First year Lincoln University student Roshean O’Connor is preparing to participate in the post-pandemic revitalisation of the tourism sector.
Having recently finished high school at Roncalli College in Timaru, she’ll be embarking on the Bachelor of Commerce (Hotel and Tourism Management) in February.
She’s also the first ever recipient of the new George Hotel Scholarship, a programme that offers part-time employment and mentoring each year to students of the specialised degree.
With the tourism sector bouncing back to its former position as one of the world’s largest businesses, hotels and other tourism providers will need strongly qualified leadership, which Roshean will be developing during her study.
Hotels offer careers in a range of areas, including operations, marketing, human resource management, accounting and finance, property management, food and beverage, and conferencing and events.
Lincoln is the only university in New Zealand to offer a degree specialisation in hotel management, and has done so for the past two decades.
Roshean was attracted to the tourism industry growing up “because it looked like an interesting environment to work in”.
“After researching further, the hotel industry also looked like it was right up my alley,” she said.
“THE BACHELOR OF COMMERCE (TOURISM AND HOTEL MANAGEMENT) REALLY STOOD OUT TO ME WHEN I WAS CONSIDERING MY OPTIONS.”
The George Hotel Scholarship is a major bonus, with Roshean receiving $3,000 towards her university fees and gaining part-time work at the hotel to obtain first-hand industry experience.
“I am excited to take up this opportunity and learn valuable skills from knowledgeable people,” she said. “Working at the George will be beneficial for gaining a deeper understanding of my study.”
The scholarship is a first for the New Zealand hotel industry and for a student working towards a degree in hotel management.
The George Managing Director Bruce Garrett said the company was “very happy to invest in the future of our industry” by providing the scholarship opportunity.
“We believe that by supporting young people who are passionate about careers in hotels, we can help promote positive change and sustainable growth for the industry in New Zealand. We look forward to working alongside Roshean and those to follow.”
In terms of future career possibilities, Roshean is keen to explore her options as her studies progress.
“I think this programme will give me opportunities that will set me on an exciting path for the future,” she said.
But for now, she’s looking forward to settling in at Lincoln as she begins cultivating her tourism career, citing the university’s small size as a big part of its attraction.
“I was attracted to Lincoln because I wanted to be not too far from home but also somewhere new. I visited other universities and found them to be very busy and not what I was looking for.
“Coming from a small town, Lincoln looked much more suitable for me as I didn’t feel so overwhelmed.”
The extra support she’ll gain from academic staff will also stand her in excellent stead as she grows her hotel and tourism management skills.
Other scholarships will be available each year for students of the Bachelor of Commerce (Hotel and Tourism Management), courtesy of The Pavlions Hotel and The Chateau on the Park.
There is also an additional opportunity for Māori students entering undergraduate study at Lincoln and intending to pursue a degree in the tourism field: the Lincoln University Tāpoi Scholarship.
PHOTO: New Lincoln student Roshean O’Connor is forging a career in the tourism industry with the help of a new scholarship.