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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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Introducing Amy McPhail

Posted on 20/07/2013 by

Amy
I am so delighted to introduce myself as a new Travel and Tourism Tutor here at ITC.

I began my career in travel just as you are, as a student studying towards a Certificate in Travel, Tourism and Business. This gave me a great foundation to launch my career and introduced me to the wide variety of work available in this exciting industry.

After completing my study I moved to Australia and began my first job in travel working for the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane. My dream of becoming a flight attendant came true when I was hired by Virgin Australia to be part of the crew that would launch Virgin’s new international airline out of Sydney. After four years in Australia I decided it was time to return home and have since worked for a travel wholesaler and as a travel agent.

My favourite part of working in the travel and tourism Industry is, of course, the travel. I have been extremely fortunate to see some amazing destinations through my work including Fiji, Thailand, the United States of America, South Africa, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Working in travel can be extremely rewarding and fun. If you work hard and want to succeed the world truly is your oyster!

I can genuinely say that I have used all of the skills that I learnt through my Certificate in Travel at some point in my career, and that is why I am so thrilled that I will be teaching such a practical and valuable course. As a tutor I hope to be able to inspire in you the same passion for this industry that I have discovered, and I can’t wait to share my knowledge and experiences with you.

I’d like to leave you with one of my favourite travel quotes: The world is like a book and those who do not travel read only a page – Saint Augustine.
I look forward to meeting you all!
Amy McPhail

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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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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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ITC Finalist in Auckland Export Awards

Posted on 29/05/2013 by

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The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has been announced as a finalist in the Auckland Export Awards in the QBE Insurance Exporter of the Year category.

This category is open to businesses with total sales under $25 million and with a minimum of 20 per cent of revenue from exports.

“This recognises our excellence in export education, which is so crucial to New Zealand, and also to our industry,” says ITC’s Marketing Director Claire Huxley.

ITC, which has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996, is well placed to understand the importance of international markets.

“Our industry, by its very nature, requires that we have well-trained people from all over the world here in New Zealand, and also that the graduates we send overseas represent the very best Kiwis have to offer,” says Claire.

ITC has strong industry connections and an excellent reputation both in New Zealand and overseas, which Claire believe has been critical to its success in the awards.

The college’s international students make up around 10 per cent of its student body and have a strong 95 per cent completion rate. International students are given support to become familiar with the New Zealand tourism employment market once they have completed their studies and regularly gain employment in their chosen industry.

“At ITC we really celebrate that, more than ever, travel and tourism is a worldwide concern, and we work hard to make the most of the international aspect of this industry.”

As well as welcoming international students to New Zealand, ITC’s New Zealand graduates regularly gain positions with international air and cruise lines, and on international cultural exchanges, such as Disneyworld’s “Live, Learn and Earn” programme.

The college’s tutors come from numerous places around the globe and have worked all over the world in a wide variety of companies and organisations.

“It’s a real cultural exchange,” says Claire. “There are very few places where people cannot travel these days, and there are so many opportunities for people to gain experience and to work and live within different countries and cultures. It’s fantastic to be able to offer that opportunity to international students. ”

“This is the first year we have entered these awards, and we are absolutely thrilled to be among the finalists. We are proud of our international student success and delighted to be able to contribute to contribute to New Zealand’s education community and its travel and tourism economies.”

The Auckland Export Awards are run by ExportNZ, which is a division of BusinessNZ and, at a regional level, a division of the Employers & Manufacturers Association. For more information see: http://hookedonexport.co.nz/

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