Is The University of Queensland the best place to study tourism, hospitality and event management? These 2 international students from India certainly think so.
Manomay Chaskar and Ayushi Tyagi say they travelled from India to Australia to study a Master of Tourism, Hotel and Event Management at one of the world’s top business schools. In addition to ranking highly internationally, UQ is the only Australian university to offer programs accredited by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), which promotes responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
And with Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympic Games, there’s never been a more exciting time to live and study in the sunshine state. And, more importantly, there's never been a better time to start a successful career in the tourism, hospitality and events industry here.
Why did you choose to study the Master of Tourism, Hotel and Event Management at UQ?
Manomay: My interests in customer service and hospitality were why I started the program. Tourism, hospitality and events is a fun industry to work in and the number of opportunities you can get is amazing. The UQ degree is different to similar degrees offered in India because it focuses more on management.
I decided to study this master’s program at UQ because Australia has a huge focus on domestic and international tourism, and I learned UQ provides the best international degree for tourism studies. One of the best things about studying in Brisbane is that it’s located close to different wildlife parks that you can enjoy in your time off.
Ayushi: I wanted to study a master’s degree that would help me have an impact. In India, the event industry is not very sustainable. I chose to study this program at UQ because after reviewing the program structure and courses, I saw it had a deep focus on sustainability. I also chose the program because it’s a creative field and because of its focus on business management.
There are a lot of opportunities for graduates in Brisbane. One of the biggest opportunities is because of the growth in the industry because Brisbane is the host of the 2032 Olympics. I’m from one of the major cities in India, and Brisbane is much less chaotic while still being vibrant – I love it here.
What do you like most about studying the Master of Tourism, Hotel and Event Management?
Manomay: The best part about the program is that you can select different courses you’re interested in. This meant I was able to pursue a research pathway even though I’m not enrolled in a research degree.
The lecturers at UQ are really approachable and helpful. You can have a consultation with them at any time and they’re more than happy to answer any questions.
Ayushi: I like that you have a lot of support available. I felt the support even before I was a student and throughout the enrolment process. You can get mentored by senior students in the BEL Buddies program and the teachers are amazing. They’re very interactive and it’s very easy to talk to them.
The best thing about the program is the networking opportunities with people working in the industry. There are also a lot of opportunities to network and make friends at events held by UQ clubs and societies.
How has your time at UQ and the Master of Tourism, Hotel and Event Management prepared you to achieve your career goals?
Ayushi: My ultimate goal is to start my own sustainable events business in India. Studying this program has benefitted me greatly because I now understand the practical side of events, not just the theory, which I will definitely use in the future. Sustainability is deeply embedded in each course in this program.
The work experience opportunities I’ve completed while at UQ included an internship, where I helped organise and create a corporate event. I learned a lot from this experience that I was able to incorporate and utilise throughout the program.
Ultimately, I feel like I’ll have a lot of opportunities after my graduation and better chances to stand out and achieve managerial-level roles back home, because that’s what this program focuses on.
Manomay: Studying a master’s degree helped me change my pathway. When I started at UQ, I learned about the university’s focus on research. After experiencing the way of teaching and delivering assessment at UQ, I felt motivated to pursue an academic career instead of going into industry. Now, my goal is to become a tutor, lecturer and academic professional in the tourism field. I discovered that my area of interest is in wildlife. I’m particularly interested in topics including koalas, greenwashing, and donation behaviour of tourists.
As part of my studies, I got involved in the Tourism, Hospitality and Events Society. Through my volunteer experience as a member of this society, I learned how to plan, organise and manage hotel and tourism networking events efficiently. I also went to a lot of the networking nights that were happening and made lots of connections. Through that, I got an opportunity to volunteer for the Queensland Tourism Awards as a student judge.
I’m currently working in the front office in a hotel, where I’m gaining a lot of industry experience, and as a lecturer and tutor. My studies have also given me the skills and confidence to feel prepared to work in a managerial role.
What advice would you give other international students coming to study in Australia?
Ayushi: There are a lot of support resources that can guide you through your time here. UQ makes sure that you have everything you need, so if you need help, all you have to do is ask.
Manomay: My first tip for other students is to get involved with clubs and societies and volunteering, because these opportunities help you get the best out of your degree and help you grow professionally.
My second tip is to try to get out of your comfort zone and make new friends, because then you’ll have people to try new things with and it will help you feel like you belong.