Emily White - (William Blue Graduate, 2008)
I found out about William Blue College of Hospitality and Tourism by attending an information evening in Orange. I then went on to do the “Day in the Life of a Hotel Manager” workshop and I’ve had my heart set on hotel management ever since!
I chose William Blue after considering a lot of other hotel schools. William Blue College of Hospitality and Tourism stood out to be the best one with a wide varied course, great reputation and a promise of your career starting on day one...and it has!
The Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management is a very broad and interesting course; I feel it’s giving me a good grounding in hospitality. Also, when studying and working at the same time, you really feel that you’re putting into practice what you are learning.
I plan on studying the degree program. On completion of the degree I will then look into either cruise ships or Europe in the short term and Human Resources in the long term… That’s what I love about hospitality it’s so diverse, the opportunities are endless!
By combining a great student and staff body, William Blue creates a wonderful and unique environment to learn in.
Malvin Legaspi - (4th Semester Student)
I found out about William Blue College of Hospitality and Tourism through my agent in the Philippines. The agent recommended William Blue on its quality in the delivery of its courses and its speciality in the area of hospitality. When deciding on a school, I looked at the subjects on offer and felt the curriculum at William Blue would be best suited to my career.
Now that I am studying at the school, I enjoy all of the subjects on offer. The subjects have been helpful in building my career in hospitality.
Whilst studying at William Blue College of Hospitality and Tourism, I worked on Blue Line Cruises in the kitchen as well as doing part-time work with Sodexco in Corporate Functions. I have also worked towards being a qualified cook and can also work as a chef.
My career aspiration in the short term is to move into a supervisor/manager role in a 5 star hotel. I would like to experience both the Food & Beverage and the Rooms Division.
I recently landed a role in Banquets in a leading 5 star hotel (Hilton Sydney) and hope to move into a traineeship in the not too distant future. I am very committed to building a career in the hospitality industry and my studies at William Blue have helped me in achieving my dreams.
Matthew Abrahams (Current degree student at William Blue)
In 2006 Matthew won both the Finance Award and Food and Beverage Award
One of the best aspects of studying at William Blue College of Hospitality and Tourism is the quality of the student cohort. The quality of my fellow students shows in the fact that many of them are holding junior and some senior management positions within the industry whilst studying.
Matthew is currently doing Industry Placement at TOGA
Hospitality. His operations within the TOGA group include: Food and
Beverage Attendant at Vibe Hotel North Sydney, Central Reservations
Agent, Senior Receptionist at Medina Grand Sydney
Matthew’s previous hotel experience is with Travelodge Sydney as Receptionist, Night Manager and Accounts Officer, and with Saville Park Suites Chatswood as Receptionist, Night Manager and Maintenance Assistant.
Annie Walsh - (Currently in year 2 of the Hopistality Mangement Program)
I found out about William Blue College of Hospitality and Tourism through a career day at my high school, and then again when representatives of the school came to talk to the hospitality students. I chose to study at William Blue because of the school’s reputation and image. The school also seemed to be well structured, and well established.
What I like about studying here are the lecturers. They are knowledgeable and have an easy-to-understand teaching style.
We get taught different things all the time. The subjects are all relevant, and we aren't learning anything that is not relevant.
The staff at the college are really friendly and easy to approach with any issues. There are good facilities for food and beverage and a well-established kitchen.
My career aspirations are to complete the advanced diploma this year, and continue working. I then want to come back to study. At work I want to gain experience, so that I can move towards a management position.
What is unique about William Blue is the course structure and the way our Industry Placement is set out.
Anthony Cohen, Australia
(Completed studies at William Blue in 1996)
WB: Why did you choose William Blue College of Hospitaliy Management?
AC: I had always wanted to study hotel management. After visiting and considering a number of similar schools both locally and overseas, I found that William Blue offered me the opportunity to obtain an internationally recognised qualification whilst still being able to work and study in my home town.
WB: Tell us about your William Blue study experience.
AC: To be truthful I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my studies. My best memories centre around the people at William Blue though, and more specifically my lecturers. People like Margaret Gill, Leonie Looser, Bob Dunstan and Ron de Wit stand out as consummate professionals and mentors. The lessons they taught me went beyond the subjects they lectured in and have inspired me through my career.
WB: Which part of the William Blue course was the most useful to you for your career?
AC: At the beginning of my hotel career, subject specific parts of the course such as Front Office Management and Housekeeping were obviously very useful. My experiences at William Blue challenged me in other ways too and forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I learned how to properly make professional presentations, interact with peers more effectively, and overcome my own self doubt. William Blue was also where I started to learn how to lead, direct and motivate teams.
WB: Tell us about your career progression since finishing your studies at William Blue.
AC: During my studies I obtained casual employment with the then Hyatt Regency Sydney. Upon graduation they offered me a full time position, and over the proceeding 2 years I managed to work in every area of the hotel aside from Engineering. I ended my time at Hyatt as Reservations Supervisor.
Following Hyatt, I joined the Front Office team at the Sir Stamford Double Bay. By then my previous Reservations Manager at Hyatt had moved to a new chain - Astor Hotel Group - as Sales & Marketing Manager. She offered me a job with the group as Marketing and Reservations Coordinator.
Wanting something different, and I suppose looking for the opportunity to travel, I moved to Qantas in 1998 starting in domestic reservations.
Over the last 11 years I have enjoyed 9 different positions based in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. After assisting with the opening of the Qantas reservation centre in Tasmania I moved back to Sydney as national Reservations Policy & Procedure Coordinator. That role led me to be Systems & Process Manager for Qantas Group Loyalty; Managing Qantas Chairman's Lounge, Qantas Frequent Flyer and The Qantas Club policies and systems.
Again wanting to experience something "more" I moved from marketing to operations. My previous experiences within the airline landed me a role in the airline's control room as part of a team managing the day-to-day operations of domestic pilot operations. I spent 5 years in that role learning everything I could about airline operations, regulatory compliance and legislation. Being honest, I also relished the opportunities it afforded me to play with really big and expensive toys every day!
In July 2008 I took on my current managerial role in the Crew Planning & Operations group, still based within the Integrated Operations Centre, Sydney.
WB: How did you find your initial role/job after graduating?
AC: I was already employed at the Hyatt Regency Sydney working as a casual Banquets Waiter, Switchboard Operator, Regency Club Concierge, Porter and Houseman. Upon obtaining my qualifications and being available full time, I was offered a full time position in the Reservations team.
WB: What is your current role at your current company?
AC: I am currently Manager Aircrew Operations Support, overseeing 2 departments and 14 direct reports operating 7 days a week from 0500-2359. I manage the operational logistics services that support 6,000 Qantas Flight and Cabin Crew whilst on company duty. Whether during training, or on flying duties, crew require air travel, accommodation, meals, transport and allowances. My teams coordinate these services from planning stage through to day of operation to ensure that our crews' needs are seamlessly met at every part of their journey. As part of this we book over 65,000 air tickets, coordinate all onboard crew meals, ground transportation and book in excess of 300,000 hotel room nights annually.
WB: Describe a typical day for you in your current role
AC: My day usually starts early with my team, reviewing events from the night before and establishing how the day ahead looks.
We have a variety of tools and very talented people who provide detailed forecasts and plans of what we can expect. This can range from VIP customer movements, engineering requirements, military exercises, crew resource availability, weather forecasts, medical and security situations. I also review updated hotel forecasts for the week and determine if we need to book contingency accommodation. All of these can impact heavily on our day. The operations room can be an energised place, in which decisions are made at rapid pace. My team is there to support the overall operation and needs to be able to react with equal speed. Ensuring that we are prepared for any situation is key to our being able to deliver.
I catch up with my Executive Manager to review current projects underway and discuss any advance planning needed as well as discussing various aspects of my team's performance and how my KPI's are tracking if needed.
The remainder of my day usually consists of being involved with my team members on duty, following up on any issues or progressing any number of initiatives we are working on. Booking so much accommodation also means a lot of invoices, and I verify these and other costs to ensure we are keeping to budget. An organisation as large as Qantas means there are diverse stakeholders and suppliers. It is not only a priority to maintain these relationships effectively, but day-to-day operations necessitate constant communication and meetings with them.
WB: What are your future aspirations – longer term goals (5 years)
AC: I'd like to see myself complete my MBA and further cement my experiences and expertise in a highly diverse and global operation. Whether or not this remains Qantas is open. I have always welcomed change and challenges, and see that as one of my strengths. I also aim to further my teaching and training portfolio, which is something I started earlier on in my roles at Qantas. Regardless of which company, or where in the world I may be, I have no doubt that I will remain within the service and logistics industries. Who knows, perhaps even hotels again.
WB: What advice could you give potential students (thinking about studying at William Blue?)
AC: I'd encourage them to take advantage of the exceptional people that will be leading and mentoring them during their course. One of the key advantages William Blue has over other institutions are the credible, working professionals who tutor and lecture there. Use this time and opportunity to build your interpersonal skills, learn from those around you and never, ever, upset the chef.
WB: What career advice could you give new Alumni (recently graduated students)?
AC: Always be open to new opportunities and experiences, even if they lead you to places you never envisaged yourself being in. Remember too, that no matter your qualification, ours is an industry that values hard work and first hand experience. Accept that in order to progress higher you may need to prove yourself on the lower rungs first. And in cases like mine, take a step back occasionally in order to move forward. Value the people around you as much as you do those paying for the services that you offer. And smile.
Olivier Fernandez, France
(Completed studies at William Blue in 2002)
When I first came to Australia, I started the Billy Blue College English course before moving onto William Blue to study hospitality. The initial course helped me feel comfortable with English and at the same time, I discovered the ‘Aussie’ lifestyle and people. This course gave me confidence and I felt welcomed into the country.
When I started my hospitality course with William Blue, I went
straight to the 3rd semester of the Advanced Diploma program. The
Australian educational system is very different to the French. It was
really nice to learn new things. The learning was fun and it was a
pleasure thanks to the lecturers. I found them very helpful and
attentive to my needs.
One of my fondest memories was my business plan and the ceremony! I felt so proud to be a student at William Blue. The course helped me mature and I felt that anything was possible. I continue to use the skills and experience that I learnt at William Blue.
My industry placement was at The Four Seasons Sydney. This was a great challenge for me. When I returned to France I worked for a five-star hotel called "Hotel de Crillon" as a Room Service Assistant Manager for 3 years. Today, I'm a Room Service Manager at "Le Meurice" which is now third of all five-star hotels in France. The challenges are big, but never unreachable...
I'm 29 years old and I feel very proud to be in this position at my age, working for this kind of Hotel. Obviously my background being French was very helpful, but my Australian experience helped me progress to manager. I now have a different view of how to manage staff and achieve excellence everyday with my team.
My vision is totally different thanks to my learning at William Blue College of Hospitality Management. I will never forget what the college gave me… And trust me, I always encourage young people to travel to Australia. It was certainly one of the best experiences of my life!
There are so many things to say about my UNFORGETABLE EXPERIENCE at William Blue and Australia... I will never stop! Thanks again!
Ines Margarita Cabarrus
(Completed studies at William Blue in 2004)
Ines is currently Assistant F&B Manager, F&B and Beverage Lecturer at Enderun Colleges Inc. College of International Hospitality Management Manila, Philippines
Brief Job Description
I manage and set up the school training restaurant, Restaurant 101; conduct Wine Tasting Seminars and Cocktail Making Seminars for students, parents, and members of the press; train Banquet staff for events; organise and oversee a number of school cocktail events. I will also be teaching the F&B Service and Beverage Management classes.
- July 2005 – present: Current Role
- Feb 2005 – June 2005: Operations Manager, Sugi Japanese Restaurant, Manila, Philippines
- June 2004 – Dec 2004: Assistant Sommelier, Wildfire Restaurant, Sydney
- 2003: Operations Assistant Sugi Japanese Restaurant, Manila, Philippines
- Definitely working in the fast paced restaurant business for starters; getting to serve and meet celebrities and VIPs
- Setting up, along with a prestigious restaurant owner, my own monthly wine and cheese club here in Manila, that has enjoyed success for over a year
- Having the opportunity to share my love and knowledge of wine with others
- Being featured numerous times in the Philippine Press
- Organising parties and events at the Hotel School
- Travelling to Shanghai, Korea, Dubai for business/school promotion
What is the best part about your current role?
I believe the best part of my current role is that I keep myself busy. There is certainly never a dull moment where I work, and the anticipation that grows as the opening of our school gets closer is riveting! I also love to work with people from so many sectors of the hospitality industry – from prominent GMs, to Marketing Directors, to facilities Directors – all of whom I have so much to learn from. Also, it is amazing to be part of something from the very beginning – I cannot wait until our first batch of eager students walks through our doors. This job is a perfect combination of my love for the hospitality industry and my passion for teaching.
Your advice to students starting out in the industry?
It’s a great world out there – full of opportunity. You have chosen such a wonderful and exciting career path that is currently one of the fastest growing global industries. You can travel wherever you want and meet so many fantastic people – the road is long and hard and it’s a lot of work, but it all pays off in the end. Don’t give up!
Adam Skinner, Australia
(Completed studies at William Blue in 2003)
Adam is currently working with Australia Leisure and Hospitality Group. They own 320 hotels around Australia and are owned by Woolworth and Carlton United. Adam’s title is Senior Assistant Manager at the Castle Hill Tavern. His responsibilities include managing 120 - 150 staff, recruitment, training, hiring, security, purchasing and stock control.
What did Adam like about William Blue College of Hospitality Management?
The easy transition from High School to William Blue
The hands-on, face-to-face training in small classes, unlike university where there are big lecture theatres
The team environment
The broad syllabus to allow for more scope in your career
How did studying at William Blue College of Hospitality Management help him?
Adam got his job at the Castle Hill Tavern whilst studying and working as a Bar Attendant. He approached his employer for more responsibility during his Industry Placement. When his employer noticed that he was a Hotel Management student at William Blue and one of his managers used to work at William Blue as a lecturer, Adam was given more training and responsibility by management and then promoted when a manager left.
The company he works for values their staff, offers training and recognises hard work. Adam is very satisfied with where his career has taken him.
— Anthony Wells
“ The service and attention was excellent. Especially my questions about low cholesterol options. ”
“ Keep up the good work. It was excellent! ”
— David Cunningham
“ Great service. Great concept and experience for us and the students. ”
— Anne Sheldon
“ Good attitude displayed. ”
— Nick Tuckett
“ Overall and excellent experience. The service was friendly and attentive. Thank you again! ”