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“An Excellent Match” – ITC’s new partnership with Sterling Business College

Posted on 28/11/2013 by

 

The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has forged a partnership with Sterling Business College in Perth, Western Australia. The partnership will see students pathway from Sterling’s Level II – IV certificates to higher study at ITC.

“We are thrilled to be working with Sterling Business College,” says ITC Marketing Director Claire Huxley. “They offer one of Australia’s best travel and tourism programmes, and we have a lot in common in terms of the aims we have for our students.”

Sterling’s Principal Janelle Dawson agrees: “This partnership is an excellent match, as both colleges provide quality training and have great student outcomes.”

Both ITC and Sterling pride themselves on their personal investment in each student.

“People know each other at ITC,” says Claire. “Students study and work closely with each other, and the tutors know each of the students and what their dreams are. It’s a very personalised approach. Sterling has the same philosophy of working with each of the students to help them realise their goals.”

Both colleges encourage international students and Claire sees the possibility for ITC students to also spend time at Sterling.

“This partnership opens the door to opportunities for ITC students in Western Australia. This industry is all about making connections across the globe and we are thrilled to have made this connection with Sterling Business College.”

Janelle also sees the positive impact this will have on her students.

“We are delighted to extend this great opportunity to our students to be able to further their studies in travel and tourism in New Zealand. They now have the opportunity to travel, study and live in two different countries. What could be better for a tourism student?”

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A Tahitian Welcome

Posted on 16/10/2013 by

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Lesley Brough, ITC’s International Marketing Manager, went to Papeete in September on a work trip with Christine Lynch from NZIE. She shares some of her memorable moments.

Tahiti knows how to welcome people like no place else! As we arrived from our Air Tahiti Nui flight, we were treated to Tahitian singing and dancing. There was an even better surprise outside, with one of our wonderful International Travel College (ITC) graduates Christelle Ho and Ariitea waiting for me with a lovely frangipani flower lei. Now that’s a nice welcome!   ITC has three graduates who currently live in Tahiti, and I was lucky enough to catch up with them all. Tiffany Harry, now working at Easy Tahiti travel agency in Papeete, was a superb tour guide on our day off. Together we caught the ferry, which in just 35 minutes took us to beautiful Moorea, where Tiffany’s sister Vaima met us.  Vaima, her husband Patrick, and nephew Rahiti had planned a wonderful day for us, which included taking the family boat out.   This was to become one of my most memorable days ever! The outer reef shelters a lot of the coast of Moorea, and the water is incredibly calm, clear and a gorgeous aqua colour. Patrick drove the boat along the coast past over-water bungalow resorts (the likes of which I had only seen in magazines before) until we arrived at a very special spot. Here we had the opportunity to swim with blacktip reef sharks and stingrays. The water was chest high and while the sharks got close, they were still about a metre away (and thankfully harmless!). The stingrays were also harmless but incredibly friendly. They swam right up to us and swept across our arms, legs and even our chest. Did you know that they eat not only through their mouth, but also through two holes at the top of their heads? That was pretty neat to watch and to feel their soft, spongy bodies.   From here we journeyed to an island for a picnic, where the picnic table and chairs were put straight into the metre-deep water on a sand bank. Now this was fun!  Vaima had packed a beautiful lunch for us all, which included lots of fresh fish in coconut milk and other Tahitian dishes. We were very spoilt. After lunch I snorkelled with the numerous tropical fish.   As we were heading back to the house on the boat, we came across two humpback whales (a mother and baby) in the harbour. Apparently no one had seen whales inside the reef for many years, so it was quite amazing. With the words “You only live once!” Tiffany jumped in to swim with them. Patrick and I agreed and jumped in too. The water was very deep here (between 50 to 100 feet deep). It was scary, but this was definitely something I didn’t want to miss out on. These whales were HUGE! We could only see a small part of their bodies from the boat, so looking at them in the water with goggles was amazing.

To finish of this amazing day Patrick took us for a 4WD experience up the back of their property to view their pineapple plantation.

On another day I was able to visit Christelle at her work at Deep Nature Spa located at the Intercontinental Hotel. The spa was stunning and the hotel has its very own seawater lagoon that guests can swim in with the tropical fish.

One evening Christelle and I met with another ITC graduate, Alexandra Lion. We had a special night that included dinner at Christelle’s family roulotte (food truck) and ate her mother’s famous mahi mahi grilled fish.   It was a lovely surprise to be invited out to dinner by the parents of Mani, one of our current students. Daniel, Mahinateata and I had a lovely meal at The Royal Tahitian Hotel and we spotted the Brazilian beach soccer team who were staying there for the FIFA world beach soccer tournament. The opening night of the tournament was a great spectacle that included shutting down the main road, four stages of live music and a huge firework show. Papeete was the place to be on that night!   On our last day in Tahiti we went to a half-day student fair and spent the afternoon being driven around Tahiti (which takes 2-3 hours) by the lovely Poe Bessert and her wonderful mother LANI.

We saw the only white sand beach in Tahiti (all the others have black sand), fern grottos, waterfalls, a blowhole and the beautiful east coast. On the way we also met up with Danilo and Cecile who gave us each a stunning handmade poster of French Polynesia, drawn by Danilo. The drive ended at sunset at the spot where James Cook landed at Tahiti.   When it was time to say leave it was wonderful to have Christelle, Ariitea and Alex all come to the airport to say goodbye and give me a shell necklace (a tradition in Tahiti when someone leaves).

I would love to say a big thank you to Christelle, Ariitea, Tiffany, Alex, Vaima, Patrick, Rahiti, Poe, LANI, Mary, Daniel, Mahinateata, Danilo and Cecile; and of course to Christine and Chris (my fellow travel buddies). Tahiti was a stunning place to visit and you all made my trip truly amazing.

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Students and employers meet at ITC Botany

Posted on 09/10/2013 by

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ITC’s Botany Campus held its industry expo on 3 September. As always the campus and students were looking immaculate.

Another excellent group of speakers , with guests from American Express Travel, AVSEC, Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy, Explore NZ, Harvey World Travel and Intercity.

Each presenter was assigned two students to help them set up and to keep a steady stream of tea and coffee flowing. As many excited students had arrived early, a number of presenters had to walk through the crowd by the entrance to the college, with one commenting that it was like being a film star on the red carpet!

The students were very impressed with each of the presentations, but the array of prohibited items confiscated by AVSEC at the airport caused the most interest – it is amazing to see what people think they can legitimately bring through security at our airports!  The goodies from American Express were also a big hit, especially the flasks.

Employers certainly view the ITC expo as a recruitment tool and are always on the lookout for their next super star. The presenters discussed the students, particularly those who asked questions throughout the presentations – those students did their employment chances no harm at all. Every year there are a number of students at each campus who gain part-time or full-time employment due to first the impression they make in the presenters during the expo.

The day finished with staff and presenters sharing a well-earned lunch, which allows ITC staff to interact with the industry representatives in an informal setting with a lot of information gathering and sharing on both sides.

The students got a great deal out of the day and their feedback was overwhelming positive:

“Helped by explaining different options that I hadn’t thought about before.”

“The day helped me to broaden my career thoughts and expand my knowledge on companies that I never would have though of as a career choice.”

“Gave me options to think about. Positive thoughts gained.”

“Made me realise there is more to life than flight attending.”

“Described the things we needed to have to be able to apply for their jobs.”

“Presenter spoke clearly and had valuable info about the company.”

“Very organised, was a good speaker and the content was interesting.”

“Explained more about what we should know about the job and also the qualification and requirements that they needed.”

“They made me want to apply for their job, presented it well.”

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ITC Students meet the Industry!

Posted on 19/09/2013 by

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ITC’s City Campus held its industry expo on 27 August.

Presenters from seven companies came to speak to the students and we are very grateful to AVSEC, American Express Travel, Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy, Eco Zip, Intercity, Renaissance Tours, and Stray for their presentations.

The expo had a professional feel, as ITC wanted the students to experience a real industry event. The presenters had banners and posters promoting their businesses and the students all arrived looking very professional.

The students were organised into seven groups and each presenter gave a 20-minute presentation to each of the groups throughout the morning.

The main purpose of each presentation was to enlighten our students about the company, the sector of travel and tourism in which the company specialises, the speaker’s story of how they got to where they are today and some useful recruitment information. The presenters do amazingly well to fit all this into 20 minutes!

Most of the presenters brought an ITC graduate who is now working with them. This gave the current students are real sense that the careers they were discussing were achievable, as the students could identify with the graduate as someone like themselves.

The day went without a hitch, with students moving quickly between sessions and quiet reigning over the whole college during the presentations.

The expo was also open to our Distance Learning students and it was great to see a number of them there on the day, with one even organising her own work experience with one of the presenters.

The day went extremely well with extremely positive feedback from students:

“They were very informative and I enjoyed the vibe in the room while they were presenting.”

“He was passionate, had great knowledge and sold it as a fun way to work or experience.”

“He was very outgoing and easy to understand, he was funny and had good body language, which gave us a good impression.”

“She was really passionate about her job and shared her experiences with us.”

“They were lively, and made the audience participate in their presentation to help remember their information.”

”Made me think that anything is possible and there is so much you can put into travel and tourism.”

“Opened my eyes to many career paths.”

“Eco-tourism is a new product that has just come into the tourism industry and it really sparked my interest to start a career.”

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The Top 8 Qualities of an Awesome ITC Student

Posted on 22/08/2013 by

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We have so many great students; we thought we’d ask our tutors what makes a truly awesome one. (Read carefully – remember they’re the ones who mark your assignments!)

1. PUNCTUAL We know it’s early, we know you haven’t had your coffee yet, we know you just had that one last thing you had to tell your friend before you came in… But an awesome ITC student arrives on time, and even 5 minutes early if possible! It shows respect for your classmates, your tutors and your own studies and future career.

2. POLITE We pride ourselves on being like a family at ITC, but that doesn’t mean you should treat the other students or tutors like you treat your little brother or sister! Be polite, smile, say “hi”. A good mood is like a cold in that it’s incredibly infectious (but in a good way). Try spreading the joy today!

3. PREPARED You wouldn’t go to stay at a friend’s place without bringing your toothbrush, would you? Part of coming to ITC each day is thinking ahead and making sure you have what you need. Bring your own stationery, bring your own lunch or lunch money; heck, bring your own toothbrush if you want!

4. WELL-PRESENTED We’re not saying you have to look like a super model – that’s what the tutors are here for – but you should look like you take yourself and your studies seriously. If you don’t, no one else will either.

5. HARDWORKING (AND PLAYING) This is truly and honestly one of those times in your life where you get out what you put in. We know, we know, it’s a cliché and your parents are always saying it… but this time it’s true! The more you throw yourself into your studies and take advantage of the opportunities ITC offers you, the better you will understand how you work best, what kind of job you want and how you can get there.

And don’t forget to play hard too – ITC’s calendar is jam-packed with activities for students to take part in, like sports days, beach picnics, Mid-winter Carnival, Global Wednesday, Valentine’s week, St Patricks Day, the Easter Bonnet parade, and student Trivial Pursuit challenges! They’re a great way to meet some new folk, have a huge amount of fun and explore your creativity. (CLAIRE YOU MIGHT WANT TO PUT A LINK HERE TO THE EVENTS SCHEDULES?)

6. CONSISTENT You don’t have to be a robot (although it would be cool if you were!), but consistently turning up to class and turning in your assignments on time and to a high standard recommend you as a student and a potential employee. Also, if you always turn in high quality assignments on time, your tutors are much more likely to be sympathetic if you genuinely need us to cut you some slack at some stage.

7. PATIENT We do enjoy reading your assignments (no, really!), but we are only human, so please do be patient with us if we haven’t got them back to you yet. We know that our students put a lot of work into their assignments and we believe they deserve our full considered attention when it comes to marking them – and that takes time.

8. PROFESSIONAL This might seem like a funny word to use to describe a student, but at ITC we are pretty serious about preparing you for a real job in the real world. We spend a great deal of time and energy working out how we can best help you achieve your dreams – but in the end it’s up to you. Treat your studies as a real opportunity to start your professional career in the airline, travel and tourism industries and you will be amazed at how far you can go!

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Three More ITC Students Experience the Disney World Dream!

Posted on 24/07/2013 by

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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

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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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