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Meet Keeanu Cookson: From ITC short course, to full-time student, to full-time employment!

Posted on 10/08/2021 by

Keeanu Cookson went from short course student, to full-time ITC student, to landing a role in the industry!

One of the many pathways ITC offers into the travel and tourism industry is through our short courses in high schools all over the country.

These short courses span just one to three days, but they can be the start of a lifetime in the industry.

That’s exactly what happened to Keeanu Cookson, who began with a short course, enrolled to become a full-time student, and quickly landed a full-time job! We spoke to Keeanu, his tutor Daniel, and his boss to learn more about his journey.

Tutor Daniel Maine had nothing but good things to say about his student Keeanu.

“There’s a Maori proverb (whakatauki): “Poipoia te kakano kia puwai” – Nurture the seed and it will blossom.

Keeanu Cookson did just that! He discovered ITC through high school and decided to give some of the short courses ago and see what tourism was all about.

I remember first meeting Keeanu on my short course, and here’s this tall kid from Takapuna Grammar with dread locks, but with a contagious smile. Keeanu came back for more courses and loved everything ITC had to offer. His great persona and fantastic attitude, I knew then he was destined for great things.

He nurtured his knowledge and he certainly grew expanding his passion for tourism. On campus we were very impressed with his display of natural leadership, motivator and engagement to all his peers and tutors.

Today I’m so proud to see him successfully working in a job he loves with AJ Hackett & Bungy at Sky Tower and Auckland Harbour Bridge.”

Of course, we also asked Keeanu about his time at ITC and his current job. Here’s what he had to say:

What made you interested in studying with ITC?

Well I have always loved interacting with people and I’ve never seen myself as a desk job type of person, so tourism was the best choice for me. And if tourism is the best choice for me, why would I not choose the best school?

After I attended a few short courses and meet Daniel and Sarah, I knew the tutors and the environment were going to be amazing to help me develop the skills I needed. 

What was your favourite part of your study journey?

I loved all the connections I made and all the knowledge I collected while I was studying. 

What qualifications did you study at ITC and how did they help you gain employment?

While at ITC I went through level 3, 4 and 5. During level 4 I participated in work experience at the Sky Tower with AJ Hackett Sky Jump and Sky Walk, and I was offered a job and I haven’t looked back since.

Everything I have learnt whilst studying I have applied to my work and has helped me improve in all aspects. 

What is your role at the moment, and how are you enjoying it?

At the moment I am a Sky Walk guide and Bridge guide plus much more. It is an amazing job where I get to interact and push people outside their comfort zones each and every day. 

Do you have any advice for anyone considering studying at ITC?

Sign up, you won’t regret it.

A few words from Keeanu’s employer at AJ Hackett Bungy

“Keeanu initially joined us at AJ Hackett Bungy for work experience and he was awesome. He used his ITC learnings to help us during that first week and naturally connected with our customers, crew and Bungy culture. We couldn’t wait to offer him a position in our team. He accepted and was even able to finish his study with ITC while he worked with us. Since then, Keeanu has become one of our most outstanding crew members and continues to excel every day – the sky is the limit for him. Literally.” – Priel Paniora


Have you completed an ITC short course? If so, it’s time to take the next step like Keeanu did and enrol to become a full-time student! We’re currently taking enrolments for 2022, so get in touch today to enrol and continue your journey into an exciting career in travel and tourism.

Campus Study – 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or

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