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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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Giving it a shot – ITC’s Short Course Competition

Posted on 17/08/2013 by

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The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has recently had such an abundance of talented and passionate students attending its short courses that the college decided to give them an opportunity to get creative and show what they are made of, says ITC’s Short Course Tutor Mel Verwijmeren.

Named “Be in to win”, the competition was open to past and present short course students. Entrants were asked to create a video blog to showcase their experience at ITC, with a focus on what the course did for them personally and how it influenced them in making decisions about their future.

“We had 13 amazing entries from a variety of secondary schools,” says Mel. “It was a tough decision to make, but the top three students were chosen for their creativity, attitude, and determination along with the excellent content they submitted.”

The three major prizewinners took away a bungy and full bridge Climb with Auckland Bridge Climb and a bungy and jet boat experience with Auckland Adventure Jet Boat.

The other 10 students who entered did not walk away empty handed, either, says Mel. “It took a lot of courage and determination to enter this competition, so we awarded these students a small gift pack to congratulate them on showing they can achieve anything if they just put their mind to it.”

“Sometimes it’s as easy as putting yourself out there and giving things a shot, regardless of the outcome or whether you take away the ‘big’ prize,” says Mel. “For the entrants, the satisfaction of completing something and taking charge of their future was a prize in itself, and as all our students know, this attitude is highly sought after in the travel and tourism industry.”

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ITC training opens industry doors

Posted on 09/08/2013 by

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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

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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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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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Taking a risk on a dream – Geraldine Mailei.

Posted on 10/07/2013 by

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“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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10 great years at ITC

Posted on 03/04/2013 by

Two of ITC’s staff members recently reached their 10-year anniversary with the college. Both Justine Glackin and Steve Burke received a certificate and a trip to the value of $10,000 to thank them for their hard work and dedication to ITC.

Justine initially worked in ITC’s student services when she returned to New Zealand after six years of overseas travel. After two years at the college she took some time off for maternity leave.

“When I wanted to return to work part time in April 2006, Karen [then ITC’s Managing Director] was kind enough to offer me about 16 hours a week working from home helping with the accounts,” says Justine. “I went on maternity leave again in 2007 and came back in 2008 – once again working from home.”  

Justine says that flexibility has been “one of the amazing things about working for ITC; and even though I don’t go into the office all that often I still feel part of the team.”

Justine is now in charge of the college’s accounts. She has a great eye for detail and a motivated, positive attitude, says Managing Director Kerry Priestley.

“Justine has a fantastic sense of humour; she’s a good team player and is just great to work with.”

For her part Justine says she is extremely grateful that the college has allowed her role to change and develop over time with the changes in her life.

“I feel really lucky and privileged to be able to do this, as not only have I been able to keep my foot in the door work-wise, but I have also been able to be a stay-at-home mum. Not a bad deal I think!”

ITC Travel Tutor, Steve Burke, worked with Kerry Priestley in the travel industry (“Many years ago!” says Kerry). His background is mainly in airlines and his experience makes him extremely knowledgeable about airlines and airfares.

But his area of specialty is IATA – the International Air Transport Association’s certification programmes. ITC is an IATA Authorized Training Center (ATC), which allows it to teach the IATA Travel and Tourism and Aviation training programmes.

“It is because of Steve’s commitment and his knowledge of IATA that we have twice had students awarded IATA student of the year and the college was named an IATA 2011 Asia Pacific Top 10 Authorized Training Center,” says Kerry.

 And Steve’s commitment to the college goes above and beyond the call of duty.

“He is always willing to get involved in events, get dressed up and make a fool of himself,” laughs Kerry. “His next costume will be the Easter Bunny and I believe he will be distributing eggs around the college.”

“He really represents the college’s belief that learning should be fun and that this is a really fun industry to be in. You work hard and you live it 24/7, but if you get involved 100 per cent like Steve does the rewards are fantastic.”

What has kept Steve at the college for the past 10 years, he says, “is the great friendly atmosphere that is evident throughout the staff and students. The tutorial staff works well together, and are always willing to help out.”

Steve says that the generous travel package to celebrate his ten years with the college was a huge surprise.

 “I am still trying to figure out my dream trip!”

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