Ever since his first day at BMIHMS, Harsh Chugani hasn’t stopped achieving! As he prepares to finish his degree in International Hotel and Resort Management, he is well prepared to catapult into his professional career. Harsh has been the driving force behind Coffee Time for Term 1, and is a mentee in the BMIHMS Alumni Mentoring Program. He has acquired a full time graduate position as a Guest Services Agent (GSA) at the Four Seasons Sydney. I was able to grab five minutes with him and find out where his passion for hospitality comes from and how he has found his time studying in Australia.
Q. Where did you find your passion for hospitality?
I’ve wanted to do hospitality for quite a while now, probably since the ninth grade. I grew up in India where most of my friends were pushing to become engineers, doctors or chartered accountants – basically things that would do my head in. I needed something that would let me travel, meet new people and learn about different cultures. My aunt was a General Manager for a property back home, and watching her work inspired me to choose this industry as a career, so here I am!
Q. You are very involved within many school programs and activities. What motivates you?
Well, my mum and friends say there’s something wrong with me, but the truth is being involved in so much is fun for me. I enjoy myself and get a buzz out of it. It’s another chance to meet new people, have new experiences and learn something new.
Q. How have you found studying and living in Australia?
I’ve absolutely loved every minute of it! I’ve been lucky enough to have lived and worked in places like the Blue Mountains, Ayers Rock (Uluru), Melbourne and Sydney. They’ve all been amazing in their own way. I’ve had a lot of fun here – Australia is full of things to do. Between exploring its natural and hidden wonders, enjoying a wide variety of food and drink, partying hard and meeting some really unique personalities, I’ve been kept busy.
Q. What is your favourite thing about Australia?
The way Australians have a short version for pretty much every word. It cracks me up!
I love how Australia has something for everyone to do. Be it relaxing by the beach, trekking through forests, exploring the desert, climbing mountains, partying till the sun comes up or spending all day drinking some of the best coffee in the world. Australia has something to entertain everyone.
Q. What is your ultimate career goal?
I love operations, so I’m aiming to become a corporate level Operations Manager. Just like my mentor, Mr. Scott Boyes, Vice President of Operations for Accor Australia NSW & ACT, I’d love to be in a position making strategic decisions. Since meeting him, I can definitely tell that it is an exciting career, extremely challenging and very rewarding!
Q. You have been nominated for the Three Pillar Award, how does this make you feel?
Humbled and excited. The Three Pillars are the foundation on which our school enjoys its success, and to be recognised as a standout performer definitely makes you feel great. It’s my third nomination, so hopefully I’ll be lucky this time. Fingers crossed.
Q. What is your favourite thing about BMIHMS?
Hands down, the people I’ve met here. The BMIHMS family is very special to me. Living with people from so many different backgrounds and cultures, from all over the world living, working together and developing life-long friendships through amazing experiences is a phenomenal thing.
For example, in January a group of us were visiting Singapore. And on New Years Eve, in our group there was someone from Vietnam, Brazil, Canada, Norway, Chile and Mexico. There was also a Pilipino raised in Japan, a Dutch-Singaporean, an Indian raised in Singapore, and myself an Indian raised in Cameroon. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
Q. This is your final term at BMIHMS, would you recommend this experience to potential hospitality students?
I would definitely recommend the BMIHMS experience to anyone. The school has a lot to offer and opens many doors, you just need to reach out and grab them. The practical training is very relevant to current industry standards and the school has some excellent staff members who possess valuable experience in the industry.