Institute News Main Headline

A tale of 2 finalists: master’s student and undergraduate hail education ‘made in’ IFTM

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

As academic year 2020/2021 nears its end, a batch of 416 IFTM students is preparing to conclude their studies. In addition to awarding diplomas and bachelor’s degrees, the Institute will this year be granting its first ever master’s degrees. Despite the obvious differences in the scope of their studies, a soon-to-be IFTM master’s degree holder and an IFTM bachelor’s degree programme finalist share similar praise for the Institute, and the educational opportunities it provides.

Ms. Sandra Lai Carlos is part of the first batch of postgraduate students at IFTM. The Macao local enrolled on the Institute’s International Food and Beverage Management Master’s Degree Programme in academic year 2019/2020, and is expected to graduate this year.

Being part of the first batch of students for a new IFTM programme is nothing new to her. She was in the inaugural class of the Institute’s Culinary Arts Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme, launched in academic year 2011/2012. It was the first of its kind in Macao.

“I graduated in 2015. After working for some years in the industry, and once I knew IFTM had launched a series of master’s degree programmes, I decided to come back, and continue my studies here,” Ms. Carlos says.

Being an IFTM alumna, she was familiar with the Institute’s educational philosophy. “As I got my bachelor’s degree here, I had confidence in the teaching quality” at IFTM.

The master’s degree programme has been “quite intense”, involving “many group projects” and some individual assignments, Ms. Carlos says. She explains that the programme is heavily focused on management-related expertise.

Ms. Carlos is currently working in the food and beverage sector, but not in guest service: she is involved in providing training. “It is like having a class at IFTM, only that now I’m the one teaching,” she says.

One of her challenges has been to balance her IFTM studies with her professional duties: effective time-management skills have helped, Ms. Carlos says. But she also commends the overall arrangements by IFTM to support postgraduate students.

“We can see that IFTM really wants to continue improving the programme,” she points out. “The staff consider our opinions and provide us with flexibility whenever possible.”

IFTM began offering postgraduate programmes in academic year 2019/2020. The Institute now has programmes leading to master’s degrees in International Hospitality Management, International Tourism Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, and International Food and Beverage Management. There is also a programme that leads to a Master of Science in International Gastronomy Management, which will be offered starting in academic year 2021/2022.

Undergraduate praise

IFTM student Dephanie Chiang Cheok Ieng is enjoying the remaining days she has as an undergraduate at the Institute. She is poised to graduate at the end of this academic year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Event Management.

Dephanie decided to enrol at IFTM after learning about some of the Institute’s standout features, including the provision of curricular internships and of exchange programmes. “Not every higher education institution provides the opportunity to perform an internship. Moreover, some of the statistics about IFTM show that the employment rate of its graduates is really high.”

Looking back at her 4 years at the Institute, Dephanie says she had the opportunity to organise several events and activities with her colleagues, as part of her coursework. “We had some class projects that meant we needed to plan and organise real events, opened to the public.”

It was during her time as a Year 3 student that she realised she wanted to specialise in project management. “I took up administrative roles for some events, and I found that I would like to engage in the management part,” she explains.

The Macao student says IFTM helped her to hone her social skills. “We have many group projects, through which we learn a lot about coping with different people,” she says. “Being able to interact and socialise with others is an important skill in today’s workplace.”

Dephanie applauds IFTM for providing students with a wide array of opportunities to boost their academic and personal development. She highlights that it is however up to each undergraduate to make the most of what is on offer. “IFTM won’t ‘feed’ you the opportunities, but any student can access them if they work for it,” she explains. Such approach, Dephanie says, leads students to have a proactive attitude and to be interested in trying new things. “If you don’t try, you won’t know whether you like it or not,” she says.

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