Hotel and tourism internships bring students closer to their goals

14 March 2022 | News

Two hotel and tourism management students are a step closer to achieving their career goals after spending the summer interning at the Hermitage Hotel in Aoraki/Mount Cook.

As part of a collaboration with Lincoln University, the hotel has begun offering summer internships each year to some of our future hotel and tourism leaders, providing them with practical experience and managerial mentorship.

The Hermitage Hotel offers experiences in a variety of operations, as it is home to Glacier Explorers, Big Sky Stargazing, Tasman Valley Tours, the Sir Edmund Hillary Museum and XX Scenic Flights.

Bachelor of Commerce (Hotel and Tourism Management) students Emma Patterson and Mia Cameron-Butterfield spent 10 weeks honing their skills across multiple departments at the hotel.

Emma’s long-term goal is to work in sales and marketing for a well-known international hotel brand, so the experience she gained at The Hermitage was hugely advantageous.

“For the first four weeks, I worked in the guest services department, which included both reception and the retail store,” says Emma.

“I enjoyed reception the most, as it involved large amounts of customer service and guest interaction. It was also the most complex department, so required a lot of learning and growing, allowing me to gain a lot of knowledge of the industry, which will be very beneficial for my future.”

The next four weeks of her internship were spent in the food and beverage department, followed by the housekeeping area.

“I also met with the General Manager and Sales and Marketing Manager to learn more about how they grew within the industry,” Emma says.

“I would like to travel when I’m older, so working for the hotel industry will allow me to work in multiple hotels all around the world. Working in marketing is also a major interest of mine –

hotel sales and marketing would be perfect for my future career.”

Mia is especially passionate about the food and beverage industry and became even more interested in this area after her internship.

“My dream role would definitely be Food and Beverage Manager of a hotel, ideally in New Zealand or Australia, but I also want to travel and work in hotels and resorts around the world and get as much hands-on experience as I can,” she says.

She began her internship in the food and beverage department, working with both buffet and a la carte dining.

“It was a great experience to understand how the different types of dining operate,” she says. “I also got to work in the Snowline Lounge and Bar, which was great because working in the beverage area of hotels is something I have been very interested in.”

Mia then moved to housekeeping and onto guest services, with stints working in the retail shop and on reception.

“This helped me to understand what it’s like to work as the face of the hotel and being the first and last part of a guest’s experience,” she says.

She also took part in activities provided by the hotel, including the glacier explorer trip, stargazing and walks around Mt Cook.

“I was able to talk to the guests about these attractions and explain the activities – an excellent experience.”

Mia also had the opportunity to meet with the hotel General Manager to discuss her future.

“It was great to get an understanding of how I can achieve my goals after I have finish university and to work with the manager to plan things out.”

The Bachelor of Commerce (Hotel and Tourism Management) degree provides students with the knowledge to meet the evolving needs of the hotel industry. Highly qualified, experienced professionals will be in significant demand as international borders re-open and the internship programme offers even more opportunities for students to prepare for exciting careers.

Learn more about the internship programme here.

PHOTO: Lincoln University Hotel and Tourism Management student, Mia Cameron-Butterfield, gains practical experience on reception at The Hermitage, as part of her summer internship.