I didn’t know water could be so blue

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One of the many benefits of working in the hospitality industry is having the opportunity to work anywhere – at amazing properties and in amazing locations. International Hotel and Resort Management student Thanushi Perera, along with 12 other BMIHMS students, was fortunate enough to secure an Industry Placement (IP) position on Hamilton Island, in tropical Queensland. Thanushi completed her first IP as a Food and Beverage Attendant at the Reef View Hotel, in the Pool Terrace.

A typical day began early in the morning, setting up breakfast and turning on the coffee machines. Once guests began to arrive Thanushi was busy managing tables and taking orders. On a busy morning Thanushi would complete as many as eight hundred covers for breakfast. When the breakfast shift came to an end at eleven o’clock, the team would have a well earned break. After some rest the Food and Beverage team would be ready to tackle the lunch shift, feeding hungry guests – ravenous after their morning activities on the resort.

IP is an important component of all BMIHMS at Torrens University degrees. Students are able to gain relevant work experience whilst studying. Students are able to apply what they have learnt in the classroom in an operating business. For graduates to become successful managers they need to understand the intricacies that it takes to run a hotel, a resort or an event at every level, especially those in customer facing roles.

Life on Hamilton Island isn’t all work and no play. When staff are not working they are able to enjoy the island for themselves and participate in many of the activities available to guests on the island and further afield. If you need some time away from all the tourists, the staff also has their own retreat for some well-earned R&R.

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Thanushi said “We worked long hours, sometimes 10 – 15 hours a day, but it paid off. When you have days off you get to do what the tourists are doing; discover the Great Barrier Reef, walk along Whitehaven Beach, sky dive over Airlie Beach, and paddle board closer to home on Hamilton Island. It was a special experience, I didn’t know water could be so blue.”

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BMIHMS students have been heading to Hamilton Island for many years to complete their industry placements. Students have secured positions at many of the islands five properties, from the luxurious Qualia through to the family friendly Reef View Hotel. For Thanushi, her experience was made by the friendly and welcoming culture that Hamilton Island practices.

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Thanushi said “My experience on Hamilton Island was really personal. I was able to build close relationships with the management staff. They were great at providing direction and were always patient teaching staff new skills. I always felt confident before being rostered on.”

Since returning to Sydney, Thanushi’s time on Hamilton Island has really paid off for her. She has secured a casual food and beverage position while she is studying. Thanushi is working at the Shangri-la Hotel in their famous fine-dining restaurant, Altitude – which is located on the 36th floor.

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Each year Hamilton Island directly recruits BMIHMS students for Industry Placements. Students need to formally submit an application and address specified selection criteria. Those who are shortlisted then have face-to-face interviews with recruiters when visiting both Sydney and Leura Campuses. Students who successfully progress through an additional two rounds of selection are then offered a position for their industry placement. Students are able to arrange meetings with the BMIHMS Career Development team to have their CV reviewed and complete practice interviews –either in person or through the Careers Connect portal.