The Industry Placement process begins early in the on-campus academic semester. Students are required to list their destination preference on an industry placement request form, prepare their resume and meet with the Industry Career & Development (ICD) Managers. ICHM’s ICD Managers research the available positions at suitable hotels and related organisations.
If a student meets a property’s requirements, the ICD Managers formally apply on their behalf. From here the selection requirements will vary across hotels; some will require face-to-face or telephone interviews with the hotels having the final decision on employment.
Students are required to undertake one industry placement in Food and Beverage and one in an area other than Food and Beverage. This follows the Swiss Hotel Association’s philosophy that it is important to learn the industry from the ground up and the belief that a good hotel manager has a broad understanding of core hotel operations through multi-skilling. As a result, most industry placement positions are entry level, allowing students to learn as much as possible about the “why” and “how” of hotel operations.
Students are also expected to observe, understand, question and analyse all aspects of the hotel from their insider vantage point. By applying lateral thinking and course knowledge, students should also identify and prepare strategies for operational improvements.
Some hotels will rotate students through a variety of positions, while others prefer students to remain within one department.
Not all students will be placed in 5-star international hotels. International standard, full service hotels, boutique hotels, resorts, wineries and various other hospitality operations are selected for their extremely valuable undergraduate training.
ICHM aims to find industry placements for all students in positions deemed suitable to fulfil the requirements of the course.
ICHM works with a large network of hotels around the world to place students, though most students choose to undertake at least one industry placement in Australia.
Students may be required to speak the language of their requested country. Where an industry placement is a student’s first real job, it is recommended that they choose to stay in Australia or their home country so assistance from ICHM or their family is nearby if required.
ICHM encourages students to keep their career goals in mind when choosing locations. International work experience is valued by employers. Some countries may require visas for entry. Students are responsible for organising their own visas.
There are limits to the number of students we can place in some properties and locations, so sometimes the student’s first choice cannot be accommodated.
Earnings & Expenses
As a rule, ICHM places students in paid positions. Wage rates will vary from country to country. As a guide, for each industry placement semester students complete in Australia, in previous years they have typically earned between A$12,000 and A$18,000 per placement. Students may have opportunities to work extra shifts to earn more. However the student must account for tax, accommodation including bond, transport, meals and entertainment as well as travel to and from the industry placement location. Thus the student could clear A$3,000 to A$5,000 per placement semester.
Some hotels will provide accommodation, particularly in remote locations, however in most cases students will need to arrange their own accommodation. While it is ICHM’s preferred policy to place students in paid positions, from time to time students request to be placed in countries which do not pay “trainee” employees. Students considering specific industry placement offers will have ample opportunity to assess the conditions and expected earnings before accepting the offer.
Each student is required to satisfactorily complete a minimum of 1500 hours of undergraduate industry placement.
Some students can achieve this in two 20 to 24 week industry placement semesters, while others undertake a third, or fourth placement or Work Based Project.
Unless undertaking language study, the additional industry placements or Research Project is popular with students as a gateway to a career.
The ICD Team keeps in touch with students by phone and email. Newsletters are also regularly sent to students. Most students in Australia are visited by their ICD Manager, and at times overseas where possible.
Employers are required to assess students across a variety of performance measures whilst on industry placement. Students often obtain references from their supervisors or managers and must also complete an industry placement report for assessment by the ICD Managers.
This in-depth report covers an analysis of the hotel property, marketing, organisational structure, management style and other key areas. Reports also include the student’s positions and experiences, plus advice on accommodation, transport and general living giving an invaluable reference for other ICHM students.