Anand Kumar Gurung, came to New Zealand in 2018 from Pokhara, Nepal, to study a Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management (Level 7) at SIT Queenstown campus. Now employed locally as an Outlet Manager for a restaurant in Arrowtown, Anand is realising his goals through gaining a qualification to help advance his career.
Anand says he’s always been engaged in hospitality, starting back in Nepal, in his home town of Pokhara, which has striking similarities to Queenstown. Known as Nepal's premier adventure and leisure destination, it is a place of great natural beauty and used as the gateway to hiking in the Annapurna region of the Himalayas. “Most people haven't heard of Pokhara’s resemblance to Queenstown in terms of adventure tourism activities, the landscape, and how their businesses thrive around those activities,” Anand said.
After two years of continuous involvement in the hotel industry in Nepal, Anand said he started looking for a breakthrough to advance in his career.
“I didn’t want to study for a long time but needed a course which would help me to step into the industry more quickly. I found a one-year course – a Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management, which aimed to achieve immediate entry into the hotel and tourism industry. And it was not a difficult decision for me to choose SIT Queenstown campus for this reason.”
Anand said the induction period helped him to settle into a new environment after shifting from Nepal. “I could have been stressed if SIT hadn’t provided a student apartment upon arrival. It was within a minutes’ walking distance to the campus.”
The support of the Pastoral Care team for international students was also appreciated. “And of course the facilities, high-speed internet to do my assignments, to watch movies and music at the apartment was a plus.”
Describing his studies at SIT as “fantastic” and full of learning opportunities, Anand said the programme focused on human resource management, research and presentations, project management and more. When he looks back on his time at SIT, he now realises that attending class was like participating in a workshop, and values how much of the material he actually uses in his day-to-day work.
“My assignments and presentations during my course of study helped to prepare me for what I’m doing now, such as business reports at work. The frequent field trips arranged for us gave me the chance to meet and make connections with industry leaders.”
Anand liked how the tutors were closely involved with their students, and paid attention to every individual person. He appreciated the human resource management topic, taught by Sonali Mendis, which has helped him to build a team at his workplace. “I can also effectively analyse and plan around business changes, thanks to Jayesh Menoth for his teaching on contemporary issues of the industry.”
Anand says there is an abundance of opportunities and skill shortages in the hospitality and tourism industry in New Zealand, Nepal and possibly other parts of the world. For those who are seeking a hospitality career, he advises it is a vast industry with scope in every aspect, from accounting, administrative, food and service, to sales and reservations, and more.
“I recommend gaining some academic insights to enter the industry, and I highly recommend SIT from my personal experience. And focus on what best suits you and keep a progressive mindset within your capacity, just as I am pursuing right now.”
“Thanks to SIT for designing a course that paved a pathway for my career progression.”