Is this for me? Immersing students in their industry

From the beginning of their studies, it is important that students can visualise themselves as professionals and see where they are heading in their field. In everyday classes, the professional skills being practiced may not always be made explicit. Providing real-life industry experience can be a powerful catalyst for students to assess their aptitudes and build self-confidence.

To give students the opportunity for real-world immersion in their industry, Griffith College created a new Hotel Immersion Program in the Diploma of Hotel Management. It is an optional study extension that provides an insight into a real hospitality environment by in situ shadowing of key industry leaders.

Building students’ self-confidence

The field trip aims to prepare students for the demands and expectations of the working world, and to gain a deeper understanding of the operations and mechanics of the industry. It is also aimed at helping students make informed decisions about their future career choices by assessing their aptitudes and interests, and exploring potential specialisations.

In the most recent program, Hotel Management students participated in a residential field trip to Gold Coast’s five star RACV Royal Pines Resort. At the resort, they participated in work areas of their interest such as events & marketing, pastry kitchen, cold larder, housekeeping, banqueting, reservations, guest services, concierge, golf operations, front office reception and restaurant.

In their own words

The feedback has been affirming. Students seem to have emerged with the intended outcomes of both deeper knowledge of the operations of a successful resort and a greater appreciation for the content delivered in classes.

One student who attended the inaugural immersion field trip to the Gold Coast resort commented: “the immersion program was a great opportunity for me to consider what I want to do with my degree in the future.”

Another student said that staying at the hotel under the immersion program made her confident about her study choices. “The program was a great learning experience that broadened my understanding about the hotel industry,” she said. “The opportunity to be a guest in a five-star resort, benefit from the guest speaker presentations from department heads, visit front of house and back of house areas of the hotel and work side by side with hospitality professionals has confirmed that I made the right decision to work in hospitality.”

Coming up next

For our budding viticulturalists and hospitality professionals, the ability to articulate knowledge about wine is a distinguishing professional trait. So we are looking forward to launching a new program in the future centered around the annual grape harvest where students can learn about everything from grape varieties and writing tasting notes to storage, serving, health and safety.

How do you embed employability skills into your learning and teaching context? Dive deeper into the conversation around industry immersion programs with Gerard Roache via Yammer, or drop us a line if you have other employability strategies to share.