Dionne Gertenbach (South Africa)

Studying Diploma in Hospitality Management Level 5

Dionne Gertenbach

“In South Africa I was a service advisor for a Volvo motor dealership. I worked in the tyre industry for eight years and then for another five or six years in the motor industry, but I have always had a strong passion for food and hospitality. A couple of years ago I saw an advert that said ‘work and study in New Zealand’ and I went to a seminar about it. Since then I have been saving, working toward coming over, and eventually bringing my wife and daughter too. South Africa is a beautiful country but I want to give my daughter a more stable future.

“I looked at lots of different schools and felt NZMA offered the best education – their courses were more in depth than others.

“Studying at NZMA is not just about getting a diploma – it is about becoming a better people person. I am class representative and am learning lots of other skills.

“I have a job as a Guest Services Officer at the Stamford Plaza. Originally they employed me as a porter, but the day before I started they rang and said they wanted to put me in reception instead. It’s great! I got the job via Redfish – they prepped me on dress code, CV, interview techniques, then got me in touch with the right people and lined up the interview. They also gave me a heads-up on what to expect at interview and that really helped to prepare me.

“I’m starting off in the back office and once I am fully trained on all the systems I will move to front reception. There is plenty of room to grow with the Stamford and also, as it is an international chain, room to move abroad with the company. It’s great!”