The english dictionary explains, “Hospitality” as the friendly, generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers in one’s home, premise or country. In the Malaysian culture, hospitality seems to be at the core and is a binding value in the pillars of our society.
To many who are in the hospitality industry, the service industry remains abstract. At times, a temperament for the day sets the tone of a customers’ experience of a service rendered.
Highly versatile and skilled professionals in the hospitality industry could command a promising future, since the reputation of a hotel or service-related enterprise is paramount.
Learning and practising the right skill sets
With passion comes determination; However, to put our best foot forward, having the right knowledge and training is equally important. The branches of hospitality management ranges from hotel management, event management, food & beverage industry, tourism management, sports and leisure, theme parks, cruise ships and other service-related industries.
“We offer three types of programmes; Culinary Arts, Hotel Management and Hospitality Management. In our degree programme, we added several strategic business courses. This wholesome programme in hospitality management will groom our students for positions in management and operations,” briefed Datin Maimunah bt Sulaiman, Head, School of Hospitality and Tourism.
“Our courses include theory and practicum. Students learn how to lead and manage. Since we have the Flame Restaurant at Nilai University, students will take on different roles and learn to be managers as well as team players. It is important. In operations, everyone has a role to play,” added Edward Felix Joseph, Senior Lecturer.
Diploma in Hotel Management
Edward further clarified, the Diploma in Hotel Management covers six courses, including three practicum courses. The programmes give students an overview of the four critical areas of operations in a hotel, namely food service (dining), food preparation (kitchen), front office and housekeeping. Students will also familiarise with management and operational skills, as demanded by each of these areas. Students learn the essential basics such as how to serve food, table etiquette, hygiene, interaction with customers. Essentially, from A-Z of hotel operations in these 4 areas. Basically, the Diploma in Hotel Management would give students an overview of the ins and outs of hotel management.
“Our students could take on actual hotel operations easily when they graduate. From the feedback we receive, our students are self-starters and perform well,” Edward commented.
B.A. (Hons) in Business and Hospitality Management
“A solid foundation in business acumen broadens our students’ scope for career opportunities beyond the hospitality industry. They will be equally at ease in the business arena. The hospitality businesses would likely require employees to be well acquainted with management, marketing and accounting skills. We strive to, not only develop our students to be industry-ready but also confident, self-sufficient and open-minded to create own opportunities,” summarised Edward.
“For example, having sound knowledge in finance and accounting will give students the confidence and ability to analyse cost implications in their respective business units,” Datin Maimunah clarified.
A direct pathway for a student would be to enrol into this programme after completing one of the following tertiary qualifications:
- Diploma in Hotel Management or Diploma in Business Administration
- Foundation Certificates
- STPM or equivalent
“In addition Nilai University is well equipped with the full-fledged facilities for multi-faceted learning. We have a restaurant, mock-up hotel room, reception counter and 2 types of kitchen on-campus. In order for students to develop their skills and mindset, we organise symposiums on-campus and practicum at the nearby Nilai Springs Resort Hotel as part of the curricular,” elaborated Datin Maimunah.
The constant challenge to elevate customer experience is most crucial in the hospitality industry. Undoubtedly, technology affects the modern lifestyle and expectations of the market at large. Therefore, having a niche in providing a unique collaboration of people and technology would be an appealing approach.
This programme offers unique synergies in business, hospitality management and information technology, with a glimpse of e-commerce as part of its syllabi. The wholesome approach of this programme could catapult students’ perception.
“So far, our reputation in the industry is excellent. Many hotels are keen to have our students as trainees,” declared Junaida Harshah, Senior Lecturer in charge of internship placements.
Junaidah will prep the students for their internship placement. The pre-internship briefing is conducted one semester ahead before the students start for their internship duties.
“I will guide students in preparing their resume and organise career talks. We have invited Marriot Hotel Groups, Tune Hotel Group, Lexis Hotel Group, and Singapore Recruit Agency for a few careers talk sessions. After that, I will also advise students on writing their internship reports,” conveyed Junaidah.
“We will request established hotels to deliver presentations, and subsequently we will select the hotels that would give our students the best exposure during their internship. Most likely, we are keen to select four, 5 or 6-star hotels and sometimes affluent boutique hotels. However, to earn an internship placement, the determining factor is communication. Students must be able to express themselves well in English. They need to speak fluently,” highlighted Datin Maimunah.
Junaidah is confident that the experience gained during internship placements in branded hotels will give students a head start, and some are employed immediately after their internship.
“Some students are selected to undergo their internship in Singapore. This is an added advantage. They will have a year of international working experience,” said Junaidah.
As a rule of thumb, hotel and other service-related industry players will require students with a sound knowledge and skills of hotel operations, discipline and importantly, a positive attitude with the tenacity to handle, sometimes awkward situations.
Nurture your dreams with ease
Nilai University offers up to 100% scholarship to well-deserving students. Find out about the seven types of scholarships available. Nilai University’s education counsellors and experienced lecturers will guide, access and assist you in applying for a scholarship. Nilai University is open daily except on public holidays. Please call 06-850 2308 for an appointment or click on www.nilai.edu.my or visit our campus in Nilai.
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