Universities and colleges today are increasingly providing students with hands-on learning and networking connections to further their careers.
Kenvale College of Hospitality, Cookery and Events in Australia is a leading example of an institution that offers multiple opportunities for students to secure employment and technical training in their industry as soon as they graduate.
Established in 1971, they are extremely proud to have helped thousands of students become industry professionals and establish a career in hospitality over the last five decades.
Connecting with industry throughout this time, the college continues to adapt courses to reflect the changing needs of the hospitality industry.
Industry connections paving the way to employment
Kenvale College partners with industry and businesses to provide students with the ideal opportunities to gain practical knowledge and experience in their areas of study.
Industry connections have been developed and nurtured over many decades and span a wide range of hospitality brand names, such Novotel, Crowne Plaza, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotels, Intercontinental, Solotel, Holiday Inn – IHG, ICC Sydney, to name a few.
By doing this, students are paired with the right opportunity based on their interests and individual personalities.
The Industry Placement programme combines work and study – a practical component that runs concurrently with classes. Here, students attend classes at the college for two days a week and complete their work placement for the remaining part of the week.
Most students work an average of 20 hours per week throughout the year. The number of hours worked each week depends on the course you choose to study.
Jun Zhang, a student in the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management and Event Management programme, said, “Through the industry liaison at Kenvale College, I am currently working at the Crowne Plaza, Coogee Beach. As an international student, language is obviously the biggest challenge for me as my first language is not English, as well as integrating into the Australian culture.
“This is because of the contrasts between the Australian and Chinese lifestyles. The combined work and study at Kenvale is great as it provides a perfect balance of work and study as there are only two study days each week, and the rest of the week you are able to get valuable industry experience in your workplace.”
They also align their teaching to meet the needs of the hospitality and tourism industry, contributing to the knowledge of the industry and helping to shape future hospitality leaders.
As a result, a Kenvale graduate will be at the forefront of the hospitality industry and part of the next generation of hospitality managers.
Aileen Tukala, who is also studying the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management and Event Management, said, “Kenvale’s Combined Work and Study programme gave me the skills and experience it took to gain a full-time job in a reputable company as soon as I finished my studies.
“The networking experiences and suggested work placements gave me so much knowledge in different areas. Whilst studying, I was a food and beverage attendant for the Australian Turf Club and Rydges Parramatta.
“I also did two internships in my last year that involved lots of admin work meaning that not only did I get to experience the practical side of events, I also did the administrative side. What we learned in college we would take to our workplace and apply on the daily.
“As someone who had never worked before college, it gave me the experience that every employer asks from any potential employee. I now work as a supervisor of over 100 employees at the new International Convention Centre Sydney.”
Helping students prepare for a bright career in Hospitality
As part of their Paid Industry Employment Programme, an Industry Liaison Manager meets with each individual student to ascertain their interests, experience and career aspirations and works with them to help them secure employment in the industry.
They also help them develop their resumes, prepare them for job interviews, and help them work on areas they need to strengthen.
Using their wide range of industry contacts, they also introduce students to future employers. They work actively to get each student in paid employment in the industry as soon as possible at the beginning of the course.
Due to these efforts, 50 percent of students are in paid employment by the end of the first week of their course.
Chelsea Hu, another student studying for the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management and Event Management programme, said, “Realistically speaking, juggling working at the Novotel Brighton Beach and studying full-time at Kenvale is not without its challenges, but this college has gone above and beyond in creating a nurturing and supportive environment for me to grow both professionally and on a personal level.”
The support system from staff and the close-knit student community provides international students with a memorable student experience where they can also develop as individuals.
Tukala said, “Student Life at Kenvale is a different journey for all enrolled. For me personally it meant a long travel back and forth from home, spending time with the best people in the world whilst learning and then applying the theory learnt in class to my workplace after college.
“It’s very easy to connect to people from all over the world when you go to Kenvale and those connections stay with you for life. The people you meet become your support system to get you through all the ups and the downs that college life has to offer.
“I would be lying if I said it was easy, but we had constant feedback to improve conditions, a mentoring programme and dedicated staff who are determined to see you succeed.”
Kenvale College is committed to helping students gain employment and build a career in the hospitality industry, giving them the chance to develop invaluable industry experience.