3rd-year student, Bachelor of International Hospitality Management in Accommodation
AUT’s hospitality degree touches on so many aspects of the hospitality industry, says Wanting Huang who came to AUT as an international student from China to study a Bachelor of International Hospitality Management in Accommodation.
“I enjoyed everything about this degree, from the courses about leadership to event planning, finance, tourism, business or hotel management. The courses were all very interesting!
“I’ve enjoyed completing the assignments and felt a sense of accomplishment when getting good grades. AUT has an excellent reputation both in New Zealand and internationally, and I believe by studying here I can gain more knowledge and skills and develop myself at the same time.”
With graduation just around the corner, Wanting already has a good idea what the future will hold.
“I intend to continue studying for a master's degree in business while working part-time in the hospitality industry. Industry experience is very important in the hospitality industry, so I feel combining further study with work experience is the best way for me to become competitive for my future career.”
Learning online from China
As much as she has enjoyed her degree, the global pandemic added some complexities in the second half of her studies.
“Due to COVID-19, I couldn't go back to New Zealand for my second and third year, and have been taking online classes for my degree. At first, I was very flustered because I had never done an online class before. I was also disappointed because I had really enjoyed the atmosphere of the AUT campus. However, with help from AUT, I began to master online courses. I also found that the study atmosphere and teamwork is still very strong in online learning.”
Based in China for her last two years, Wanting also completed her final-year workplace experience there and enjoyed interning for the Sheraton Shantou Hotel.
“At first, I worked at the front desk of the hotel, but after a month I was promoted to be the assistant of the hotel owner's representative. In that role, I was mainly responsible for the management and application of hotel licenses, and communication with the owners.
“At first, I struggled a little as I had no experience working for a hotel but I felt very happy when I saw the customers’ smiles or received a thank you. When I was promoted, I felt even more fulfilled in this role.”
Advice for other students
If you want to do well, spend more time and energy on researching and completing your assignments, Wanting advises other students.
“It's very important to not postpone your assignment until it’s due. You can start looking at related materials after the task is released, so that you have a clearer idea when you start writing. Then you can divide it into different parts according to the requirements and write one part every day, which will reduce the pressure and improve the quality. If you encounter any problems, you should communicate with your tutor as that will make you progress faster.”
She also has some specific advice about the hospitality industry.
“In terms of work, remember that your career success will come step by step. Don't be discouraged – you will soon find that customer satisfaction and happiness can bring you infinite satisfaction as well, and every promotion you receive will make you proud.”
*The Accommodation major has been replaced by the new Hospitality and Society, Hospitality Enterprise and Hospitality Management majors.