The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) process begins early in the on-campus academic semester. Students are required to list their preferred destination on their WIL 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, telephone or online (e.g. Skype) interviews with the hotels having the final decision on employment.
Students are required to undertake one WIL 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.
Most hotels prefer that students remain in one department during a placement to fully understand that area’s operations. Not all students will be placed in 5-star international hotels. Convention centres, resorts, boutique hotels, wineries and other hospitality business operations may also be selected to provide this valuable undergraduate experience.
ICHM aims to find WIL placements for students in positions deemed suitable to fulfill the requirements of the course, and the students demonstrated capabilities at that time.
ICHM encourages all students to keep their career goals in mind when nominating placement locations. Where a WIL placement is a student’s first real job, it is strongly recommended they stay in Australia or their home country. Most students do at least one or more of their placements within Australia. International placements may be possible subject to a number of factors; the students ability to obtain a work visa for that country (as this is their own responsibility); they must be able to financially support themselves during the period; and their ability to communicate in that country’s language.
There are limits to the number of students ICHM can place in properties and locations, so sometimes the student’s first choice cannot be accommodated.
Earnings & Expenses
WIL placements within Australia are usually paid positions; wages for placements in other countries vary considerably and are generally lower.
In Australia, based on recent WIL placement semesters, students can potentially earn between A$12,000 and A$18,000 per six 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 WIL placement is typically 20-24 weeks, or 600-800 hours. To graduate with the Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management), as well as successfully passing all academic requirements, students must complete a minimum of 1500 industry hours.
The ICHM program is accredited with these placements, and international students are not restricted by the usual forty hours per fortnight maximum rules. Students undertaking the Masters Professional Practice and Research subject, must be able to provide evidence of 600 hours of industry relevant work. These placements are also the key reasons, why ICHM graduates have a 95% employment rate on graduation.
The ICD Team keeps in touch with students online, 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.
Each WIL semester has three assessments spread across its duration; students are required to successfully pass each of these to complete their WIL placement.
For students completing the Masters - Professional Practice and Research subject, they will be required to complete and submit a Research Proposal, Research Report and Reflection Report.
Employers are also required to assess students across a variety of performance measures whilst on a WIL placement.