Students experience hospitality with an international flavour
Working in the hospitality industry is all about managing the overall experience of the customer; understanding what makes them tick, and delivering a service that satisfies all of their needs and expectations.
For a group of nine Hospitality and Sport Management students from the University of Western Sydney, a successful international career may be on the cards following a recent trip to Vietnam.
Tim Hall from the UWS School of Business coordinated the international study tour, which involved a range of activities aimed at increasing students’ industry knowledge and cultural awareness.
“Students travelled from the south to the north of Vietnam, going behind-the-scenes at a number of hospitality and sport facilities and meeting the founders and managers of several of these organisations,” says Mr Hall.
“These visits provided students with a unique opportunity to view hospitality from an international perspective.”
The touring students spent two days at the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH), where they worked on a series of short projects with local students. UEH students are expected to visit UWS in 2013.
They then went on to meet Ly Qui Trung, founder of Pho24, a hugely successful Vietnamese noodle chain which currently has more than 50 stores all over the world; and Phil Johns, National President of the Vietnam Swans, an AFL team which raises money for Australian and Vietnamese charities.
Nicholas Cambridge, a 22-year-old Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Hospitality Management) student from Epping, says the study tour was a great opportunity to learn more about the field, as well as about his own interests.
“It was great to have the opportunity to see what people are doing on the other side of the world – the trip was a really good learning experience, and has helped me to decide what I would like to do in my own career,” says Nicholas.
“I love travelling, and my ultimate goal is to work as a General Manager of a hotel chain. What interests me is the way that, in the hospitality industry, you can make a real difference to the way that people experience their holiday. You can make it better.”
Mr Hall says the Vietnam study tour is an example of how UWS is embracing the concepts of the Federal Government’s ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ white paper.
“Part of the white paper explores the opportunities for Australian universities to engage, and establish partnerships with, the tertiary education sector in Asia,” says Mr Hall.
“Over the past three years, the University of Western Sydney has conducted this annual study tour to Vietnam, which has resulted in the development of partnerships and friendships which have prospered well beyond the conclusion of these tours.”
22 January 2013
Photo: Tim Hall