SHTCA Career Day One Stop Centre For Reaching Out To The Real World

SHTCA students listening attentively during an information briefing conducted by one of the origanisations.  Chin Wei Hong (right), a Diploma in Culinary Arts student having his first job interview on the spot.
Students find out more details from ‘Recruit, Place & Train’, a Singapore training provider with hospitality organisations from internship to full time employment.   
In its continuous efforts to keep graduating students with the most current development trend of the industry, as well as bridging up academic with industrial placement or formal employment, the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (SHTCA) of KDU University College recently organised the ‘SHTCA Career Day’  for the second time in this year.

With 48 organisations from the hospitality, tourism and culinary industry participating, this recruitment event took place on 21 September 2016, at KDU’s multipurpose hall. According to Mr. Sharizal Kamaruddin, Academic Department Head of SHTCA, there were prominent brands of 5-star hotels, renowned local and international restaurants, along with recruiting agencies for renowned hoteliers and restaurants in Singapore and the United States of America.

Among the well-known names were Dorsett Internationals, The Ascott Limited, Hilton Worldwide, IHG InterContinental Hotels Group, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Grand Hyatt Hotels, Sunway Hotels and Resorts, Avani Hotels and Resorts, Accor Hotels, Eastin Hotel, Traders Hotels, Club Med, Skillet@163, Alexis, MyBurger Lab, Placement International, Recruit Place & Train and so on.

Graduating and current students from the SHTCA’s programmes - Diploma of Culinary Arts, Diploma in International Hotel Management, Bachelor of Hospitality Management and Bachelor in Culinary Management - visited the exhibition booths which opened from 10am to 3pm. In addition to exploring employment opportunities by submitting their CVs, there were some organisations that included on-the-spot interviews with the candidates.

“This is my first time visiting the career exhibition and it thrilled me to secure a job interview right on-the-spot! During the process, I was asked about my personal and study background, and also how well I know their organisation. I believe I did quite well,” said Chin Wei Hong, a Diploma in Culinary Arts student who is currently in his third semester (out of four).
“My first choice would be getting an industrial placement in Singapore, as I see there is an agency here looking for interns to work in Michelin-star restaurants and 5-star hotels in Singapore. I hope they will recruit me, as I wish to explore more job opportunities beyond Malaysia,” continued Chin.

Shehan Dhanushka Wijesundava, an international student from Sri Lanka, who is majoring in Baking and Pastry under the Bachelor of Culinary Management programme, dressed extremely formal for this event. As he walked by the booths, he handed his resume to a few hoteliers and also spoke to an agency that arranges students for American internship programme. 

“I am a Sri Lankan born in Italy, and now studying in Malaysia. If I have the opportunity to work in the United States of America, it wouldn’t be a problem for me as I am a very outgoing and flexible person by nature,” explained Shehan, who had completed his first internship last year with Hilton PJ for his two-year Diploma in Culinary Arts programme in KDU.
“I completed my two-year diploma programme in KDU, and enrolled into the second year of the degree programme with a one-year exemption. I still have another 3 academic semesters to complete, with a fourth semester which will be my internship,” he continued.

Despite the fact that his internship for the degree programme will only take place in early 2018, Shehan started searching for an ideal placement in advance by researching each hotel’s service-products and their market positioning, as he greatly believe, “Starting early to familiarise myself with current trend is important so that I have a clearer mind and not wait until the last minute!”

As for the recruiters, their collective view of ideal candidates were none other than good attitude. “As an independent restaurant, we are looking for individuals who are willing to tag along and explore more about this industry. The ideal candidate will be someone who is really interested in this field and very keen to learn more,” said Eleen Ng, Assistant General Manager of Alexis, a local contemporary restaurants and bars operator.

Ammar Ismail, Assistant Human Resources Manager for Ascott International Management, a renowned brand for serviced residence , mentioned, “Working attitude is the most valuable asset for interns as well as full-time employees. Knowledge-wise, they can always learn on the job, but we very much emphasise on qualities an employee must have, which include being presentable, cheerful, open and helpful.”

“Qualities we are looking for in candidates are passion, spirit of service, dedication and patience, as hotel line operates 24/7 and faces different challenges every day. At the end of the day, they need to enjoy doing this job,” elaborated Sherman Chow, Dorsett KL’s Cluster Director of Human Resources.

“This event is attended mostly by the HR representatives from those major hospitality industry players. By meeting up personally with these recruiters through enquiry and application for jobs on-th-spot, our students can also get their first-hand experience in a real world job interview,” said Sharizal.