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Get to know tutor, and brand new Employment Consultant, Kirsten Leith

Posted on 26/04/2023 by

We’re excited to have Kirsten move into an Employment Consultant role!

It’s been a whirlwind of new hires this year, and our latest addition to the team is every bit as exciting – but not exactly new.

Because Kirsten Leith is no stranger to ITC.

Kirsten has been a full-time tutor and Course Advisor for our Botany Campus, and now we are lucky to have her in the role as our Botany Employment Consultant. Her incredible expertise in the industry will prepare any graduate for an exciting career in our tourism or airline industry.

Not only that, but she also is our wonderful Business of Tourism Academy tutor for our South Auckland Academy. She will be delivering the 30 days over the year to our wonderful high school students from a variety of South Auckland schools.

We reached out to Kirsten to hear all about her story to date. 

What does your travel career look like so far?

I was fortunate to travel a lot with my family when I was growing up, and when I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. A friend gave me a prospectus for a polytech and I remember reading through all the courses they offered and they all seemed so academic – until I saw the travel and tourism one.

I loved the description of the course and knew it would be great for me. During my studies I worked in a 5 Star hotel and did work experience as a domestic check-in agent at the airport which I loved!

When I graduated, I landed an awesome job working as a travel coordinator for a student exchange programme. I worked with high school students sending them on international exchanges, mostly to Japan. I got to travel there twice for my job which was such a great opportunity. I learnt a huge amount about Japanese culture.

My next role was working for a travel company who specialised in educational travel, the likes of group trips overseas for languages, geography, music and sports. In this role I got to escort a French class to New Caledonia! All this experience meant working with high school students, and teachers, something which set me up well for becoming a tutor at ITC. I loved sharing my industry knowledge with students and having fun in the classroom.

How are you looking forward to your new roles at ITC?

Over the years I’ve had lots of involvement in job placement, so it’s exciting to be back doing this again. I look forward to helping students find their dream job in our fabulous industry.

It’s also really exciting to be teaching the Business Academy students. This is such a great course for high school students who love to travel. It exposes them to all aspects of the industry which means all the different jobs they can do, and it’s fun to see them learn about them and keep changing their minds about which role they want to do. One week they want to be a flight attendant, next week a tour guide!

What is the most important skill for the tourism industry right now?

I think the most important skills to have in the tourism industry are great communication and people skills. Dealing with travellers is so much fun, and as industry workers we represent our amazing country and we can hugely influence a visitor’s experience by the interaction we have with them. If you love people and travelling, then this is definitely the industry for you.

What should students know about entering the industry right now?

Now is the absolute best time to get into the industry as it rebuilds after the pandemic. Employers are desperate for good, hard working staff. Pay rates are good and industry benefits mean you get to experience lots of activities yourself.

If this is your dream, get a qualification, and take any opportunity that comes your way (work experience, volunteer opportunities etc), get your driver’s license and be prepared to work hard when you get your first industry job to prove how awesome you can be! 

Earn that qualification at ITC or Study From Home

Like so many in the industry, Kirsten suggests that students earn a qualification to help them get a foot in the door (and to be a step ahead of their peers!).

ITC and Study From Home offer industry-recognised qualifications, and are well known amongst New Zealand and international providers for our excellent reputation for skilled, knowledgeable graduates.

If you’re dreaming of a career in the travel and tourism industry, and want to find your way there with our wonderful team like Kirsten, get in touch to find out about our courses and how you can enrol today.

Campus Study – college@itc.co.nz 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.itc.co.nz/contact-us/

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