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16.10.20 | ICHM News

Mayo Ishibashi: Sharing happiness with people I meet from all over the world. . .

Country: Japan

Degree: Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management)

From Tokyo, Japan Mayo says she has always enjoyed being a part of the hospitality industry because it’s where she can develop and express herself more fully through meeting people from all over the world.

‘I am learning about diverse cultures and importantly sharing happiness and valuable time with guests and team members’, she says.

And her Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placements provided by ICHM at Strahan Village Hotel in Tasmania and Matakauri Lodge in New Zealand have enabled her to do just that.

Mayo, who was an I-PASS Leader at ICHM, started her Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) in 2018 with ICHM and will graduate in September this year. 

Read our interview to find out more.

How did you develop your passion for hospitality?

I have amazing people in my life, and seeing smiling faces around me makes me extremely happy. I realised early that I wanted to be the one responsible for such happiness and help create memorable memories and/or moments. I can do that in this industry. I have also, personally, had the opportunity to get to know different cultures, explore new places and experience different activities. The industry is full of excitement for me and I love it! Of course, it can sometimes be tough (like now with COVID-19) but in the long run, people will definitely come back to travel again and I know that I can grow as a person in this lively environment. 

How did you find out about ICHM?

In 2016 I was a university student studying business in Japan with no clear direction about the kind of business in which I wanted to get involved in the future. However, I did know that I wanted to be able to work internationally and accordingly I decided to come to Adelaide to learn English through playing my favourite sport, lacrosse. I made lots friends from all over the world, which stimulated my perspective generally. It eventually led me to thinking that I wanted to earn my degree in an international environment, and I began searching for the best place to fulfill this ambition. One day, a studying abroad agent I knew told me about ICHM and I instantly felt, ‘This is it’!

How have you benefited by studying at ICHM?

Apart from management theory and practice, I was encouraged to develop a range of essential life skills, such as time management, assertiveness, emotional intelligence, self-control and resilience.

Why did you choose to study at ICHM?

Firstly, ICHM has such practical education system, especially through the 6 months WIL placements each year. Not being a native English speaker, they provided great opportunities to actually work in hotels in Australia and gain work experience while also studying. Secondly, I also thought I would be able to meet lots of professional hoteliers and build my networks while at ICHM, which I think is very important to both starting and growing a career in this industry.

Career Week and the WIL opportunities allowed me to connect with amazing professionals over the past three years. ICHM is also a small-scaled university compared to others, so I was able to have crucial conversations with lecturers daily and get constant support and advice. I strongly believed that I would develop my passion and skills in this environment; that’s why I chose ICHM.  

What have you enjoyed most about studying and living in Adelaide, Australia?

I will be honest - Adelaide could possibly be the best place for a student. I also met lots of lovely people who I still talk to wherever we are and share each other’s recent updates! Adelaide had everything I needed especially beautiful beaches that helped me relax while juggling lots of assignments. Also, there are so many great vineyards in South Australia. I loved having a glass of wine or two with my friends after submitting assignments!   

Has COVID-19 had an impact on your study and or work?

Yes unfortunately it has. I was on my last placement in New Zealand and my initial plan was to return to Australia and continue my career once I had graduated. Due to the border closures, I had to change my plans at the very last minute. However, it ended up giving me the opportunity to spend time with my family back home for the first time in ages and work at the Ritz Carlton Nikko! However, I would love to come back to Australia when COVID-19 is under control; in the meantime I am doing my best doing what I do

What did you gain specifically from your WIL placements at Strahan Village (RACT) and Matakauri Lodge?

I wanted to see what it was like to work in different departments and the 3 different WIL placements allowed me to experience Food and Beverage, Housekeeping and Front Office. I believe that through this approach I developed a deeper understanding of hotel operations.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of studying at ICHM?

If you are strongly driven to be a professional global hotelier, ICHM is right place to be! You will be able to make lots of friends not only from Australia but also from all over the world, and share in your passion and motivation while studying and also after graduating. Although you will have to study hard, get lots assignments done, and work diligently on your placements, you will always be supported to make the most of your ability.