Marking his foray into the tourism and hospitality industry through his Bachelor of Science (Hons) International Tourism & Hospitality Management degree with MDIS, Joshua Koh shares his insights gained thus far.
With tourism being a key factor in Singapore’s economy, the demand for hospitality and tourism employees has always been high. But behind the glitz and glamour of lush staycations, impressive events and posh hotels, lie tons of hard work, sweat and sacrifice. Just ask Joshua Koh, MDIS Bachelor of Science (Hons) International Tourism & Hospitality Management alumna. When asked about his first real taste of the industry, Joshua recalls, “I was tasked to entertain guests, and to be a waiter to collect their dishes. The hours were really long and it was [the norm] for staff to pull overtime.” He continued, “The hotel industry is not as glamourous as it seems. There’s a certain level of stress, meeting customers’ expectations.” Nevertheless, Joshua remained undeterred.
Seeking to further his passion for the hospitality field – he was initially studying in another private institute – Joshua Koh turned to a trusted friend for advice. “My friend, who is an MDIS alumna, told me about how the school has a conducive study environment. The students are serious about their studies and MDIS has good facilities as well.” He continues, “He also told me that the lecturers would attend to your queries even after class, and stay back even till late into the night to answer any doubts.” Upon his enrolment, Joshua found these statements to be true. Realising that this industry was not one that would be easy, his experience in MDIS helped him tremendously in kickstarting his dream.
Pictured: Joshua (far right) with his coursemates on a field trip in Taiwan
“We had the opportunity to go on an overseas field trip, to Taiwan, [during the degree programme],” Joshua shares, “It was for an assignment, so we had to create questionnaires targeting locals and tourists to find out about their travel and food habits. We explored many areas in Taiwan, even night markets, to find out why they would choose to patronise that place, whether their intention was to eat or to shop for example.” He continues, “I found out that Singaporeans are more willing to explore and try new and exotic types of food as compared to other Asian countries.” This experience and information gained would prove to be valuable to Joshua, who aims to either work in a tour agency or events company in the future. “Whether I’m working overseas or in Singapore, I would be able to use what I learned to help my clients feel comfortable, be it with the food provided or the [attractions].”
Hands-on knowledge was not all Joshua gained. His lecturers imparted all sorts of valuable industry advice that would stick with him in years to come. “I learned the importance of always being prepared, and being able to foresee the future, to anticipate and to keep updated with market trends and changes.”
Get your head start into the tourism industry with MDIS! Click here to find out more about the courses available.