STRIVING TO HAVE EMPLOYABLE GRADUATES WITHIN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY

By Puleng Maphisa 22 September 2022

VUT Tourism students

Adapting to a new life can be challenging, especially when you do not know what to expect after graduating. In an effort to help prepare their students for industry life, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT)’s Department of Tourism and Integrated Communication in partnership with the Tourism Educators South Africa (TESA), recently hosted a student webinar.

The webinar was held at the University’s Gold Fields library under the theme: Becoming employable in the Tourism & Hospitality industry, including current and unexplored career opportunities.

The main purpose of the webinar was to prepare students for the world of work and how to become employable graduates in the Tourism and Hospitality industry, including unpacking existing and new career opportunities within the industry. Described by students as an eye-opener, the webinar assisted in giving a clear understanding of what the Tourism industry expects from graduates.

On the day, attendants heard presentations from industry leaders, Ms Lillian Bususu, a Graduate Placement Manager and Ms Joyce Osborne, a Human Resources Administration Manager, both from Southern Sun Hotels. Ms Bususu presented the soft and tactical skills coupled with the correct mindset required to get employed in a better position.

Both speakers shared their experiences of how they started at the entry-level and worked their way to the top. They also shared significant tips on CV writing, interview preparations, how to conduct themselves in the workplace, and essential aspects that employers look for within the tourism industry. Effective communication, critical thinking and problem-solving are some of the most important aspects required by today’s employers, which are embedded in our VUT qualifications.

Dr Konanani Thwala, a Tourism Lecturer & Programme Coordinator, thanked the presenters on behalf of the students, saying that she was looking forward to seeing students put what they have learned into practice when they get to the workplace. She added that “these webinars teach students that to be successful they should get their priorities right, live life differently and not want to fit in, find things that can make them a living and lastly not be afraid to fail because failure is part of life”. In conclusion, Dr Thwala urged students and graduates to do everything to their best ability because employers and the world want the best performers; there is no room for second bests, they should make a path for themselves and develop a culture of excellence in everything.