Institute News Main Headline

IFT Career Day 2019 offers job opportunities in Macao and beyond

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

The 2019 edition of the annually-held IFT Career Day, a job fair for the Institute’s students, was held at the Taipa Campus on 5 March. It featured 56 employers offering an aggregate of more than 2,500 positions across a number of industries, ranging from tourism, to human resources, to mass transportation. Hundreds of undergraduates, particularly Year 4 students, joined the day-long event to find out more about job opportunities available in Macao and beyond.

Studying at IFT does pay off, according to a graduate employment survey by the Institute. It showed most bachelor programme students graduating in academic year 2017/18 were enjoying attractive salaries within 6 months of completing their studies. The survey’s data indicated that 3 in every 4 IFT graduates in employment had found work in the tourism and hospitality sector. The median monthly salary among such graduates was approximately MOP15,300.

IFT President Dr. Fanny Vong says the Career Day is a priceless opening for students “to learn more about job opportunities and, even more importantly, about long-term career prospects.” Dr. Vong adds: “It is one thing to know about a company through newspapers, social media and so on, but it’s another thing when they send a team to campus to show you the career prospects they have available.”

The IFT President says some of the representatives sent by companies participating in the IFT Career Day are themselves IFT alumni. “It’s almost like a student-to-student talk,” she says. “It’s a more frank, honest kind of sharing.”

Sheraton Zhuhai Hotel was one of the firms that sent an IFT alumnus to this year’s IFT Career Day. Ms. Iris Zhou, Assistant Trainee Manager at Sheraton Zhuhai Hotel, says she feels the knowledge and skills she learned at IFT now give her a competitive edge in Mainland China’s hospitality-sector labour market. “IFT is a very good and very professional hospitality school,” she says. “It really develops students’ talent.”

Diverse job offerings

The IFT Career Day has been, over the years, expanding its scope beyond the Macao employment market. The 2019 event provided information about employment trends in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and even as far inland as Chengdu, the capital of Mainland China’s Sichuan Province.

Sheraton Zhuhai Hotel was among 4 entities from Mainland China taking part in this year’s IFT Career Day. Ms. Zhou says the hotel was mainly looking to attract job candidates from Mainland China that are currently studying at IFT, and who might be interested in developing a career in the Mainland hospitality market after graduation.

“Some of our students are from the Mainland and naturally they may want to look for job opportunities there,” says IFT President Dr. Vong.

Kai Wang, a Year 4 student from the Tourism Retail and Marketing Management programme, says he can see new career opportunities arising from the development of the Greater Bay Area. “It’s the future heart of the world,” Kai says. He was one of the students attending the IFT Career Day 2019.

Even though he is originally from the Mainland’s Shanxi Province, Kai admits his preference would be to stay in Macao to start his career. “I did an internship in the luxury retail business and this industry is going pretty well in Macao,” he says.

One Macao project providing plenty of job opportunities is the Cotai resort Lisboeta, slated to open in early 2020, with a roster of non-gaming facilities. Ms. Choco Cheang, Human Resources Executive at the firm behind the development, says the company is looking to hire IFT Year 4 students graduating this year, so they can start work immediately.

One of the company’s ‘secret weapons’ in order to attract IFT students is that its resort will feature what management says is the world’s first boutique Line Friends Hotel: the property takes its theme from “Line Friends”, the cartoon characters associated with Line, a mobile messaging app popular in Asia. “Many of the students really like Line Friends, so they are very interested,” says Ms. Cheang. The executive also believes Lisboeta’s focus on general hospitality will be attractive to IFT graduates looking for either front-desk work or a management position in an international-standard hotel.

The IFT Career Day 2019 also featured job opportunities for those interested in joining Macao’s casino industry. VIP casino gambling service provider David Group, for instance, took part in the event “to hire some new blood from IFT”, says Ms. Cylia Wong. The Executive Assistant in the group’s recruitment team praises the Institute’s graduates for their ability to speak more than one language and for being “ready to learn new things”. Fresh graduates may lack professional experience, “but if they are willing to learn, they are easy to teach,” says Ms. Wong.

David Group is particularly keen on “energetic” students from IFT, she adds, because the company is expanding in Asia, namely in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Australia, which means new recruits should expect a career in which travelling around the world for work is part of the job description. “If they understand our company culture, they can have a long stay with us,” says Ms. Wong.

Broad horizons

The IFT Career Day 2019 shows that the range of employers interested in taking on new graduates from the Institute extends well beyond the tourism and hospitality industries. “We are happy to see that we are also getting retail and human resources companies coming here, and even companies in the mass transportation sector,” says IFT President Dr. Vong, pointing out that the future operator of Macao’s under-construction Light Rapid Transit system, MTR Railway Operations (Macau) Co Ltd, attended this year’s job fair.

Participating companies value the knowledge in fields such as retailing and marketing displayed by graduates from the Institute, Dr. Vong says. “The curriculum we have designed for students helps them cultivate a good working mindset and a positive attitude to service; things that are applicable to all business sectors, especially now that service users are demanding more individualised attention,” she adds.

IFT is also keen on encouraging its students to “have an open mind, and not just enclose themselves within a very narrow path of development,” says Dr. Vong. “After working in another industry, maybe they will come back to the tourism and hospitality sector with more ideas and a fresh perspective,” she adds. “That is why we are always providing students with opportunities to open up their horizons through exchanges, internships and short trips.”

One Macao student who has taken advantage of such opportunities is Kate Kwan. The Year 4 student of Tourism Business Management attended an internship at the UNESCO World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region, in Shanghai, in Mainland China. It changed her outlook, she says.

Kate is now keen on furthering her studies, namely by obtaining a master’s degree abroad. “And then I would like to find a job opportunity in Shanghai,” the Macao resident says. “I think there are many career opportunities in the Greater Bay Area and in Mainland China,” she adds.

Employers at IFT Career Day 2019
– DFS Cotai Ltd
– Air Macau Co Ltd
– AsiaHospitalityCareers.com
– AXA China Region Insurance (Bermuda) Co Ltd
– Banco Delta Asia S.A.
– Conde Group
– David Group
– DFS Cotai Ltd
– EGL Tours (Macau) Co Ltd
– EvolutionHR Consultancy Ltd
– Ferre Human Resources Co Ltd
– Four Seasons Hotel Macao
– Future Bright Group
– Galaxy Entertainment Group
– Grand Coloane Resort
– Grand Emperor Hotel
– Grand Hyatt Macau
– Grand Lapa Macau
– Haoliwoo Real Estate of Network Ltd
– Hello-jobs.com
– Holiday Inn Macau
– Hotel Lisboa
– Hotel Royal Macau
– JC Human Resources Consulting
– JW Marriott Hotel
– L’Arc Macau
– Lisboeta
– Louis Vuitton Macau Co Ltd
– Macau International Airport Co Ltd
– Manpower Services (Macau) Ltd
– Manulife (International) Ltd
– Melco Resorts & Entertainment
– Menzies Macau Airport Services Ltd
– MGM
– MSS Recruitment
– MTR Railway Operations (Macau) Co Ltd
– New Yaohan
– Regency Art Hotel
– Richemont Luxury Macau Ltd
– Sands China
– Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel
– Sheraton Zhuhai Hotel
– Shun Tak Holdings (Macau) Ltd
– Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain
– Smart United Asia Ltd (Macau Branch)
– Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A.
– Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16
– Starbucks (Macau) Ltd
– Tak Chun Group
– The Nuance Group (Macau) Ltd
– The Ritz-Carlton, Macau
– The St. Regis Macao
– Valiram Luxury Ltd
– Vang Iek Group
– Vweed Creative Group
– Wing On Holidays (Macau) Ltd
– Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A.