Excitement and anxiety fills the air as the SA College for Tourism (SACT) enters its final quarter for 2011. Students are preparing for their final examinations and discussing their plans, hopes and dreams for the future. This is always a memorable time of year, both for the students who are eager to test out their new skills in the hospitality world, as well as the trainers, preparing themselves for that day when they must say goodbye to the students who have become such an integral part of their lives.
This is also the time of year when SACT’s previous graduates are reminiscing about their time at the College, and we always receive letters updating us on their progress and sending inspirational words to the current students. Here is a letter we recently received from one of our previous graduates; Anica:
Where to start!? The easiest is to start at the beginning, where I know so many of you have been and where many will still be.
SACT is one of the best opportunities and starting blocks anyone can wish for, with the best lecturers and support systems. They give you all the tools to be a big success; you only need to put in effort and passion.
My journey started with SACT in 2007, after deciding to study tourism. During that year I made great friends, learned (a lot) about different cultures, and as a group of girls only, had tons of fun. SACT is not just a learning experience, it is a growing experience.
During my year the announcement was made that Mrs Pudel is sponsoring a trip to Portofino, Italy to work in her Villa, which is rented out to international guests, for the best student. What a great incentive to all of us there! The pressure was on, and everyone was competing for the top spot. With a lot of hard work and quite strong competition, I was awarded as the Best Student at the end of 2007. What an honor!
After this great opportunity working and travelling around Italy for a couple of months, I found that with the tourism industry being as big and vast as it is, I was more drawn to working with guests rather than cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
I got contacted by the GM at the time, from Samara Private Game Reserve, who have heard via the grapevine of some of SACT’s students. I was offered the position as a Relief Manager. After a couple of months I knew I have founded my niche, I was offered a position as an Assistant Manager, and after about a year of hard work & long hours, Lodge Manager.
I am now working as a General Manager, for a lodge in the Waterberg, Nedile Lodge. I love every minute of it, as I never go to work, I merely live out my passion.
SACT is one of the best stepping stones you can get into the industry – it covers all the aspects and more. I am currently studying marketing part time as well, and was quite pleasantly surprised when I started off and notice how I already know some of the basics from when I studied.
You can go absolutely anywhere with your qualifications, the only limits are the ones you set for yourself.
2011 marks SACT’s 10th anniversary as a center of training excellence. To date, 523 students have successfully graduated, all thanks to donor funding. The SA College for Tourism would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your support. Without you, Anica would not be where she is now, and 88 young women from poor families would not be excitedly discussing their future plans within the hospitality industry as they prepare for their final examinations.