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La Trobe Business School

Tag: international

LBS Events Management Student completes placement at Disney: “I really felt that Disney helped me to grow my confidence and strengthen my communication skills.”

By Jessica Guirdanella

After graduating high school, I realised my love for helping people and making them smile. Volunteering was the way I found to incorporate this into my everyday life. I volunteer for multiple corporations, including several non-profit ones that have helped my gain experience within my field of study, Business Events Management/ Marketing (La Trobe University). Through this, I learnt I was a practical hands-on learner and could grow my skills when I was working in and outside my field assisting in new projects. I would always be open minded in trying new tasks.

Interning at Disney

In October of 2015, I applied for a Cultural Exchange Program sponsored by the Walt Disney Company. After an interview and a long wait, I received the wonderful news that I had been chosen to be a Cast Member at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Participating in the Internship meant that I would delay finishing my current university course by a year, although to work for Disney was always a dream.

On the program, I was given the role as a Life Guard at a Disney Resort. This meant that people’s safety was my responsibility every day. Professionally, I found myself in many interesting situations. However, this never stopped me to create Magic for all the guests. Making people smile is something I live by and at Disney I was able to go above and beyond in my role to create that happiness. Whether it was getting a child balloons for their birthday or for conquering the ‘scary’ slide, surprising families with the unexpected and having a positive conversation with someone was a great aspect of the work.

Being a Cast Member for one of the largest and most well-known companies worldwide taught me many things. I learnt the ins-and-outs of what it takes to run such a large company. I was surrounded by amazing fellow Cast Members, coordinators and a leadership team that was always assisting their cast members so they could excel in their role. I was extremely grateful when I learnt that I was getting trained in one of my dream roles: Resort Activities. This allowed me to put my skills in working with children to use. I would get to run activities and make sure all kids where smiling and happy!

Half way though my program it was announced that I was receiving a Quarterly award. This award is awarded to Cast Members who perform their role at exceptional standards. I really felt that Disney helped me to grow my confidence and strengthen my communication skills.

What I Learned

One of the things I’ve learnt in my time with the Disney Company is that you’ll always get the work you put in back in another rewarding way. The experience also taught me how important it is to make people smile. I made it my goal to go into work every day with a positive attitude, and got nothing but positive in return. Of course, there were situations where my day was turned upside down, but I always used these situations as something I could learn from.

While overseas, I was sent the news that I had been nominated for a Victorian Young Achievers Award within the leadership category. I was recognised for my work in the community. It was extremely special and has inspired me to continue doing what I’m doing.

If I could give anyone advice, I would tell them to follow your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you what path to take in life, create your own. If things get difficult, stay positive, find a solution and take it as a learning experience, help others and never forget to Smile.

If you’re considering volunteering, whether it’s to help you gain experience in your field of study or wanting to play a part in making a difference in your community, DO IT! Volunteering is a great way to network and get to know people who are like mined, where you’re assisting with an operation as well as building your own skills.

Gaining work experience is something we encourage our students to complete during their studies. We offer several possibilities for students to gain experience as part of their degree.

La Trobe’s tourism studies garner international recognition

By Warwick Frost

La Trobe University has made the inaugural QS World University Rankings for Hospitality and Leisure Management this year, while a key faculty member recently received an international award for her tourism research.

For the first time, this year’s QS World University Rankings include Hospitality and Leisure Management as a category. From Victoria, Monash University (22) and La Trobe University (50) were included in the top 50. The other four Australian universities recognised were: Griffith University (9), The University of Queensland (12), University of South Australia (27) and Southern Cross University (38).

This comes as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of La Trobe University and the 21st birthday for our Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality. It is also significant that Tourism and Hospitality was the only area at La Trobe to be placed in the global top 50.

The rankings are based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. Sixteen of the top 50 institutions are located in Europe, 15 are from North America, 10 from Asia and six from Australia. The University of Nevada – Las Vegas came in at first place.

Many of the universities in the top 10 are specialist institutions, including Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (2) and Swiss Hotel Management School (8).

LBS Associate Professor Jennifer Laing awarded Emerging Scholar of Distinction for 2017

Associate Professor Jennifer Laing of the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism at La Trobe University was recently awarded the Emerging Scholar of Distinction for 2017 by the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. She received the award at a conference in Guangzhou, China in May.

Laing says that most of her research has been conducted in Victoria. “My research on festivals and events has primarily examined their social benefits and meanings, such as their role in changing environmental behaviour,” she says. “I have also looked at practical problems such as governance issues affecting the viability of rural festivals, like succession planning and volunteer burnout.” Her  work has covered four main research areas: the social dimension of events, the role of tourism in rural and regional development, media and travel narratives, and health and wellness tourism.

The Academy (which is headquartered at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) was created to further scholarly research in tourism, and its Fellows are comprised of highly accomplished tourism researchers from around the world. Up to three scholars receive this award every two years and applicants must be within 10 years of having completed their PhD.

The award acknowledges Dr Laing’s contribution to tourism research and her substantial publication track record of innovative and ground-breaking research in top-tier journals and co-authorship of five research books. It is the first time a Victorian scholar has won this award.

Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh receives SOTL grant

Recently, LBS lecturer Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh was awarded a grant from the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) fund.

La Trobe University is committed to ensuring high quality learning experiences for students and a culture that recognises and rewards great teaching. Pedagogical practices that enhance the student learning experience are strongly valued. La Trobe Learning and Teaching (LTLT) the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Fund scholarships were created to support these evidence-based practices.

The SOTL Fund consists of a pool of funds supporting:

  • Category A: grants up to $100,000: Projects that will result in significant change across La Trobe and address one of more of the University’s strategic targets in student retention, success, satisfaction and graduate outcomes.
  • Category B: grants of up to $20,000: Proof of concept that could lead to a larger, more significant project; or a small project that will address one or more of the University’s strategic targets in students retention, success, satisfaction and graduate outcomes, within a School or College.
  • Professional development grants: Funding will only be allocated to teaching focussed staff for professional development opportunities. Applicants can apply for up to $3,000.

Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh’s project is titled ‘Undergraduate International Students Engagement Experiences in a Blended Learning Environment: An Exploratory Study at La Trobe University’. It was selected among large number of applications and is awarded the Category B grant for $20,000.

LBS student Achan Amol on her overseas internship: “It was an unforgettable experience”

On top of the Helipad Bar gazing at the Petronas Towers

On top of the Helipad Bar gazing at the Petronas Towers

By Achan Amol

Going into my second year of studies in a Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) at LBS, I was eager to travel, as travel has been a massive passion of mine. In June/July 2016 I travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the help of the study abroad team who got in contact with an organisation called CISaustralia. The La Trobe Study Abroad team gave me a tremendous level of support in enhancing my trip, so that it became an unforgettable experience. I was advised of the opportunity to do an internship abroad. Then the rest of the work was completed by the awesome team at The Global Student who worked together with CISaustralia to find me a great position at a four star hotel called Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya. I worked there at the front desk of the hotel as a receptionist.

During my six weeks at the Crystal Crown Hotel, I was able to put the theory that I had learnt in my first year of studies into action in a practical environment. I was greeting, checking guests in and out, making bookings, answering phone calls and undertaking all the other duties that came with the position I was working in. I also learnt a great deal about culture as a majority of the guests coming into the hotel were either locals or international visitors from all paths of life. The opportunity to work as an intern in Malaysia has broadened my perspective of the world around me and made me aware of the different cultures around the globe.

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With my final year just around the corner this internship gave me hands on experience in an ideal potential future job that I could undertake after completing my degree. Being able to work as a full time intern overseas opens a wide range of career opportunities and also provides opportunities such as networking, experiencing a new culture and meeting new people.  I highly recommend it.

Achan Amol is in her second year of studies in a Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) at La Trobe Business School.

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