“Tourism is a dominant industry for our country and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the significance of the industry to the country’s economic development & environment. The industry has witnessed the divesting economic impact that the pandemic has had on the key components that make up the travel and tourism sector” Itumeleng Boylane says”.
In our Alumnus feature this month we catch-up with former student and Tourism Management graduate, Itumeleng Boylane. Born and bred in the Vaal, Itumeleng is a Vaal University of Technology alumnus that obtained her National Diploma in 2010 and B-Tech in 2012 in Tourism Management and holds Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Management from the Institute of Marketing Management (IMM) Graduate School. She comes from a small tight-knit family that consists of her mother, older brother, and three nephews.
During her undergrad studies Itumeleng was part of several programs that VUT offered to students. She was part of the Peer Education Programme and served in the Humanities Executive Committee and Black Management Forum Student Chapter. Through her involvement in various organisations, she created relations that lived throughout her varsity days. “Although I stayed off-campus, I had a full student life experience, one that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, one of the things I love, and I miss most about VUT is that it was a close-knit student community, it felt like home, hence it was only natural that I return and complete my BTech there,” she said.
Her love for tourism developed from as early as when she was in primary school. They would go on school excursions and leadership camps to places such as Vaal Tecknorama; Mpumalanga; Magaliesburg to name a few. After completing her Matric she took a gap year and got herself a job as an au pair in Germany. While working there she immersed herself in the country’s history and culture. The passion she had for tourism led her to enrol and study Tourism Management at VUT. The one thing she says she enjoyed most about studying Tourism Management, is the diverse learning experience it entails as modules are broad and vast. The diverse academic landscape of the programme enables a student to experience various industries within his/her field of study.
Itumeleng completed her in-service training at the Thebe Events & Projects Group and upon completing her BTech she worked as an intern at Fair Trade Tourism. In 2013 her other passion and love, Marketing led her to Menlyn Park Shopping Centre where she worked in the marketing department under Primedia Lifestyle until her departure 2017. She describes herself as a huge advocate of self-care and self-love. “Travelling soothes my soul immensely and in everything I do, I trust God to lead me,” she said.
She’s currently working within the marketing department at a Regional Shopping Centre as an Assistant Marketing Manager and their core mandate is to create awareness around the brand (the mall) and tenant offerings to attract foot traffic to the centre (shoppers) while also ensuring that they offer the most experiential customer experience for their shoppers.
In closing, she gave a piece of advice to her younger self by saying: “Always be you, don’t ever let the world dim your light. Follow your heart and pursue all the things that you love and enjoy. Strive to be an employer rather than an employee and constantly be innovative. Start saving early, travel, and experience the world to the full desire of your heart. Lastly, TIME IS PRECIOUS, live in every single moment of the happenings in your life”.
Article by: Mandisa Mtimkulu