Opening Doors

Emma. AIS, August 2015. Photo: Gareth Cooke / Subzero Images

As a country New Zealand loves its coffee, and the local café scene has gone from strength to strength over the years. Kaixu (Emma) Sun, who studied for a Bachelor of Hospitality Management at the Auckland Institute of Studies, is a great example of how it can open doors of opportunity that students may never have imagined.

Coming from China in 2009 to gain overseas education, Sun is now a manager of a Columbus Coffee café in central Auckland. She manages six staff members along with all the day-to-day operations of a busy hospitality venue.

Sun completed her BHM in 2014 and credits her AIS studies as a key factor in her rapid progression from part-time barista, to supervisor and now manager.

“In the AIS programme we learned not just the theory of hospitality management – we were also given the opportunity to practise what we learned,” she said. “For example, as part of our food and beverage paper, we had the option to organise a function. We had to calculate the budget, decide the menu, prepare gifts, and work with the kitchen staff to plan the menu. It was full-on, just like real life.”

For Sun, the choice to study at AIS was a simple one. “The AIS bachelor programme includes so many aspects of a hospitality career. We studied marketing, accounting, customer services, and employment. These are all things I need to know in my role as a manager now.”