Student says get involved in tourism

Aleesha Crouch received a $2500 Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust Tourism Academic Scholarship in 2016. It helped with her first year of tertiary study and set her on the path to a fantastic career in tourism.

There has never been a better time for young people to enter the industry and get involved. It is exciting, vibrant and a great industry for anyone considering a career in tourism! Aleesha Crouch


Q: How was your first year of study?

It's been absolutely great, full of exciting trips, industry speakers, workplace experience and great tutors. I've learnt so much about the industry, both domestically and internationally. I have expanded greatly on my knowledge of tourism and at the end of my first year I'm glad that I chose Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) as my place of study.


Q: What qualifications are you studying towards?

In the first half of the year I completed my Level 4 Certificate in Tourism Operations and successfully gained a City & Guilds Diploma. I recently finished my first semester of the Tourism Level 5 Management Diploma which I will complete in 2017. I've also de

I plan to further extend my studies by cross-crediting into an Applied Business Management degree which will take me through three more years of study. I hope that with my combined tourism and business qualifications I will be placed in a better position in my endeavours to secure a career in the tourism industry.

Q:  What tourism–related papers do you do in your first year?

Tourism Business Systems which included an introduction to accounting and creating a marketing plan; Customer Service, which included real life role plays; and Tourism Workplaces where I had to gain industry experience.

My favourite paper in this course was our ‘Tourism Experience’ paper. This involved a fun and informative trip to Rotorua where we learned how tourism has played a significant role in providing employment and a stable local economy and also the importance that Maori tourism plays in regards to New Zealand’s Tourism industry. 

Q:  What advice would you have for senior secondary school students considering a career in tourism?

Absolutely go for it. Tourism is one of New Zealand’s key industries so there is a job to suit anyone and everyone. Whether you are looking to be an adventure tour guide, manage a visitor centre  or be part of a marketing campaign there are so many pathways you can take.

Secondly, choose the right tertiary provider that best suits your learning style! Personally, I have always been a practical learner so choosing a tertiary institute with a more industry orientated approach such as the tourism operations and management courses offered at the Waikato Institute of Technology was an obvious choice for me.

In my final year during secondary school I felt immense pressure to go with the status quo and study at University as all of my friends choose to do. However, there are so many qualifications it entirely depends on your passions, interests and your learning style. That is why my ultimate advice for senior students is to not be pressured into simply following the university pathway.

If you are aiming for a career in tourism, make as many contacts as you can within the industry and seek as much information as possible! There has never been a better time for young people to enter the industry and get involved. It is exciting, vibrant and a great industry for anyone considering a career in tourism!

Q: What did winning a TINZT scholarship mean to you?

For me personally, being one of the recipients of this scholarship really boosted my confidence in my choice to pursue my passion of studying tourism and striving to find a career in the industry.

During secondary school I always had a strong passion for tourism and was lucky enough to have identified what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go with my career unlike so many of my peers. However, many of the people I knew had plans to study more common subjects such as business, economics, law, accounting, science, medicine, engineering and phycology at University and so I found myself in a position where my career interest was so different to many others at school that I developed doubts in my own decision.

This scholarship opened me up to a whole new world of tourism and attending the TIA’s Tourism Summit was a valuable experience and an opportunity to meet with key figures involved in the industry and understand how the different sectors in the industry all worked together.

The scholarship has helped hugely with my studies by giving me a unique focus and motivation to achieve my goals and has inspired me to dream big and always, always listen to your heart and study what you love and for me that was tourism.

Q: What’s your (planned) next step after qualifying?

The next step for me after I achieve my tertiary qualifications is to get my foot in the industry with a job in a regional tourism organisation (RTO). I would love to one day represent an area of New Zealand overseas and encourage more visitors to come to our beautiful country. Although, I would love to do some travelling before anything serious!


Q:  What is your ultimate Career Aim?

Ultimately, my career aim is to make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s Tourism Industry through either promotion, marketing or helping write New Zealand’s Tourism strategies for years to come. At this stage in time I am totally open to where my career will lead me and I am looking to gain experience from wherever I can to help me achieve my goals.  I am not sure where my career will lead me but I am excited and looking forward to getting started.