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ITC training opens industry doors

Posted on 09/08/2013 by


Recent ITC graduate Mohammed Alzergawi has a role as an airport ambassador at the domestic terminal at Auckland International Airport.

“This is a great opportunity to work and meet new people from all around the world,” says Mohammed. “I am constantly developing the skills I learnt at ITC by interacting with people and providing exceptional customer service to passengers arriving and departing Auckland.”

Natasha Allen, ITC’s Campus Manager Botany, says that the opportunity for ITC’s students to work at the airport is second to none and has already resulted in new roles for students.

Students who wish to apply to work at the airport have an initial interview with Natasha; they then attend a presentation at the airport about the role and requirements, which leads to a formal interview. A full security check is then completed on each individual, as safety is paramount at the airport.

“Successful students are then given the very smart and stylish new black and red uniform – they all feel so proud to wear it and to represent the airport and New Zealand to arriving and departing passengers.”

And the work itself is thoroughly enjoyable, reports Mohammed.

“The days are varied and occasionally you even get to meet celebrities and athletes, which is very exciting. Every day I learn something new, which means I am always challenged and ensures that I enjoy each shift I work.”

“I appreciate the opportunity that has come my way and am excited that it will potentially open doors for me in this industry.”

“Mohammed’s attitude is fantastic,” says Natasha, “and goes to prove, yet again, that putting in hard work, showing commitment and dedication will definitely pay off.”

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An Excellent Season For Travel and Tourism Graduates

Posted on 02/08/2013 by

Airport volunteers 1

International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) Account Manager Ceri Jenkins has noticed an upturn in the entry-level employment market.

“If current vacancies are a reflection of the state of the industry, the future is looking very positive,” says Ceri. “I cannot remember a winter season where so many companies have contacted us to advertise entry-level roles with almost immediate starts.”

The vacancies are across a broad range of sectors, including adventure tourism, car rental, travel agency, airline, accommodation, airport and tour operators.

Ceri says there are a number of contributing factors to the upturn in the market: “There seems to be a genuine confidence out there from both employers and employees.

“Employees are taking the next step in their careers and creating entry-level vacancies, and employers are planning ahead and training new staff now to ensure they are ready when peak season arrives.”

Ceri says there is no doubt that the lure of Australia is still a factor in creating entry-level positions, with employers recounting stories of staff leaving to chase more money; but ITC’s graduates are benefiting greatly from this upturn.

The key recruitment period in the travel and tourism industry is traditionally from September to November, notes Ceri.

“If the entry-level job market is this busy now, it seems an indication that the 2013/2014 season will be an excellent one for New Zealand’s travel and tourism industry.”

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.

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Top 10 Tips for ITC students

Posted on 27/07/2013 by

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Yesterday, Tessa asked her class for 10 Tips that she could pass on to her new class starting in July, and here is what they came up with:
1. Make sure to revise
2. Turn up to college – get 100% attendance
3. Bring your lunch – studying makes you hungry!
4. Hand work in on time – stay up to date.
5. Always listen and respect Tessa (your tutor)
6. For role plays – Be confident – practice!!
7. Understand the question by asking questions!
8. Don’t rush – check your work
9. Smile – Be positive
10. Go hard or go home!! – Just try!!
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Three More ITC Students Experience the Disney World Dream!

Posted on 24/07/2013 by


Three International Travel College (ITC) graduates will join three former ITC students at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, USA on the work experience programme of a lifetime.

Last year, ITC students Michelle Phillips, Celeste Reid and Soteria Alia were accepted to the Disney College Program.

“Once news got out that it was possible to dream big and actually achieve what was thought to be impossible, we had an influx of interest from students,” says Natasha Allen, ITC’s Campus Manager Botany.

Claudia McCarthy, who graduated from her Level 4 course in March this year, was quick to jump at this opportunity.

“She is such a bubbly smiley person and, with her long blonde locks, I can see her being Cinderella for a year!” laughs Natasha. “Claudia is an incredibly sweet person who gets along with everyone and always has a positive view on life – this obviously shone through her interview, as she has been accepted to join the wonderful world of Disney.”

Cara Adams graduated in June this year from her Certificate in Travel Level 4. Cara has exceptional academic grades her commitment to her assessments is reflected in her A grade module passes.

Cara’s classmate Celeste was one of the previous successful applicants for Disney World, and Cara decided it would be an amazing chance to experience the “living, earning and learning” programme with her friend. Cara was accepted to the programme within just a few short days of her interview.

“Cara is not one to sit and wait until she jets off to sunny Florida in January,” says Natasha. “She is already working to save up money for her trip, which just goes to show that if you want something, you have to take the risk and go for it.”

Lola Tokelau is currently studying her Level 4 Certificate in Travel, but her journey with ITC began in 2012 when she enrolled in the Level 3 Certificate in Aviation.

“It takes a very special student to apply herself to three courses while working part time in a customer service role,” says Natasha. “ Lola has reached 100% academic achievement in her Level 3 courses and is well on her way to achieving her final qualification with us.”

Natasha says Lola was hesitant about checking her emails for a reply from Disney.

“After urging her to do so she returned with the biggest smile on her beautiful face, her eyes were alight with happiness and disbelief– she had been accepted!”
The Disney College Program is not an easy one to get in to and there are a huge number of applicants each year. Natasha says she is incredibly proud of the six students who have achieved a place on the programme so far.

“They have put themselves out there, taking a risk, striving to be the best and achieving so much in such a short time. Their careers in this amazing industry are just starting, and to have their first taste of it with one of the most recognised tourism brands in the world means that their future is going to be bright.”

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Tips on gaining employment

Posted on 17/07/2013 by


ITC’s Account Manager Ceri Jenkins discusses two of the key barriers to graduates gaining employment in the travel and tourism industry.

“I am often asked at careers events by parents of prospective students, ‘What are the chances of my daughter/son getting a job when they finish the course with ITC?’,” says Ceri. And his reply is always the same: “If you really want a job and work hard with us, you will get a job when you graduate. However, if you sit and wait for the job to come to you, you will be sitting for a long time.”

ITC’s students and graduates have gained something of a reputation for doing what it takes to get the dream career they love. Whether it’s working and studying at the same time, volunteering at local events, or taking part in the many opportunities the college offers students to get onsite experience, most jump at the chance.

And the majority of graduates understand that to land their dream job they need to start on the first rung of the travel and tourism ladder, says Ceri. But often two things stand in their way of even getting to the first rung: lack of customer service experience and no restricted or full drivers’ licence.

For jobs such a flight attending or check-in, says Ceri, two years of customer service experience is usually required.

“This is easily worked on by encouraging students to gain part-time work while studying with us. ITC works hard to create strong industry relationships that see our students regularly working or gaining experience in hotels, backpackers, tour operators, car rental companies, cruise ship check in and local attractions.”

“If a student is doing a six-month course with us, they then only need another 12 – 18 months of work experience to achieve the two-year target. Upon graduation students are also encouraged to focus on customer service roles in any sector of the airline travel and tourism industry. By the time they are 20 or 21 they can have the sufficient experience and maturity that roles such as check-in or flight attending demand.”

Going through the process required to get a restricted or full drivers’ licence is also strongly advised, says Ceri.

“It would be no exaggeration to state that about 25 per cent of the roles we advertise at ITC require students to have at least a restricted licence. Therefore, if you don’t have a licence, you are immediately restricting the number of jobs you can apply for to 75 per cent of those advertised.”

Ceri says jobs that require a licence are wide ranging and include any role at Auckland airport, many accommodation providers and ferry services.

“These are the kind of jobs where you may be working varying hours of the day and night and they may not be close to home. It is simply not feasible to reply on public transport or Mum, Dad or partner to pick you up and drop you off for most of these jobs.”.”

Many travel and tourism jobs also require staff to drive company vehicles, such as car rental operations or even activity-based companies.

“Auckland Bridge and Bungy, for example, prefer to employ staff who can drive the courtesy bus to pick up and drop off customers at hotels, motels and backpackers.”

Ceri acknowledges that there are obstacles with learning to drive, such as the cost of gaining a licence, access to a car or access to a parent with a licence to teach children to drive. But not having a licence can seriously restrict graduates’ employment opportunities.

“So get out there and get some experience and get your licence if you can,” he says. “These are two certain ways to enhance your employability.”

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Taking a risk on a dream – Geraldine Mailei.

Posted on 10/07/2013 by


“My parents were always on my back to complete a degree in something I love,” says ITC Senior tutor at Botany campus Geraldine Mailei.

“I come from a big family, and I was pretty much the only one who hadn’t completed a degree – No pressure!” she laughs.

It wasn’t until she came to ITC that Geraldine realised that she wanted to be a teacher/trainer.

“ITC gave me the opportunity to do my Certificate in Adult Education level 4; this really motivated me to get a degree.”

Geraldine faced a number of obstacles in achieving her dream.

“I didn’t know how I was going to do it,” she says. I was working full time, I had church responsibilities and two other important roles of mother and wife.”

Geraldine attended a seminar by ITC founder and owner Karen Houston and co-owner Gavin Houston. The seminar inspired her to take a risk in order to achieve her dream.

“That is exactly what I did, I took a risk knowing that there would be so many obstacles in the way. I worked 7 to 8 hours a day and studied at night. I also sacrificed other little activities I normally do such as watching TV, shopping, going to the movies with family and friends to achieve my dream.”

Geraldine says she kept the big picture in mind and worked hard to get there.

“Every time I passed a paper,” she says, “ I told myself that I was a step closer to achieving my dream. I also give so much credit to my amazing husband who stood by me, taking over the household chores such as cooking, cleaning, washing, and ironing so that I could use all the time to study.”

Partway through her studies, another huge obstacle presented itself when her father was diagnosed with cancer. But rather than slowing her down, Geraldine says this pushed her even harder to achieve her degree before he passed away.

“Yes, I cried,” she recalls, “and cried some more going through all of these challenges while trying to keep my head above water. But I am forever grateful that I was able to finish and pass everything a week before he passed away.

Geraldine says that her journey to achieve her degree was difficult but it was “worth all the tears, headache, and pain.”

“I am the person I am today because of this journey I took,” she says. “I am forever grateful to my parents, especially my dad, for believing in me enough to continue to push me.

“Martin Luther King said ‘I have a dream’. If you don’t dream, there is no purpose in your life. Everyone is destined to become a somebody in this world, to make a difference. But in order to achieve that, we have to choose which pathway we want and then take a risk. I always tell my students that anything is possible with the right attitude.”

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A Dream Come True for Three ITC Students

Posted on 12/04/2013 by

International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) graduate Michelle Phillips is one of three ITC students to land a fantastic job at Disneyworld.

Michelle graduated from ITC’s City Campus with distinction in March this year. During her studies she was selected for a work experience programme with Renaissance Tours (Cruise Ships). She took on a role as a customer services consultant, which saw her checking in guests for cruises.

“From the beginning she was made of the right stuff,” says Michelle Chatfield (City Campus Manager). “She got involved in all aspects of college life and was always an active and willing participant in class.”

After graduating Michelle saw an advertisement to work at Disneyworld.

“The opportunity to work in the place ‘where dreams come true’ is amazing,” says Michelle.

The application process was not simple, but Michelle got stuck in with her usual can-do attitude, says Michelle Chatfield. And it paid off. Michelle was selected to work for Disneyworld on their cultural exchange programme.

“This is such an amazing opportunity for her and I am so very proud of her!  It shows that hard work, the right attitude and never giving up pays off”, says Michelle Chatfield.

Michelle can’t wait to start her new adventure: “I have the chance to grow, live away from home, make new friends and learn in the workplace. But getting on the plane and saying goodbye to family and friends will be hard.”

She credits ITC with teaching her the skills and practical processes to be able to work in teams, work with customers “and, most importantly, to believe that I can go and do something new and exciting. Disney gives me all these chances. What more could you want?”

Celeste Reid and Soteria Alia from Botany Campus will also be taking on roles at Disneyworld in January 2014.

Celeste will be completing her Level 4 qualification with ITC in June and is over the moon that she was selected for the cultural programme, which will get her career off to an amazing start. Celeste also took part in the work experience programme with Renaissance Tours, welcoming and directing guests from around the world as they docked in Waitamata Harbour on the luxurious Celebrity Cruise Liners.

Celeste is still pinching herself about this amazing opportunity: “It hasn’t really sunk in and I don’t think it will for a while, but I am really looking forward to this new adventure.” Celeste will be celebrating her 21st birthday in Disneyworld and her parents plan to fly up to ensure they celebrate this milestone with her.

“Celeste is someone who has that cheeky, infectious personality – this obviously shone through during her presentation, as she was asked to complete the interview on the same day!” commented Natasha Allen (Botany Campus Manager).

Soteria Alia graduated from our Level 3 Certificate in Travel in March after completing the Certificate in Aviation last year. Soteria is known to be on the quiet side; however, Natasha encouraged her to apply.

“We have a good relationship with the Disney recruiter for Australia and New Zealand, and I knew that they would see past this. They also told me: ‘We don’t mind if they are shy – it all changes after some time with us!’”

Soteria’s home tutor Rachel says that she is lots of fun and eagerly participates in all activities. On a recent famil trip with her class, “she was up for everything and was not afraid to experience new things” says Rachel. “This attitude will definitely help her to jump into this awesome opportunity and will ensure she gets the most out of the Disney experience.”

“I am so excited and proud that we have three students from ITC who were successful in this placement,” says Natasha. “This opportunity will change their lives.  Disneyworld has an amazing cultural work experience programme that is described as “Live, Learn and Earn”. The students will live and work in the happiest place on earth and their learning will be further supported by classes and seminars, so they will get the most out of this experience”.

ITC wishes Michelle Celeste, and Soteria all the very best in their exciting journey.

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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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New cruise line opportunity for ITC students

Posted on 27/11/2012 by

International Travel College of New Zealand has formed a strong new alliance with Renaissance Tours, which will see many of its students gain experience in the cruise ship industry.

Renaissance Tours made contact with ITC’s Account Manager Ceri Jenkins to offer its students the opportunity to fulfill some passenger check in roles for their work with cruise ship company Celebrity Cruise Lines. 

Initially Renaissance Tours was looking for approximately 20 staff and was hopeful ITC could go some way to supplying that number. 

“Through our work with other travel and tourism companies looking for casual staff, I was very confident that we could easily provide more than 30 students for the first round of interviews,” says Ceri.

A job outline was sent to ITC and the college informed all its students throughout both campuses and its distance learning programme of the vacancy.

The level of interest was extremely high, as many students saw the opportunity to gain some valuable work experience and enhance their employability when they graduated. 

ITC provided all interested students with guidance on how to prepare and present themselves for the group interview, with a key focus on making very positive first impressions. 

The students were invited to ITC’s city campus for three-hour group interviews, which included a presentation about the companies involved, role outlines and company expectations. A question and answer session was then followed by a test of the students’ reservation booking skills using the check in training programme. 

“The outcome of the interviews was beyond even our expectation,” says Ceri. “All 32 students were offered employment!”

The feedback from the interviewers was glowing.

 “Your students were the best prepared we have interviewed, they asked a range of insightful questions,” said one.

“There was a very professional feel about the students and the college as a whole”
“The students were very well presented and all had made a very big effort with their standard of dress and presentation in general,” said another interviewer.

“One of the company staff commented that the students were able to present their individual personalities on the day with a number of them being very humorous but professional – just what they were looking for,” says Ceri.

“That is just fantastic feedback. Alongside the hard work, travel and tourism is such a lot of fun, and we really encourage our students to take advantage of the vibrant nature of the industry.”

At the end of the busy day of interviews, the company said: “We are so impressed with the high standard of students we have met today we are very keen to forge a strong relationship between Renaissance Tours and ITC for future cruise ship seasons.”

The students are now looking forward to the start of the busy cruise ship season and ITC looks forward to another strong industry relationship that will benefit its current and future students.


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From Rotorua to Whakahoro – The time of their life

Posted on 20/11/2012 by

A recent ITC famil trip to Rotorua, Taupo and Blue Duck Lodge at Whakahoro made a huge impression on the students.

Many of the students valued the opportunity to visit Tamaki Village and learn more about the Maori way of life, but perhaps none more so than Maori student Neil Wharekoka. Neil was glad of the chance “to show my class how my people lived in the old days – I ended up being the chief of our bus, because I know what to do on the marae. They had the meanest hangi there; it was beautiful,” says Neil.

Like a number of the students, Charlie notes that, despite being from New Zealand, “the places we went to like Rotoroa and Taupo I had never been to before. It was good to see just how beautiful our country really is.”

And the opportunity to socialise and get to know each other was something numerous students commented on.

“I really love my class. They’re awesome!” says Ginalee. “And without them this trip wouldn’t have had so many memories.”

“Our last night in Blue Duck Station was cool; we all sat around the fire just laughing.  It was good to just sit down and talk and get to know everyone,” says Margaret.

The students loved the huge number of exciting activities they were able to take part in from white water rafting, four-wheel driving, and bush walking, to bungy jumping.  A number of students got out of their comfort zones, including student Taima who braved the Agrodome’s Swoop, despite her fear of heights.

And the bigger picture of what it was all about wasn’t lost on the students.

“I learnt so much during this fantastic adventure,” says Tia. “The experience that I gained will help me to grow in the tourism industry. Being able to go out and gain experience at first hand was the greatest feeling. For me it’s what ITC and the tourism industry is all about. It’s about going out of your way to experience things that your client might like to do when they visit New Zealand.”

And Dinah offers some final words of wisdom for other ITC students who haven’t yet been on a famil trip: “Complete your assessments, attend class and you too could experience the time of your life!”



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