Institute News Main Headline

Internship at integrated resort operator offers practical insight on tourism sector, says IFTM student

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Integrated resort operator Sands China Ltd recently took on IFTM undergraduate Frank Li Yifan as an intern. Frank says the internship – part of the studies for his programme at the Institute – gave him the tools “to become more competitive” in the labour market once he graduates.

Frank is in his final year of studies in the English-language stream of the Hotel Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme. He did his internship at Sands China in the first semester of the current academic year.

During the internship, the IFTM student worked as part of the revenue optimisation and distribution team. Frank says he was positively surprised by the chance to be an intern in such a core department of a large-sized company. Such opportunity would not be easily available on the Mainland, he points out.

Integrated resort operator Sands China runs a number of large-scale leisure and entertainment properties across Macao. These include The Venetian Macao, The Plaza Macao, The Londoner Macao and The Parisian Macao, all on Cotai; plus the Sands Macao complex on the city’s peninsula. Last year, the group recorded net revenue of more than MOP13.5 billion, despite the strong impact on operations of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While working as an intern for the revenue optimisation and distribution team, Frank was engaged in market research and demand forecast. “Gradually, I built in my mind a picture of the current status of the hotel and gaming sectors, and I am now more aware of the dynamics in the market,” he says.

New skills developed

During his internship, Frank also gained an interest in data analysis. That was after seeing how his colleagues could process huge volumes of data in a matter of hours. He took the opportunity to learn at Sands China the basics of data analysis, making use of specialised software suite SAS. “Acquiring this knowledge will be beneficial to me in the future, regardless of whether I opt to further my studies or immediately enter the labour market,” he says.

Frank reports he faced some challenges during his internship. He had to improve his multi-tasking abilities and become more efficient in managing the time devoted to completing each task. Also, there was a need rapidly to become familiar with software applications used internally at Sands China. “Going through these challenges helped me become a stronger professional,” he says.

The internship additionally inspired Frank – a native of Shijiazhuang in the Mainland’s Hebei Province – to boost his fluency in Cantonese, the day-to-day dialect used by Macao people, including many of his colleagues at Sands China.

IFTM students studying for a bachelor’s degree are required to complete a 6-month internship. The Institute’s strong links with tourism and hospitality enterprises locally and outside Macao ensure the internship opportunities offered to undergraduates are of high calibre.

Quality of education at IFTM praised

As Frank approaches graduation later this year, he notes the curricular internship at Sands China has reinforced his desire to develop a career in hospitality.

Frank commends the overall learning and teaching approach at IFTM, integrating theory and practice. He believes the well-rounded education provided by the Institute means its students are equipped at graduation with relevant professional knowledge and technical competence to help them be successful in the workplace.

“The group projects and presentations build up our capabilities regarding critical thinking and communication,” he says.

As part of his educational journey at the Institute, Frank took part in a 6-month student exchange programme in the United Kingdom. He also joined various industry exchange events supported by IFTM, in order to develop his professional network and learn more about tourism and hospitality.

Frank says the quality of education provided by IFTM is already paying off in terms of career prospects. “During recent job interviews, some hotel directors and managers showed appreciation for my resumé. Following an interview, I have been invited to sign a contract with that organisation, to take effect right after my graduation,” he says.

President’s Corner

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