Institute News Main Headline

IFTM students on verge of graduation celebrate academic success

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

As academic year 2021/2022 draws to a close, more than 400 IFTM students are concluding their studies at the Institute. IFTM’s latest undergraduate and postgraduate degrees will be conferred at its Graduation Ceremony 2022, on 8 June at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion.

Michael Tang Zhiqi, from the Mainland, will be one of those awarded a Hotel Management Bachelor’s Degree. He is happy to have chosen the Institute to start his higher education studies.

Michael’s initial plan had been to take a degree in the field of law. “However, I wanted to study outside of the Mainland.”

He adds: “Knowing Macao was a safe place, and adding to that the fact that IFTM provides a study environment using English as the teaching medium, in the end, I decided to study here” and in a different subject.

At the Institute, Michael found a group of classmates with a diverse range of interests. “We are not limited to wanting to enter the hospitality industry just because we studied on this programme,” he says. He still plans to pursue a law-related degree, but at postgraduate level.

“Many people expect IFTM graduates will only be able to work in tourism-related sectors,” Michael points out. “This is not true. The education we receive is really diverse, and we have the opportunity to learn different things. As a result, we have the ability to choose different paths.”

Gustavo Lam Huang, from Macao, who is soon to receive a Culinary Arts Management Bachelor’s Degree, says he only developed an interest in cooking when he was 16 years old. Since then, enrolling at IFTM had become a priority. Now that he is close to completing his studies, Gustavo says the Institute was the right choice for him.

“I learnt a lot in terms of skills. I didn’t expect the programme to cover such a large amount of knowledge regarding management,” he points out. Gustavo praises the specialised facilities at the Institute and the array of opportunities available for students not only to engage with culinary arts professionals, but also to explore the industry.

His educational journey at IFTM also occurred outside the classroom, as Gustavo took part in a number of culinary contests through the Institute. “I didn’t win any; however, those were all good chances to accumulate experience, and for me to improve my skills,” he says.

Work hard, aim high

IFTM’s educational offer includes bachelor’s degree programmes using Chinese as the teaching medium. They are presented via evening classes, making them particularly suitable for working adults wanting to return to formal education, either to further their qualifications, retrain or simply acquire fresh knowledge and skills.

Ramos Ao Ieong Chon Weng is among the students graduating this academic year from the Chinese-language stream of the Tourism Event Management programme. He points out that as many of his classmates already had working experience, in-class discussion of case studies was of great practical use.

“We had group projects for every course. This also helped build our communication skills and team spirit: we could learn how to cope with different people,” Ramos notes.

He decided to enrol at IFTM as a way to further his knowledge. “After attending some seminars and activities at work, I realised I lacked sufficient knowledge and capabilities. As a result, I decided to invest in me, by taking this IFTM programme.” He chose the Institute for its reputation as a provider of hands-on education.

Despite many of the students in the Chinese-language stream of the Tourism Event Management programme having work experience, they still needed to take part in practicum courses. Ramos says that was a good thing. “It gave me opportunity to try different positions, such as hotel front desk agent, room attendant, and working in either the food and beverage or kitchen areas. This was quite interesting.”

Alan Chao Kuok Lon is also just completing a bachelor’s degree at IFTM delivered in Chinese language and via evening classes. The soon-to-be Hotel Management graduate says he wanted to broaden his work opportunities.

With more than 10 years of professional experience in the hospitality industry, Alan has been working in positions related to engineering and facilities management. “If I want to pursue higher roles or change career path, I now have better bargaining power because of this degree,” he says.

Alan adds that the knowledge and skills he got from the programme are valuable to him even in his current job. “The management skills we learnt are really of practical use. I got to know more about how to think from the standpoint of a frontline worker, and how to help them find solutions if ever there is a conflict.”

Product of IFTM

The Graduation Ceremony 2022 marks the second time IFTM is awarding master’s degrees. Among those on the verge of graduation that are due to go on stage for the event will be Ms. Lucy Wang Luyang. She is to receive a Master’s Degree in International Hospitality Management. She will be doing so just 2 years after stepping on the same stage to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Business Management from IFTM.

Ms. Wang says it is for her a “meaningful and happy” achievement. Coming from the Mainland, during her 6 years of study at IFTM “there were times of pressure, but in the end, happiness is the prevailing feeling.”

Postgraduate student Ms. Wang states that master’s degree programmes at IFTM require people to display independent thinking. Being able to depend on one’s own judgement to apply concepts learnt in class is a must. “It is not about memorising or reciting things, but really about understanding the concepts and using them,” she says.

Ms. Wang is yet to decide her next step. She has an eye on suitable job opportunities, but she is also considering furthering her studies via a doctoral degree. “I am interested in learning more about tourism and hospitality. If there is a chance to go for a higher degree, I will take it,” Ms. Wang says.