Malia Siufanga

Malia Siufanga

3rd-year student, Bachelor of International Hospitality Management in Hospitality Management

Hospitality has always been her passion, says Malia Siufanga who is studying a Bachelor of International Hospitality Management in Hospitality Management.

“My passion is being of service to others and I thrive in knowing I played a part in making someone's day. I had been working in hospitality and events for a while, but when COVID-19 hit there was no work in the sector. That was the push that made me decide to study for a degree in international hospitality management.

“I was curious to learn more about what hospitality entails apart from being of service, and pursuing hospitality management opened up a whole world of what makes a place of hospitality welcoming and feel like home. I’d definitely recommend this programme. As the years of change due to advancements and artificial intelligence approach, this degree cover skills that are harder for robots to attain. If you’re someone who loves being of service, this degree is the greatest step to take towards being a part of making someone’s day memorable.”

Expecting to complete her studies later this year, Malia already has a good idea how she sees her future.

“When I graduate I’d love to be in the hotel industry, as it offers a lot of opportunities to work in different departments and grow your career, from food and beverage to human resources to marketing.”

Choosing AUT
Deciding to come to AUT for her studies was easy, Malia says.

“I chose AUT as it offered what I was looking for to achieve my goal for a degree in hospitality management. I appreciate that they’ve accommodated me when I needed to bring my son into class and have created a family community that encourages you and will do its best to help you with your academic journey.”

She has thoroughly enjoyed her time at AUT.

“I’ve enjoyed that it’s not only the theory but includes more hands-on and practical classes where we put to action what we’ve learnt in the lectures and tutorials. For example, we applied our skills by working in AUT’s Four Seasons restaurant where making mistakes was seen as a good thing as we can learn from those mistakes and build our confidence to prepare for the real world.

“I’ve also enjoyed knowing that at AUT there is a place for everyone. Everyone belongs! The different events on campus and all the clubs create a welcoming atmosphere that you enjoy and take pride in saying you’re part of the AUT whānau.”

Advice for other students
Never give up, Malia advises other students.

“Success is not the end goal –  it’s just the beginning; overcoming the barriers is victory in itself. Keep going, everyone is cheering for you.”

There is plenty of support if you need it, she adds.

“If you feel stuck, be confident that there are a whole lot of people at AUT to help you with anything. The lecturers and support staff are there to help you get unstuck.”