Sandra Feng was a research award winner of the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership in 2010, while studying at Ningbo Polytechnic in Zhejiang of her home country, China. This led to exciting new chapters in her life’s journey, as Sandra describes in this guest blog. Here she recounts how her GTTP experiences have made a strong impact on her life, both personally and professionally.
Ever since 2010 I’ve seen great changes in my life, which were influenced by the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership. I was definitely a very shy girl before I attended the annual student/teacher GTTP conference that year. I was kind of seen as a bookworm. My study performance was good, but I was not good at communicating with different kinds of people, and while I did try to have a social life, I had to work really hard too.
Fortunately, in 2010 my teacher, Ms. Eve Lianping Ren, notified me that I was one of the girls representing China to attend the conference, which was being held in Munich Germany. My teammate Manli Chen and I presented on “Green Tourism in China – In Search of Harmony between Nature and Mankind.” In this case study project we identified the features and forms of Green Tourism being practiced in China.
I am now far more outgoing and confident than I used to be, both because of everything I was learnt and experienced during the conference, and also from all the friends I have made during the event. The most important thing is that it has given me is a clear direction for my career dream in a hotel.
The year after I joined the conference, I was granted an opportunity to further my study in Hong Kong due to the inspiration of my teacher Ms Eve Ren as well as both GTTP directors Prof. Hanqin Zhang (GTTP China) and Ms Chammy Lau (GTTP Hong Kong). In 2011, I was admitted as a top-up degree student in the School of Professional Education and Executive Development – a continuation unit of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University – to pursue my bachelor degree major in Hotel Management.
Honestly, only a very small group of students from mainland China, especially studying in the Higher Diploma vocation level such as myself, could be accepted by the University in Hong Kong. This is mainly due to the difference of instruction in China compared to that of Hong Kong. Most of the students in mainland China might not have had the opportunity to use or to practice their English in their school. I found myself very lucky that I could broaden my horizons through the participation in GTTP conference and to be able to further my study in Hong Kong after gaining the GTTP research award.
During my study in Hong Kong, I was awarded a number of scholarships and was able to graduate from the school with a result of credit pass. In addition, through the local connection of Ms. Chammy Lau, I was able to get a placement internship in one of the 5-star hotels in Hong Kong, which further enhanced my employability upon graduation.
Now, I am working in Langham Place Hotel in Hong Kong as a Customer Service Ambassador, already for 2 years. The inspiration, devotion, innovation and the opportunity given to me by the GTTP have led me here and I am now honoured to be considered to be the best employee in my hotel. My professional and good service attitudes have been well complimented upon by the hotel guests. I have now become a senior girl here, performing a role of a trainer for new colleagues.
All in all, I treasure the opportunity to study and to work in Hong Kong. I will try my best to work hard and gain more experiences from the work in the hotel. Moreover, I will not stop learning the new things to refresh myself and I believe it will make a big difference for both of my work and life in the future! Thank you very much for the opportunity given by GTTP. My life has been changed entirely.