Course Recommender

Don Har Zhu Wee

Real Work Experience
Nilai U student benefits from internship at university’s sister company.
“It was a very enlightening and rewarding experience. The staff were more than happy to guide me and I gained plenty of hands on experience,” smiles Don Har Zhu Vee  as she spoke about her six-month internship at the Nilai Springs Resort Hotel. The 22-year old Penangite is about to complete her Degree in Business and Hospitality Management at Nilai University (Nilai U)and says that she learned a great deal at the hotel (which is a sister company of the university).
“I was quite happy to do my internship at a smaller 4-star hotel as I believed I would learn more.  Indeed, the staff at Nilai Springs were very accommodating and trusted us with many responsibilities. I was allowed to handle the cashier and receive tour groups as well as PR duties. Sometimes I was left to work alone which is a sign that they trust me,” says the former SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman, Penang student.
Don also explained her willingness to do her internship at a 4-star hotel rather than opt for a 5-star hotel like many of her course mates. “I knew that Nilai Springs takes in many trainees from all over the region and I wanted to learn as much as possible during my internship.  I doubt that students who opted for the bigger 5-star hotels would have gotten the same number of tasks that I was assigned,” she says. “I believe that this work experience will help me get a good job later on. I am confident that employers will note the amount of areas that I am familiar with and realise that I wasn’t just a casual observer during my internship, I have plenty of hands-on experience.”
The petite young lass says that she had decided on entering the hospitality industry during her schooldays because she has relatives who are very successful in the hotel industry. Her uncle is currently a general manager at a hotel in Abu Dhabi and she has an aunt who is a director in one the top hotels in Kuala Lumpur. Their success inspired Don and coupled with her pleasant, outgoing personality, she felt that it was the right move for her.
Opting for Nilai University was a no-brainer according to her. “I really love the campus. It’s quiet and really peaceful. Also, Nilai U offered me a scholarship based on my SPM results,” states Don. She enrolled in the Diploma in Hotel Management programme and then the BA (Hons) in Business and Hospitality Management. “Even though I already knew I wanted to get a degree as I believe it is very important for your career prospects, I opted to enter the diploma instead of the Foundation programme as I was wanted to immediately learn as much as possible about the hospitality industry,” explains Don.
She admits that the transition from diploma to degree was quite difficult in the beginning but she managed to adapt quite quickly. “At diploma level, everything is pretty much laid out for you in the textbooks. You just need to study diligently. At degree level, there is a lot more coursework and independent thinking required. You are also involved in a lot of group projects and reports,” she recalls. Don credits the lecturers in Nilai U’s School of Hospitality and Tourism for helping her acclimatise quickly. “The great thing about the School of Hospitality and Tourism is that the lecturers are always ready and willing to guide you. There are really a dedicated bunch who spend many hours after classes tutoring students and preparing them for various hospitality-related competitions,” she recalls.
“Some institutions may have state-of-the-art facilities but what students get at Nilai U is 100% focus from the lecturers. That is priceless. Also, we are taught how to operate in situations where all you have are the basics so that we are not lost when we are without our gadgets or fancy tools. We are taught how to think on our feet and not to panic when the going gets tough,” she declares. “That’s is why I feel ready and confident to enter the working world!”
Nilai U’s School of Hospitality and Tourism also offers a Diploma in Culinary Arts and Diploma in Tourism Management. Its on-campus facilities include a 100-seater formal dining restaurant and dedicated butchery, bakery and cold room areas. For more information, please go to or call 06-8502338 / 03-79603089 / 07-2262336 / 088-238811.
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