Two third-year students from the Durban University’s Hospitality Management Programme are set to jet off to Abu Dhabi on Friday, 17 February 2017, on an exciting six-month internship.
Nosipho Gumbi and Obey Maponga underwent a stringent interview process, which included a Skype interview, in order to qualify for the internship at five star Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas which is situated on a private beach on Saadiyat Island.
While the resort will foot the bill towards the students’ expenses during the duration of the internship, they have to pay for their flights. Anyone willing to assist towards this is urged to contact the Department.
“I have the utmost faith in them (Maponga and Gumbi),” said Jaya Naidoo, the department’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Supervising Tutor. “They are excellent students”, he said.
While Hospitality Management students have completed internships in countries such as Dubai, London and USA, Naidoo said Abu Dhabi was a first for the programme. This specific internship was as a result of a relationship the programme continues to have with its alumnus, Michael Collins, who holds a senior position at the resort. “He (Collins) asked for the best achieving students in the programme and the rest is history,” said Naidoo.
Both Maponga and Gumbi are excited about the trip, each hoping to learn as much as they can. “I am the first person to go to university in my family. I’ll also be the first one to travel outside Africa (in my family) so I’m very excited about the opportunity. I’m looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone as well as get international experience. I’d like to thank my supervising tutor (Jaya Naidoo) for his hard work and effort,” said Maponga.
Gumbi said the trip would serve as an inspiration to her siblings and fellow congregants. “It’s a giant step for me. I’m looking forward to gaining international experience and coming back to share it locally. I’d also like to thank Mr Naidoo. He believed in us and supported us throughout the interview process,” she said.
For best practice purposes, DUT Hospitality Management students are required to complete a year’s internship. In order for students to learn from different operational and management styles, the first six months can be served within KwaZulu-Natal, with the second being required to be completed outside the province.
Naidoo thanked Dr Erusmus Mnguni, DUT Hospitality and Tourism Department Head, for his flexibility and support in allowing him to carry out his duties as department’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Supervising Tutor.
– Sinegugu Ndlovu
Pictured: Obey Maponga (left) and Nosipho Gumbi (right), who have been selected to complete a six month internship in Dubai, with their lecturer, Jaya Naidoo (middle), who was largely instrumental in making it happen.
Picture by: Sthabile Gwala