Institute News Main Headline

Internship helps IFTM students broaden knowledge of hotel operations

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Hospitality experts often say hotels are a world within themselves. That is because hotel operations embrace far more than providing comfortable accommodation and quality service to customers: management needs to oversee a number of other tasks, from building a successful brand image to providing regular staff training and managing inventories. Two IFTM Year 3 students recently had the opportunity to learn more about hotel back-of-house operations thanks to being able to perform curricular internships at large-scale Macao integrated resorts.

Both are students in the English-language stream of IFTM’s Hotel Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme. They did their internships in the first semester of the current academic year.

Undergraduate Sophia Yang Yingqi was an intern at the MGM Cotai integrated resort, a property run by MGM China Holdings Ltd. She was posted to the Public and Community Relations department, an area of work new to her. “However, the knowledge I had gained from IFTM helped me a lot in adapting to the job,” she says.

The Public and Community Relations team is responsible for drafting press releases and building relations with media and key opinion leaders (also known as ‘KOLs’). It also handles affairs related to the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.

As part of her internship, Sophia was involved in news-clipping activities and in welcoming members of the media to MGM Cotai for special events. One of the activities for which she provided support was the concert “Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day: A Tribute to Nature”, hosted with Macao Orchestra. The show marked the 250th anniversary of composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Sophia says the internship at MGM Cotai helped her develop a comprehensive understanding of hotel operations. What she learned during her months as an intern added to the knowledge acquired as part of her IFTM studies.

At the Institute, Sophia points out, she had gained practical knowledge of front desk operations, as well as restaurant, kitchen and room services, via practicum classes and hands-on projects. In addition, courses at the Institute provided her with a theoretical perspective on subjects ranging from marketing to human resources. The MGM Cotai internship was an opportunity to see how all of that meshed with a real-world, large-scale hospitality complex, from greeting guests at the main entrance to back-of-house management

Learning opportunity

Student Lucy Zhang Zhanyue completed her curricular internship at the Wynn Palace integrated resort, a property owned and operated by Wynn Macau Ltd. Lucy was deployed as an intern in the unit of the company that oversees talent training and development of human resources.

“I learned a lot over those 6 months, especially related to time management and communicating with other people,” Lucy says. She adds that the internship was an opportunity to apply in a real-world operation what she had learned at IFTM.

“I am more efficient in my work and more self-confident now,” Lucy reports, after completing the internship.

She offers positive feedback on the quality of education at IFTM. Lucy says that, in the first year of studies, undergraduates gain hands-on experience of hotel operations via practicum sessions. In Year 2, students are required to organise a live event for outside guests. Year 3 includes a curricular internship, and in Year 4 the Institute helps soon-to-be graduates to network and interact with potential employers via an annual job fair, the IFTM Career Day.

“Wine-tasting classes, the exchanges with guest industry executives as well as the Career Day, are all very impressive,” Lucy says. “They are really beneficial to students.”

She finds an IFTM education a sound base for further learning. “Life is like a long journey,” Lucy explains. “Even after you start working, you still have to upgrade yourself.”

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.

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