Otago Polytechnic

OPAIC graduate Suzanne Wong is working her way up in the hotel industry in New Zealand.

Suzanne, known by her friends as Zani, studied a Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management at OPAIC from 2015 until 2016.

Zani comes from the Philippines. She’s also spent time in the United States studying hospitality and tourism with a minor in music.

After finishing her undergraduate study she returned to the Philippines and spent four years working in a call centre as a training supervisor.

“Because I loved hospitality and the training field so much, I wanted to work in the hotels as a trainer.” 

She started looking around for a school that could help her achieve that goal, then heard about OPAIC at an educational expo in Manila. An OPAIC representative encouraged her to come to the school and she was here a few months later.

 “My experience here at the school was awesome,” says Zani.

“I love the teachers, I love experiential learning. We got to do a lot of stuff hands-on.”

Zani says she liked that the school wasn’t too big, so teachers could provide students with the educational attention they needed.

Her favourite class was Contemporary Issues in the Hotel Industry. In that class she learned about issues like globalisation, gender, environmental issues, and social responsibility.

The hotel industry is a diverse and dynamic field and she needs to know about those things because she wants to be a manager one day.

Zani managed to find work at Ibis Budget Auckland Central 15 days after she arrived in New Zealand, with the help of a classmate who already worked there.

She began as a part-time room attendant, seeing it as a foot in the door of the hospitality industry. She also completed her internship at the hotel in the human resources department and on the front desk.

Zani still works at that hotel but has worked her way into a supervisory role.

Zani’s enjoying life in New Zealand. She says the country is beautiful and green and she loves the mountains and the ocean.

“I’m that person who loves to hike and who loves to surf and loves to go and climb mountains.”


Published on 31 August 2018

Orderdate: 31 Aug 2018
Expiry: 31 Oct 2018