National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism
I am Eric, from a multicultural country—Malaysia. In middle school, I served as the leader of the Boy Scouts and came to Taiwan for participating in the World Scout Camp in 2006.As the saying goes, the most beautiful scenery in Taiwan is people and the local culture here is very fascinating. From then on, I was determined to go to Taiwan for advanced studies, which is a training platform for connecting the world and expanding my career.
I am outgoing and love to interact with people, so I chose to major in the study of service industry in Taiwan. Fortunately, I was admitted to my first choice—National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism (abbreviated as NKUHT), a bachelor’s degree program in international tourism. When searching for information and filling in many applications, I was totally attracted by this university. The requirements for wearing professional uniforms are just cut out for me, who is from a high-discipline organization. In addition, the English-speaking environment allowed me to communicate and present in English quite often while the Taiwanese culture is still around me, satisfying my needs for both academic knowledge and multilingual communication.
During my college time, I learned a lot of expertise and knowledge. Although the department has the title of tourism, but the scope of teaching is far more than that, covering a full range of service industry knowledge such as tourism, hotels, catering, conventions and exhibitions, marketing, travel, and human resources. Due to the highly flexible course enrollment system, I took many courses in different fields and met the soul mentor in the university, who guided me towards the exhibition industry: “If you like to organize activities so much, why not set your career on it?” During my studies, I was very fortunate to have the opportunities of applying scholarships and the part-time work in the International Affairs Office, which greatly alleviated the burden of living expense for my single-parent family.
Of course, how can I be absent from club activities in college? In my sophomore year, I was very honored to be elected as the president of International Student Association (ISA), consisting of almost 250 international students. Our association aims to serve international students to solve problems in daily life and school affairs, and organize a series of activities to promote the interaction of members, so that everyone can adapt to life in Taiwan more quickly and join the big family in NKUHT. While leading the association and organizing the activities, I also get acquainted with 29 core members of the association. The great atmosphere and activities of the association are the most unforgettable memories in my college life. In addition to holding various new types of large-scale events, we, as the 5th cadre of the association, also got a rare opportunity to represent the school to participate in the evaluation of Southern Taiwan Associations, taking our association to the next milestone.
NKUHT has the feature of teaching both academic and practical. In the junior year, we have to attend the off-campus internship for one year. Through practical training in the industry, we can prepare for our future career in advance. In my junior year, with the knowledge I learned from NKUHT, I went back to the country I am familiar with—Singapore, and went to the five-star Marina Mandarin Hotel for a one-year overseas internship as a receptionist. During this year, I got a chance to be selected as the shift leader with KPI higher than other employees. I also won the monthly and annual front desk Up selling Champion, and extended the internship by 3 months. The recommendation letter from the hotel manager also proved my excellence.
On the day I graduated from NKUHT, I put on the NKUHT uniform and a bachelor’s gown. As a student representative, I came to the stage to give a thank-you note for graduation and to receive the award of excellence. My academic career in Taiwan also achieved the milestone I have always expected, and I completed what people said about the four major credits in college. These four years can be described as a rewarding trip.
I am glad that I started to send out my resume in my senior year and got the employment confirmation from Interplan International Corporation before graduation. With the knowledge learned from college and the enthusiasm for activities, I held many project activities for customers, such as Taipei City Government, Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transport, Taiwan Railway Bureau, China Airlines, Chunghwa Post, Korea Tourism Organization, Penghu County Government and HeySong Corporation. With my language ability, I also went overseas to hold events and was successfully promoted from senior project sales to project director within two and a half years. My road map is to develop a career in Taiwan, learn the know-how from Taiwan’s convention and exhibition industry, and then go to the international market in different languages in the future.
Finally, in these 4 fantastic college years, I realized that while continuously learning knowledge and promoting myself, I must uphold the concept of “Do something and Leave your comfort pit”. In the 21st century, we will definitely encounter various choices and problems, and the busy pace of life may make you continue to think about where to go and become puzzled. However, as long as you are willing to move, do something, and leave the comfort zone that seems comfortable but will hinder your progress, you will get your greatest achievements and rewards. To all the students/travellers who come to Taiwan, do your best!