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From ITC short-course to dream job: Read about this graduate’s inspiring journey!

Posted on 10/08/2023 by

After graduating from ITC in Whangarei, Robert Stiff landed an incredible job with Bluebridge.

Robert Stiff was originally a short course student at Kamo High School in Whangarei, but it wasn’t long before he was hooked on tourism and enrolled for the Level 4 Certificate at our Whangarei (North Tec) campus.

Today, he’s working in an incredible job (that doesn’t even feel like a job, according to him), and considering his options for studying for a Level 5 diploma!

We recently caught up with Robert to learn more about his inspiring journey.

What were your goals when you first decided to start studying tourism?

My goals were constantly changing as I learnt all the different types of sectors in the tourism industry such as cruises, hotels, airlines etc. ITC has helped me achieve my main goal, which was to join the cruise/boating industry, leading me to my current job at Bluebridge. 

 Why did you choose to study with ITC?

I chose ITC because of the amazing staff and the great opportunities ITC offered. From work experience to having great supportive teachers that helped when you needed it.

My teacher, Mike pushed me to my limits and helped me achieve everything I wanted while at ITC. I still keep in touch with my tutor as I know that if ever needed help changing my job/career I would always have his support and guidance to help me achieve my goal/goals. 

What do you think ITC does that sets them different from other education providers?

ITC is an affordable and accessible learning provider, They have great prices for all the short and long-term courses. 

I first started with a short course when studying at Kamo High School and this got me hooked as the tutor was approachable and knowledgeable.

My short course tutor (Mel) showed me different perspectives on what tourism had to offer and the great opportunities that were out there.

During high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future and Mel inspired me to pursue this. With the support of Mel & Tracey my tourism teacher I was able to start my full-time study with ITC as soon as possible.

What is your best of your time with us in Whangarei?

My best time was when our class got to go into the real world and join local businesses and bring all of our current studies to life.

Having this knowledge helps me and others understand different processes and procedures.

What is your current job role and what does a typical day at work look like for you?

I currently work for Bluebridge New Zealand Wellington. My typical days vary as this role is constantly changing due to weather and busyness.

I have multiple different positions on Bluebridge from greeting and welcoming passengers, to serving them food and beverages at our bar and cafe.

When our sailing has completed (for example Wellington to Picton) we change/clean the passenger/dog-friendly cabins. This includes making beds/bunks, cleaning showers and toilets, and cleaning all lobby/reception parts on board. Due to joining Bluebridge I have met heaps of different nationalities and cultures and this has been something I have always wanted to do in the tourism sector.

 What are you most excited about for your new career?

I am excited to grow and develop throughout and up through the management chain as being able to support and guide others is my passion I am still new to the company, so I still have heaps of learning and training to do. Once I am all trained I would love to share my knowledge and guidance with others.

I am also really excited to have the training and skills that are viable in international countries and when I am ready to progress I would love to join companies that provide international travel so I can see the world while working in my favourite career.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to study travel and tourism?

My only advice I would give to anyone that is wanting to pursue tourism is to try, and never let anything stop you from pushing. If this is one of your main goals in life, make it happen! 

I currently go to work not feeling like I’m going to work, I feel like I am going to a second family if you can find a business/career pathway that gives you this feeling you are on a great path to having an adventurous life. 

ITC has been an amazing opportunity for me and I am currently looking at furthering myself with my Level 5 diploma so all I can say is thanks ITC!

Start your journey

Not sure what you want from your career? It’s common to not know what options are out there, let alone which one to pick.

ITC provides the knowledge to help you decide which direction you want to go, and the training and qualifications to help you take the first step.  

Learn more about our course options, and get in touch today to find out how ITC can help you work towards your dream job (even if you don’t know what that is yet!). We are enrolling right now for August & November for our Auckland campuses (Auckland City and South Auckland) and for 2024 at our Whangarei Campus. Don’t forget you can Study From Home anytime!

Campus Study – 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or

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