ICHM graduates can be found far and wide across the globe. But more than 40 are positioned in hotels in ICHM’s home town, Adelaide. The four profiled in this issue are building careers with international potential and they have the jobs to prove it. Like most graduates, they collectively point to the three fundamental ingredients in ICHM’s recipe for success. Its connection with the Swiss Hotel Association; its location, Australia and Adelaide; and its industry placement program that takes learning into the real world. The culmination: work-ready professionals.
ICHM’s graduate hoteliers are dotted all over the city and beyond, from green squares,to cultural and entertainment hubs, to the tourism-centric Adelaide Hills. Some were born here and others now call Adelaide home.
One of the graduates profiled hails from Zimbabwe southern Africa, yet another the opal town of Andamooka in South Australia’s outback. Another was lured back by Accor and the Mercure Grand because of its growth plans for the region.
All four credit ICHM with starting their careers. ‘ICHM has always been a part of me’, says Natasha Du Plessis. ‘The course training was sensational and this and the connections I have made over the years are what I love about this fast-paced and energetic industry.’
And Adelaide? No less than The New York Times has ranked the city in its list of 52 top travel destinations for 2015. The only Australian city to make the visit list, Adelaide (at 24) is joined by places like Milan and Rabat, Morocco.
‘Sure, Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, is close to both wine country and beaches’, says the article.
‘But there are more reasons to stay in the city, thanks largely to an energetic arts scene. . . and robust dining scene.’
Adelaide also consistently comes in fifth in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s most liveable city survey of 140 cities worldwide.
The graduates in this issue of On Course are all working in hotels. Of course, many others have opted to take their qualifications to different fields, as restaurateurs, wine makers and business entrepreneurs to name just a few.
For the three interns at the G20 now back on campus, letters in hand from the Prime Minister and Governor General praising the efforts of the G20 Taskforce leave not much more to be said. Other than how pleased they are to have accepted the challenge and for exceeding performance benchmarks along the way.
David Utschink, Alison McKay and Sam Langan agree that gaining exposure to a facet of the industry other than hotels has broadened their horizons.
The trio—along with Indya Dwyer, Smita Maruti and Chris McKinlay—was appointed Accommodation Coordinators with the G20 Taskforce in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Reporting to Accommodation Managers, the students were on the same team, but were allocated different tasks over their five-month ‘industry placement’ in the lead up to the G20 forum in Brisbane in November. Sam Langan, for example, was responsible for account reconciliation, making sure that budget and occupancy rates were on track.
‘Rather than hotels, we represented the Australian Government and generally acted as an extra set of eyes and ears for Accommodation Managers, following up on issues raised at meetings and making sure rooms were prepared’, says Alison. ‘It’s an extraordinary idea that we played a role in hosting the heads of the world’s largest developed and emerging economies.’
Reports from the G20 Taskforce show ICHM’s G20 team exceeding expectations across the board.
Professor Ken Park
Professor Park was in Adelaide from Korea in January, and called into campus for the welcome to new and returning students. A member of ICHM’s Graduates in Industry Advisory Committee since 2011, Professor Park heads up the Department of Hotel & Tourism, Daelim University College, Seoul.
Professor Park graduated from ICHM in 1999, and went on to complete a Bachelor of Management at the University of South Australia. Back in Korea, he worked at the Ritz Carlton, Ibis and Ambassador Hotel Group (a joint company with Accor) in Seoul, going on to complete a Masters and PhD before taking up his professorship.
Chief Executive Gerald Lipman introduced Professor Park to students gathered for the welcome, before the pair went on to discuss ways the two colleges could work together.
‘The things you are learning now can apply to any industry.’
This is the view of graduate Adele Preston, Talent Manager–Early Careers for Woolworths, Australia’s biggest retail group, employing 200,000 and servicing 28 million customers a week.
On campus in late 2014, Adele spoke to students about her career path, which has largely been in the field of Human Resources, making the move from hotels into the mining industry, before taking the offer from Woolworths. She also spoke to students about their futures, and offered words of wisdom about what she has learnt along the way.
The skills she learnt at ICHM that she still uses today?
The meaning of hard work
Managing diverse teams
A global perspective
An eye for quality
The drawcard: ICHM’s Bachelor of International Hotel Management (Swiss Hotel Association) in six months.
Marina Shala is ICHM’s first student from the Principality of Liechtenstein. A graduate of the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality, Marina is in Adelaide with her husband and two children (here to gain English language exposure).
Marina is joined by three other students from Europe: Marie Belaen from Erasmus, Belgium and Barbara Luckmann and Johanna Bauer from MODUL’s ICHM in Vienna, Austria, which has a century old tradition in hospitality and tourism education.
These were the three elements mentioned by auditors from the Swiss Hotel Association (SHA) as they formed their first impression of ICHM.
The auditors (from left)—Gregory Root, Lea Zehnder and Hanspeter Ischi—were on campus last year to undertake the SHA’s second audit of ICHM and the first since 1994.
They describe the audit as a learning process for both parties: they provide the report on ICHM and, in turn, ICHM provides feedback on the process so that it becomes more rigorous in the future.
Over five days the trio looked at all aspects of the program, from strategy management, to quality, to student satisfaction.
The process is part of the SHA’s International Education Services, ensuring international standards for its hotel management schools and the licence and right to use the SHA brand. As a result of the audit, ICHM is confident that its program meets Hotelleriesuisse international standards, the pinnacle of hotel school accreditation.
ICHM has awarded scholarships worth in excess of $2 million since starting up in 1993, giving many young Australians and New Zealanders their first step up to an international career. A number can be counted among ICHM’s stellar graduates, with careers spanning the globe.
More information about eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found on ICHM’s website, and shortlisted students are required to score highly in a written assignment and panel interview.
Some aspiring hoteliers get their first taste of ICHM at Career Week held in July and September each year.
Last semester’s Students Representative Council (SRC) has thrown down the gauntlet to SRCs that follow, raising in excess of $3500 for One Girl, a not-for- profit organisation set up to give girls in Sierra Leone access to education. Headed up by Lachlan Sinclair, the SRC’s campaign included a 5 km leg of a half marathon in the wine region of McLaren Vale for a team of 25 students and ICHM staff. And everyone did it in a dress! For its efforts, ICHM ranked second on the university leaderboards and came close to breaking into the top 10 for One Girl’s Do it in a Dress campaign. More importantly, educating 11 girls for a year. Congratulations to everyone involved.
Regency International House
Lecturer Derek Milligan was again Master of Ceremonies at End of Course, the ceremony that recognises Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of International Hotel Management (Swiss Hotel Association) recipients ahead of the Graduation Ceremony in September.
Dr Ian Whyte, ICHM Principal, gave the congratulatory address and Victoria Phan and Gleb Tolstokulakov provided the student reply.
Study Abroad Program certificates were awarded to Nikki Choo, Michael Kao and Jerry Wang.
After the formalities, students and staff gathered in the Common Room of Regency International House.
Stamford Plaza Adelaide
‘The ball is in your court. You have witnessed these students coming up to get their awards and you can be up here too’, said Josiah Gwee, when giving the traditional Welcome Address on behalf of students. He was joined by Karina Kucherenko, who added a reminder to Network, network, network!
In excess of 2100 students have sat in on Course Commencement Ceremonies since ICHM opened its doors in 1993.
In his address to students, Chief Executive Gerald Lipman mentioned the 43 graduates working in hotels in Adelaide, just behind Melbourne which has more than 60. ‘These graduates point to the success of our lecturers and our Industry Training & Development team. Tonight we celebrate academic achievement, but the same level of achievement in industry is also very important’, he said.
After the awarding of Certificates of Merit and Certificates of Academic Achievement, students gathered in the foyer over cocktails.
Dux of the Year went to:
Dux of 1st Year (January–June 2014)
Cameron Sykes Memorial Scholarship
Dux of 2nd Year (January–June 2014)
Delaware North Prize
Dux of 3rd Year (January–June 2014)
Australian Hotels Association Scholarship
Dux of 4th Year (January–June 2014)
Swiss Hotel Association Scholarship
The Langham, Xintiandi, Shanghai
Wang, Weiyi (Olina)
Ritz - Carlton Hong Kong
Cheng, Ling Kwan (Anson)
Chua, Elizabeth Hui Ying
Grand Hyatt Taipei
Hsu, I- Cheng (Eric)
FX Hotel Taipei
Tsai, Yi‐Hsuan (Doris)
Four Points By Sheraton
Chang, Allen Tamchang University
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Park Hyatt Sydney
Voyages Ayers Rock Resort
Kang, Yan Mae
Hamilton Island Resort
Chen, Ting- Wei (Tiffany)
Du Plooy, Jodie
Li, Xue (Kitty)
Lo, Yi- -Ching (Elaine)
Kao, Chyuan- Cheng (Michael)
Peng, Yu- Tien (Myra)
Truong, Quang Long (Jay)
One & Only Hayman Island
Barcelon, Luisito (Dee)
Choo, Hye Rim (Nikki)
Kang, Yoonwon (Richard)
Oka, Joji (Joji Janssen)
Park, Rae Bin
Pullman Reef Casino Cairns
Ong, Shi Qin (Nelson)
Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas
Chen, Wei (Amber)
Tsai, I -Ching (Amy)
Wu, Qiong (Catherine)
Sheraton Mirage Resort Gold Coast
Jang, So Yeon (Jessica)
Wright, Emma Mondriaan
Sunderman, Lotte Mondriaan
Great Southern Rail
Conron, Sarah Beth
Vo, Anh Khoa (Leo)
Luu, An My (Stephanie)
Na, Gilhyun (Aiden)
Red Ochre Restaurant
Zhukovskiy, Vsevolod (Seva)
Southern Ocean Lodge
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Ji, Hyunjeong (Janet)
Lam, Kin Hei (Harris)
Phan, Le Thien Trang
Lau, Ka Ming (Anson)
Le, Thi Kieu Trinh (Trinh)
Wang, Chung-Chun (Jerry)
Wu, Erh Min (Lisa)
Lugthart, Jill Mondriaan
Park Hyatt Melbourne
Lim, Teck Hoong (Jonathan)
RACV City Club
Boukari, Abdoel Mondriaan
Lau, Zhi Sung (Sam)
Sheraton Melbourne Hotel
Swanston Hotel, Grand Mercure
Chang, Che-Wei (Jasper)
Tran, Minh Duc (Duc)
The Westin Melbourne
Van Der Lubbe, Lennart Mondriaan
Hyatt Regency Perth
Lee, Kang Yu (Aaron)
Lee, Kong Yip (Rex)
Lemmens, Marja-Lisa Erasmus
De Wild, Julia Erasmus
Carrein, Steffany Erasmus
Paridaens, Soetkin Erasmus
Coune, Lise Erasmus
Derison, Joke Erasmus
Careers in Adelaide Hotels
Before Christmas our Industry Training and Development Manager, Deb Buttignol and Principal, Dr Ian Whyte and I were sitting on campus listing the graduates working in hotels in our home city, Adelaide. We quickly got to 30 names, and it was clear there were even more.
As you can see on other pages of On Course, we have identified more than 40 graduates working in Adelaide hotels. About half are from overseas: they came to Adelaide as students and have chosen to stay here. About 10% have joined their family hotels, but the vast majority have joined as employees. Some are striving for promotions within the hotel or within the chain of hotels that employs them.
A few have young children, and can only work two-to-three shifts a week.
If we listed ICHM’s graduates who started in Adelaide, and have achieved success in hotels in other Australian cities or overseas, the list might be several hundred. If we included graduates who did one or more of their work placements in Adelaide before going on to a career in a hotel elsewhere, it might exceed 1000.
We point out to Adelaide’s General Managers and Human Resource Directors that in line with the philosophy of the Swiss Hotel Association and ICHM’s Graduate Qualities, these men and women are job ready with the skills, academic knowledge and personal attributes to succeed in this industry.
Our graduates are able to hit the ground running because they have undertaken at least two (and often three or four) industry placements—more than any other hotel school in Australia. While students often focus on the money they earn in this work, to us it is the workplace skills they develop that are equally important. About one-third of our graduates find their initial positions through their work placements.
We acknowledge the partnerships that we have with so many Adelaide hotels assisting the interns as well as employing graduates—a win-win partnership.
While we are proud of all of our graduates, in this edition of On Course we honour the 40 plus who are in Adelaide hotels. They are raising the professionalism of the South Australian hospitality and tourism industry.