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New graduates of IFT primed for the labour market

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

The next chapter in the lives of 391 newly minted graduates of IFT began with a celebration at the IFT Graduation Ceremony 2017. Many of the new graduates say they are thankful to the Institute for the skills and knowledge it taught them – skills and knowledge which are already being put to use as the members of the IFT Class of 2017 enter the labour market.

The IFT Graduation Ceremony 2017 was held on 11 October at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion. Bachelor’s degrees or diplomas were awarded to 349 graduates. Professional diplomas in Pastry and Bakery or in Western Culinary Skills were presented to another 42 students.

Macao SAR Chief Executive Dr. Chui Sai On presided at the ceremony, sharing the excitement of the graduates. Dr. Chui congratulated the group, encouraging them “to be confident in facing the future and to serve society with humility”. He said the Macao Government would continue to support IFT “unwaveringly” as the Institute performs its role as an international centre for the training of human resources in the tourism and hospitality industries.

IFT President Dr. Fanny Vong commended the latest graduates for completing their studies successfully. She encouraged them to continue their journey along the path to knowledge, making full use of what they learned at the Institute. “Education is a lifelong pursuit,” she said. “Persist in your journey to discover new realms of knowledge with the foundations built at IFT.”

Infused with team spirit

Many of the graduates in the IFT Class of 2017 highlight the attention given by IFT to group projects and teamwork. They say it helps equip them to enter the labour market with sound interpersonal skills, which is useful for building a successful career in tourism or hospitality.

Will He earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Tourism Retail and Marketing Management. Will chose to study at IFT because of the academic prominence of the Institute and the proximity of Macao to his home in Mainland China.

“I gained a lot from IFT,” he says. “The Institute puts a huge emphasis on teamwork, which had a great influence on me. We were required to work together with other students on practicums and projects. It meant we had to learn how to allocate tasks among us to work in an efficient manner.”

Felicia Lam’s studies earned her the degree of Bachelor of Science in Heritage Management. Felicia says IFT taught her how to work well as a member of a team, and provided her with a new network of friends.

“There were, for sure, some disagreements when we worked together, but we would try to communicate with each other to achieve the expected results,” she says. “This was a very valuable process for me. I have also made many friends in these 4 years at IFT, who I now call family.”

Useful in practice

Graduates of the IFT Class of 2017 stress the importance of the practical knowledge they learned at the Institute. Among them are several graduates of evening programmes leading to bachelor’s degrees. Such programmes are meant for people that already have jobs or are otherwise fully committed in daytime. IFT began offering evening programmes in 2010.

Ms. Jody Kwan was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science in Tourism Event Management, for which she studied in the evenings while holding down a day job. “There are many practical things I learned at IFT that I can use in my work,” Ms. Kwan says. “For example, there were work-related challenges and difficulties that I initially didn’t know how to handle. Having taken the IFT programme, I think it gave me a lot more tools for achieving better results at work.”

Ms. Kwan has almost 20 years of work experience. She is currently working for a company in the field of nutrition. Her day-to-day duties include data analysis and performing tasks to do with event management. She says her employer gave her a considerable increase in pay after she enrolled at IFT, as a reward for her performance and commitment to lifelong learning.

Ms. Pepper Lam is a new graduate of IFT that also took an evening programme. Ms. Lam earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management and is a butler at a Macao hotel. She says IFT imparted useful practical knowledge, which she now applies every day in solving problems she encounters at work.

“After beginning the study programme, I became more certain about my career path,” Ms. Lam says. “My passion for the hotel industry was greatly enhanced.”

Many of the new graduates say the quality of education at IFT is widely recognised, meaning a degree awarded by the Institute can open doors to industries other than tourism and hospitality. Take the case of Tânia Nascimento Gaspar, who earned the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts Management. Tânia has a passion for the education of young children, and her degree now allows her to combine this passion with her catering abilities.

“I have found a job in a kindergarten, working as an administrator, but am also vested with some responsibility for taking care of the children,” she says. “And I am involved in matters related to the kindergarten kitchen, as well.”

President’s Corner

A special place

IFTM’s unique positioning means students have access to a deep pool of exclusive opportunities, including exchange and internship programmes outside Macao, allowing them to be exposed to new ideas, and to broaden their horizons. Read More