Wintec tourism student, Melissa Haakma, achieved the best result internationally for the City & Guilds Advanced Diploma in International Tourism.
Melissa said she was shocked when she heard the news but is ecstatic and proud to be the best student in the world in this qualification.
“This means a great deal to me as it shows potential employers how hard I worked whilst studying towards my diploma. I hope it will be beneficial to me when applying for jobs as it’s a point of difference that helps me stand out from the crowd,” said Melissa.
Wintec’s tourism programme manager, Ian Schultz, said: “Melissa has progressed well through the Diploma in International Tourism and has displayed all the skills that will make her an asset to the industry. It has been a pleasure to be involved in Melissa’s learning here at Wintec and I know that, with this globally-recognised qualification behind her and her personality, she will succeed in any area of that she puts her mind to.”
Melissa – who grew up in Thames – said she has always been interested in travel and tourism.
“I've had a world map on my wall for as long as I can remember. The world fascinates me and there are many places that I would love to travel to. I studied tourism at high school by distance learning and thoroughly enjoyed it, which sparked my interest in continuing my studies at tertiary level at Wintec.”
At 21, Melissa has the world at her feet. She’s been working at Genesis Energy for the past six months as a customer service representative, brushing up her customer service skills which she says will benefit a future career in tourism.
Wintec’s Head of School for International Tourism, Hospitality & Events, Sara Refoy, said “Melissa's efforts are outstanding and will place her well for future roles in the tourism industry. The assessment, teaching and learning that is provided to students at the School of International Tourism, Hospitality and Events are all about student-centered learning that enables graduates to be work ready. The City & Guilds Medal of Excellence that Melissa has achieved is through her dedication to her studies during her time at Wintec."
Melissa was presented with the International Medal for Excellence at the School of International Tourism, Hospitality & Events special awards ceremony on March 24. Special awards – which take place during Wintec’s graduation week – are an event where top students are recognised for their excellence.
Wintec is the only provider in New Zealand to offer three City & Guilds qualifications for its tourism students – the certificate, diploma and advanced diploma.
City & Guilds is the UK's leading provider of work-related qualifications. The organisation awards two million qualifications to learners every year. City & Guilds works closely with industry and employers and offers over 500 qualifications in 28 different industry areas, through colleges, training providers and employers.
The Diploma in International Tourism (Level 5) involves two years of full-time study. Upon successful completion students can choose to sit the City & Guilds Diploma in International Tourism examination and City & Guilds Advanced Diploma in International Tourism examination.
The Diploma in International Tourism provides students with the basic management skills required in the international travel and tourism industry. It incorporates a combination of business and general skills, such as, marketing, human resources, operations management, customer service and finance.
The qualification is recognised in 86 countries therefore opening up job opportunities across the globe.