3rd-year student, Bachelor of International Hospitality Management in Human Resource Management and Tourism
Studying hospitality was the perfect fit for her, says Nicole Camacho who will graduate with a Bachelor of International Hospitality Management in March 2021.
“I’ve always known that I’m a people-oriented person at heart. I initially thought that university study options are mainly limited to basic maths, business and sciences degrees, but my interest peaked after seeing AUT’s hospitality degree. I knew that I’d be able to enjoy this subject matter, especially as travel and its many different aspects is a passion in my family.”
Nicole wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s hospitality degree to other students.
“This degree has enabled me to study many interesting and industry-specific subjects, including courses on tourist behaviour, leadership principles, transportation operations, management and human behaviour. Having this fascinating variety as well as AUT’s famous practicality has kept me constantly motivated to study. I knew that what I was learning is applicable and relevant to what I want my career to look like in the future.”
The best years of her life
Her high school teachers were right when they said that her time at university would be the best years of her life, says Nicole who has received an Academic Excellence Scholarship as well as a Significant Student Scholarship to support her studies.
“At AUT, I got to experience youthful independence, have full control of my studies, learn about topics I’m interested in and make meaningful, lifelong friendships. Throughout my studies, I wasn’t just developing myself academically, but also personally, and I liked the way AUT facilitated and nurtured such a transition.
“I’ve always known that I would thrive in an environment that is smaller but also so tightly-knitted that the community and belonging it provided nurtured and supported my learning journey. My two standout highlights of my time at AUT would be the friendships I made with people I deeply connected with, and the many lecturers who were professionally knowledgeable but also incredibly kind, fun and understanding.”
In addition to her studies, Nicole has already put her hospitality skills to good use through her role as a food and beverage attendant at Castaways Restaurant & Bar and through her holiday host experience at Air New Zealand. However, her ultimate goal is to work at the managerial level of the tourism industry.
“I’d love to have a career as a business development manager, or a learning and development manager. My educational success has also led me to believe that I may have a future in academia, so my options have extended into roles like lecturer or professor. As a first step, I’m returning to AUT next year to study a Master of Business, and I’m planning to apply for teaching assistant or peer mentoring roles at AUT during my postgraduate study. I’m looking forward to my future.”
Advice for other students
Nicole’s advice for other students is simple: don’t forget that you’re not alone.
“One of the many things I love about AUT is that there are so many support services, and that the lecturers are very understanding when they know that a student is struggling. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these people because supporting your learning journey is their priority, and having that kind of backing goes a long way towards achieving your academic goals.”
Take advantage of every opportunity you can, she adds.
“AUT provides a wide range of useful workshops, resources, events, social gatherings, scholarships, awards and more. For me, things like the career fairs, Employability Lab services and completing the AUT Edge Award were the most beneficial opportunities I could have ever asked for.
“I also gained rare and valuable first-hand experiences by doing my AUT Edge Award volunteering hours with organisations like St John’s, Sunday Blessings and the Cancer Society. It was empowering to know that I was giving my time back to my community.”
*The Human Resource Management and Tourism majors have been replaced by the new Hospitality Enterprise and Hospitality Management majors.