3rd-year student, Bachelor of International Tourism Management in Travel Management
She has always been passionate about the tourism industry and its suppliers and customers, says Siobhan Bishop who came to AUT to study a Bachelor of International Tourism Management in Travel Management and will graduate in March 2021.
“At the epicentre of my motivation was my love for people, and the desire to understand how and why different people interact with different places. I was determined to go into the tourism industry after high school, and the Bachelor of International Tourism Management has shown me that the industry has more opportunities than I ever realised. I’d love to work in a destination management role for a regional tourism operator following graduation.”
Siobhan says she would highly recommend AUT’s tourism degree to others.
“AUT is a university built around people; driven by the vision to develop students both inside and outside the classroom. My time at AUT has enabled me to recognise my strengths, weaknesses and areas of opportunity, which has therefore allowed me to understand myself on a deeper level.
“The degree shows students real-life issues related to the tourism industry and gives them a space to use their ideas to create projects of their own. The courses expose students to what is happening now and create opportunities to forecast what will happen in the future. The tourism degree is exciting, fast-paced and based on real-life problems, therefore making it highly simulating and exciting.”
Highlights and achievements
There have been plenty of highlights throughout her studies, Siobhan says.
“For my final semester I was given the unique opportunity to do my Work Integrated Learning course as a simulation, which ignited my passion for the challenging but exciting nature of destination management. I experienced the real-life problems the tourism industry is currently facing during a field trip to Queenstown in the mid-semester break, and these issues became the foundation of my Work Integrated Learning course simulation project.”
She also feels incredibly lucky to have had a number of opportunities and achievements at AUT.
“After my first semester, I was selected to go to on a cultural exchange trip to Hong Kong alongside 17 other students and two lecturers. In my second semester, I was given the opportunity to be the AUT tourism student representative, and at the end of my first year I received the Outstanding First Year Award for the Bachelor of International Tourism Management. In my second year, I became an AUT student ambassador and a peer mentor, and at the end of the year I received the Outstanding Second Year Award for the Bachelor of International Tourism Management.”
Advice for other students
Use your voice and make yourself known to your classmates and lecturers, Siobhan advises other students.
“The relationships you develop with your classmates can offer significant support and make you feel less alone during those challenging times. But the connections you can develop with your lecturers and other staff are invaluable – they’re there to support you, and see you thrive and succeed to the best of your ability. So utilise their knowledge and guidance to your benefit and make this journey at AUT your own.”
There’s plenty of support available to students, she adds.
“The biggest challenge I faced was the transition to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I was worried about losing the personal feel of the classes. Nevertheless, AUT’s lecturers and support services staff eased the impact of this change by focusing on the students and their needs. AUT maintained its strong vales of compassion and understanding by communicating with students and supporting them throughout the pandemic. The lecturers were beyond supportive and considerate as they developed countless opportunities for students to reach out.”