Karen [then ITC’s Managing Director] was kind enough to offer me about 16 hours a week working from home helping with the accounts,” says Justine. “I went on maternity leave again in 2007 and came back in 2008 – once again working from home.”
Justine says that flexibility has been “one of the amazing things about working for ITC; and even though I don’t go into the office all that often I still feel part of the team.”
Justine is now in charge of the college’s accounts. She has a great eye for detail and a motivated, positive attitude, says Managing Director Kerry Priestley.
“Justine has a fantastic sense of humour; she’s a good team player and is just great to work with.”
For her part Justine says she is extremely grateful that the college has allowed her role to change and develop over time with the changes in her life.
“I feel really lucky and privileged to be able to do this, as not only have I been able to keep my foot in the door work-wise, but I have also been able to be a stay-at-home mum. Not a bad deal I think!”
ITC Travel Tutor, Steve Burke, worked with Kerry Priestley in the travel industry (“Many years ago!” says Kerry). His background is mainly in airlines and his experience makes him extremely knowledgeable about airlines and airfares.
But his area of specialty is IATA – the International Air Transport Association’s certification programmes. ITC is an IATA Authorized Training Center (ATC), which allows it to teach the IATA Travel and Tourism and Aviation training programmes.
“It is because of Steve’s commitment and his knowledge of IATA that we have twice had students awarded IATA student of the year and the college was named an IATA 2011 Asia Pacific Top 10 Authorized Training Center,” says Kerry.
And Steve’s commitment to the college goes above and beyond the call of duty.
“He is always willing to get involved in events, get dressed up and make a fool of himself,” laughs Kerry. “His next costume will be the Easter Bunny and I believe he will be distributing eggs around the college.”
“He really represents the college’s belief that learning should be fun and that this is a really fun industry to be in. You work hard and you live it 24/7, but if you get involved 100 per cent like Steve does the rewards are fantastic.”
What has kept Steve at the college for the past 10 years, he says, “is the great friendly atmosphere that is evident throughout the staff and students. The tutorial staff works well together, and are always willing to help out.”
Steve says that the generous travel package to celebrate his ten years with the college was a huge surprise.
“I am still trying to figure out my dream trip!”Posted in Staff News | Tagged ITC, ITC Award winning training, ITCNZ our Guest Blogger Curtis Palmer, Tourism training | Leave a reply
Lorna Cuddy says she was born with aviation fuel in her veins: “My dad was an aircraft engineer for T.E.A.L. (now Air New Zealand), so outings to the airport were a regular activity – watching planes take off and land and admiring the elegant air hostesses, handsome pilots and the courteous ground staff – it all looked so glamorous, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Lorna’s introduction to the industry was in a receptionist position with David Jones Traveland in Sydney. She worked hard to gain experience booking flights and excursions, issuing vouchers and tickets, and typing up itineraries.
Then she got the travel bug herself and set off for London via Europe on her OE.
“I had only been in the UK for two weeks when I landed my dream job at Heathrow Airport as a ground hostess with Pan Am,” she says. “It was only part time, but it was a foot in the door.”
In those days, says Lorna, training was all on the job. With great determination and commitment, she worked all the overtime that was available until she was fully trained and eventually offered a permanent, full-time job.
After 10 years at Heathrow, Lorna got the urge to return home to New Zealand.
“Fortunately there was a vacancy at Auckland Airport and I was able to transfer with Pan Am.”
“Then one day we day we learnt that Pan Am was selling their Pacific routes to United Airlines and we were handed new uniforms – the good news was that we could all keep our jobs plus our years of service!
“Alas, United Airlines ceased flying into New Zealand in 2003 and I was forced to ‘retire’.”
After nearly 29 years in the same job Lorna decided it was time to pursue her other passion: cooking.
But when she signed up for Certificates in Cookery and Patisserie at AUT she didn’t realise it would spark a new interest in teaching. After working in a private training establishment teaching travel and tourism she went back to AUT to undertake a Certificate in Tertiary Teaching.
Since 2004 Lorna has taught at a number of tertiary institutions, including AUT, and says she is now delighted to be part of the team at ITC.
“I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experiences with the learners at ITC and helping them achieve their goals and ambitions,” she says.
ITC is thrilled to welcome someone with Lorna’s experience and knowledge. Her airline career is an outstanding example of how the travel and tourism industry rewards passion, hard work and a can-do attitude.
Welcome Lorna!Posted in News, Staff News | Tagged ITC Staff, ITC tutors | Leave a reply
International Travel College (ITC) tutor Tonya Cole talks about her career in travel and how she came to work with ITC.
I started my career in travel after completing a Diploma in Travel, Tourism and Business. My first role was with a large wholesaler as a long-haul consultant selling travel to the UK, Europe, the USA and Asia.
After a few years, like many Kiwis, I left New Zealand for my big OE. I was based in London for several years and travelled extensively throughout Europe.
This experience was fantastic for its own sake, but it also added a great deal to my later ability to talk passionately to customers about their travel plans and to help them figure out the best kind of trip for them.
When I returned to New Zealand I decided to further my education and began a science degree in psychology and nutrition.
I continued to work in the travel industry while I was studying. This included roles as a travel consultant selling travel to Greece, Turkey and Italy, and as a product supervisor for a cruise company. In that role I was involved in marketing and advertising the company’s product, so I’m really excited that one of ITC’s new eBooks is on the cruise industry – it’s a really fun industry to work in and there is so much to learn that is relevant to any job in travel and tourism.
Studying and working was sometimes difficult, as many of our students know, but it really helps with your time management skills and gives you a real sense of accomplishment.
Ultimately, it was my passion for travel and my love of education that led me to ITC, where I truly love encouraging and motivating students to achieve their goals and dreams – as I have.
Pictured above from left to right, Sera, Rachel and Tonya at the recent Graduation at The Langham Hotel in Auckland.Posted in Staff News | Tagged ITC tutors, Travel and tourism careers | Leave a reply
Jacques Janse Van Rensburg joined ITC in 2011 as a tutor in tourism and business management. Jacques talks about his experience in the hospitality and tourism industry both in New Zealand and South Africa.
I started in tourism and hospitality as a general apprentice and over the next 11 years was promoted through food and beverage, function management, adventure and holiday camp management, outdoor education deveopment and, finally, to general manager of a world-renowned game lodge in South Africa. There I had full responsibility for business leadership, strategy, marketing, finance, systems, IT and human resources.
After immigrating to New Zealand, I completed my qualifications and went to work in hospitality and business education.
I then took a break from education and put my hospitality management and customer service background to use managing a fast food chain.
I have now returned to my passion for education as a tutor at ITC. I am a student-centred teacher, mentor and coach, and I aim to encourage my students’ development through understanding them as individuals and their challenges and talents.
I hope that my practical business experience translates into common sense and savvy learning solutions for my students. I am very outcome-focused in the classroom; and I’m passionate about finding out who my students are as well as helping them to achieve the best the results they can.
I’m also a dedicated family man and spend most of my free time outdoors enjoying our favourite family hobby, tramping.
Posted in News, Staff News | Tagged ITC tutors | Leave a reply
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.”
Posted in News, Staff News | Tagged ITC Staff | Leave a reply
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!Posted in News, Staff News | Tagged Travel experiences | Leave a reply