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Where industry-ready hospitality experts are made

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Qualified, thoughtful professionals keep the global luxury hotel and hospitality industry afloat. However, the ones produced at ICHM are far more than just specialists — they are the entrepreneurs, changemakers and thought leaders of tomorrow.

Their success is the work of their ICHM educators — all of whom have or are currently advancing and redefining the bounds of the trillion-dollar hotel and hospitality economy. They’ve seen the chaos a pandemic can yield on the industry, and they are ready to nurture a new generation of experts who can solve any hurdle that comes their way.

For more than 30 years, ICHM has given young talent the skills, networks and hands-on experience to hit the ground running. Each programme ensures students gain practical experience and a substantial list of industry connections well before graduating. Hence why when ICHM graduates take their first steps into some of the most esteemed organisations in the world, they are ready — much like the more than 2,500 graduates before them, who are now leading various industries.

An obvious choice

Rachel Vu has always been intrigued by the hotel industry. As a teenager, she wished to learn more about the work that goes behind keeping guests comfortable and satisfied. She instantly gravitated to ICHM’s Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) not just for the way it integrated culinary classes into its programme on top of foundational topics, but for its emphasis on real-world knowledge. “They offer 1.5-year placements, which is far longer than anything else I’ve come across,” she says.

Plus, the college’s entry requirements were far more competitive than other similar institutions in Australia. This made Vu realise choosing ICHM meant surrounding herself around great students with valuable perspectives.

Immersed, engaged and inspired

True enough, as part of a connected community of learners, Vu developed the confidence to explore. While culinary classes intrigued her the most during her first year of studies, by Year 2, she had realised her passion for spearheading sustainability within the hospitality industry.

Vu’s course even covered Employability Skills for Future Hoteliers, Professional Wine Studies, e-Marketing and Distribution, Gastronomy: The Art, Culture and Science of Food and Beverages, Business Intelligence for Decision Making, Event Management, and most importantly, The Changing Economic Environment — a subject which enables students to develop a better understanding of our increasingly turbulent economy.

“When I dived into the subject, I learned that sustainability is about far more than just carrying a tote bag or water bottle around. It actually has a lot to do with a hotel’s architecture, operations and finances — amongst other areas I was eager to learn more about.”

Where supportive experts develop industry-ready professionals

As a proud international student, Vu has never been shy about requesting additional support. ICHM is happy to accommodate. The student needed them the most when she first joined. “My English wasn’t the best,” she says. “The academic team immediately stepped in to develop my communication skills, correct my writing, and help me express my ideas more effectively.”

Their efforts were substantial to ensure Vu would be able to achieve the high scores she longed for. However, Annabelle Roelink, Industry and Career Development Manager at ICHM was the one responsible for ensuring Vu landed the real-world experiences she deserves.

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Apart from helping Vu pinpoint a more specific career path, placements helped her develop as an individual. Every moment in a hotel made her a better problem-solver. Meanwhile, interaction with international travellers taught her to be a better communicator and listener.

Upon graduating, Vu hopes to remain in the hotel industry till she works her way up to management. In the long run, she hopes to exercise her passion for sustainability as well by championing the importance of a greener industry. She plans to remain in Australia after her third and final placement ends. Here, she will work tirelessly to achieve the role of her dreams before returning to Vietnam and adding value to its hospitality industry.

Horizon-broadening professional experiences

Vu looks back at her first placement at a resort on Hamilton Island with nothing but great memories. Once she was done applying knowledge and ready to return to Adelaide, Roelink phoned her to ensure she had her documents in check. When it came time for Vu to take on her second placement, COVID-19 was still in full swing. When border restrictions dampened her plans to work in Western Australia, Roelink quickly stepped in to help the student secure a new one in Adelaide.

If it wasn’t for her support, Vu wouldn’t be testing out her newfound skills today at the Majestic Roof Garden Hotel. “I’m working as a guest service agent, which entails checking in and checking our guests, making reservations, handling incoming calls, and managing the concierge team,” she explains. “It’s been an incredible opportunity for me to learn about different positions within a hotel.”

Successful outcomes all around

As many as 96.3% of ICHM graduates are employed shortly after completion of their course — and Vu is set to achieve the same. What they all have in common is unwavering gratitude to the college that made them. Thanks to ICHM, they exude creativity, innovate new trends, regularly introduce new processes, and inspire their teams.

Rachael Harman began doing just that three years after graduating from ICHM. She began as a manager with Starwood Hotels and Resorts before catching the attention of Le Meridien Hotel in Southeast Asia. Today, she is Sofitel Adelaide’s General Manager.

After working in the Caribbean, the US, Costa Rica, and Indonesia, Juan Paolo Alfonso is now the General Manager at Mirbat, Dhofar, Oman. Mellissa Pitt-Chalmers is the Vice President Of Global Sales of Marriott International, London. Linda Girrbach is now the Director Of Revenue Management at Mövenpick Hotel, Berlin.

The programmes that got them where they are today?

From July 14, ICHM will welcome students to its new campus on 131-139 Currie Street in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD. New and exciting spaces are in store for students to enjoy.

These include 10 collaborative teaching studios, dedicated training cocktail bar and wine room, wellbeing hub (including learning resource space), student social hubs and kitchen, latest educational technology, and high profile industry-based kitchen partnership for culinary classes.

A new campus

Your launchpad into the dynamic field of hospitality awaits at ICHM

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