A window to UNWTO

IFT alumna Ms. Mandy Ho

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

‘Hola’, ‘sí’ and ‘buenos días’ – Spanish respectively for ‘hello’, ‘yes’ and ‘good morning’ – are some of the new words IFT alumna Ms. Mandy Ho has since June been seeking to master. The IFT graduate was selected from a group of candidates for a 1-year internship at the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid, Spain.

“Prior to learning about this opportunity, I did not have a plan to go out of Macao,” says Ms. Ho. She reconsidered her position in light of the internship programme and the opportunity better to understand the inner workings of UNWTO. “I also thought Spain was a very interesting place, worth knowing better,” she adds.

Ms. Ho was assigned to UNWTO’s Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific for the internship. She will assist in collecting and producing tourism-related information and in preparing high-level meetings, among other administrative tasks.

Macao-born Ms. Ho graduated from IFT in 2012 with a Bachelor Degree in Tourism Event Management. She worked in customer services at the Venetian Macao Convention and Exhibition Centre for about a year. After that, she joined the 12-month Cultural Representative Programme for Walt Disney World in Florida, in the United States. She also learned of this opportunity via IFT.

In the summer of 2014, Ms. Ho became part of the human resources department of Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central. She resigned from her job there to attend the UNWTO internship in Spain.

Great source of information

Ms. Ho advises all IFT alumni to maintain close ties with the Institute after graduating. She says IFT regularly provides its alumni network with useful information, including on new courses, promotional offers and other activities.

“It was in one of the IFT emails that I read about the UNWTO internship opportunity,” she says.

Ms. Ho adds: “The connection between IFT and alumni is really helpful. In the Macao hospitality industry, I really see a lot of people who graduated from IFT. In a small place like Macao, networking is quite important.”

Ms. Ho also praises the education she received from the Institute, saying it has been very useful so far in her career.

“IFT provides very practical knowledge to students. During the 4 years of your bachelor degree programme, you are not just studying; you have practicum, internship and several hands-on projects,” she says.

“Your learning process goes beyond what you read in books; you learn how to work with different people, from different backgrounds. Those people skills are really important in the service industry.”