Fiona Nguyen is a vibrant and talented postgraduate student, currently studying a Master of International Hotel Management at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS).
Originally from Vietnam, Fiona was drawn to study Hospitality in Australia because of her love for the dynamic, innovative and human experience of working in hotels. As the No. 1 hotel management school in the Asia-Pacific, BMIHMS was a natural choice for her to get the best possible education.
“I love the hotel industry because I get to meet a lot of people from all over the world,” Fiona explained in her recent Student Spotlight feature interview.
“Since I started working in hotels, I have heard a lot of interesting stories, learned a lot about different cultures, and have introduced the unique features of the locality to tourists. When serving customers, I feel very happy and excited.
This is why I choose to work in hotels, especially brands with their own business philosophy.”
Fiona's focus on improving human experiences in the Hotel industry
In a world where technology is constantly evolving, Fiona is someone who values the shared experiences that make us essentially human.
Although she is excited by the progress of new technologies, for her the hotel industry presented a career opportunity that’s more focused on innovation as a means of improving human experiences.
“In parallel with the technology industry, hospitality is an industry that is always developing and innovating.
On the one hand, technology is developing in areas like machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). On the other hand, hospitality is geared towards the human element, focused on creating different experiences for people.
I believe that people will always play a central role in hospitality; no machine can replace the human focus of development within the hospitality industry. I want to be a part of that exciting growth and innovation,” said Fiona.
Challenges for international students to work, network and make new friends
For many international students coming from a different countries, studying can be intimidating.
You have to learn a new language, new ways of working, and make new friends and networks all while studying: it can be challenging even for the most prepared students.
Fiona, however, found that she was more enthusiastic than anxious about her decision to leave for a new country.
“The truth is that I was more excited than scared to come to Australia,” Fiona explained.
“Australia is a very developed and safe country, and I fell in love with the living and studying environment here as soon as I arrived. Studying in Australia for me was the right and wise decision.”
The study experience at Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School
For many students who come to BMIHMS to study for the first time, the biggest lessons they take away from their time studying are not always the ones they expected to learn.
Most students who come to BMIHMS to study expect to learn just the practical skills they need in order to manage a hotel. What they often discover is that in addition to all those essential skills, they also learn a lot about themselves, their full potential and their capacity to become real leaders.
During her studies so far, the biggest lesson that Fiona has learnt that will stay with her into her future Hotel career is how she can be a lifelong learner just by choosing to stay curious.
“What I have learnt in more than half a year of studying in Australia is to be open to constantly growing and experiencing new things. This helps us to develop and prepare us for a solid career,” Fiona revealed.
Fiona chose an unprecedented time to begin her studies to become a hotel manager; at the end of the biggest pandemic in recent history, an event that had a huge impact on the industry.
Despite the challenges of the past few years, she’s optimistic about her choice to enter the industry at this moment and looking forward to her future career.
The Hotel industry needs to meet the increasing demand for tourism
“After the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is slowly recovering and people are starting to travel again. The hotel industry will experience dramatic growth to meet the increasing demand for travel and tourism.
As it gets easier and easier to travel between regions or countries, we’ll also see the demand for skilled professionals skyrocket,” Fiona explained.
After almost a year of studying in Australia at BMIHMS, does she have any advice to offer to other students who might also be thinking of travelling overseas and studying abroad?
“There’s absolutely nothing to worry about,” said Fiona, “and plenty to be excited about. Studying in another country will give you a lot of opportunities to grow, live more independently and have a more open and friendly view of the world. After studying, you may even want to continue on to explore more in other countries.”
Through a recruitment day organised by her Success Coach, Fiona is now working as a Guest Service Agent at Tryp by Wyndham.
With her positive attitude and strong work ethic, there’s no doubt that Fiona Nguyen has a bright future in hotels ahead of her. Good luck, Fiona.