Graduate Story – Alister Jenkins

In2Food Catering

Adventure Tourism doesn’t always mean guiding and being outdoors, there’s plenty of options available within Tourism & Hospitality and Alister proves just that. While studying towards his Adventure Tourism Diploma, Alister worked part time as a Food & Beverage attendant. This is where he found his love for events and hospitality, upon graduating he landed a role as Functions Coordinator for In2Food Catering. Hard work pays off as Alister swiftly moved into HR Manager & Functions Manager for In2Food Catering. He still keeps close ties with his internship employer, NZ Ski and is a casual Ski Instructor when he has a spare minute. Find out more about Alister’s journey below!

On the couch with Alister.

Why did you choose to follow a career in tourism/hospitality?
It looked like a really fun and exciting industry to be a part of, the people are always happy, always on holiday or out doing something they want to do. It’s also an awesome way to interact with other businesses and do industry visits.

Why did you choose QRC?
I was very close to becoming an ambassador for World Vision at the end of my high school year in 2019 however due to poor organisation, this fell through. QRC was always on my mind as an opportunity to learn about business in an exciting way whilst exploring Queenstown and taking part in lots of cool adventures.

Where was your internship and what was the biggest “take away” from your internship experience?
NZ Ski as a ski instructor. Life is short; do what you want, be where you want and most importantly, enjoy what you do!

Tell me about your journey since leaving QRC.
I worked as a casual Food & Beverage Attendant whilst studying at QRC and decided that I was really interested in the events industry during this time, I have always been relatively organised. When I left QRC, I decided to ask if there was any full-time work available at In2Food; they promptly said yes. I started as the Functions Coordinator, which is essentially the personal assistant to the Functions Manager; During a recent appraisal in March 2022 I spoke about how we could improve our hiring and appraisal systems and whether they were able to give me more responsibility. I was then promoted to my current role.

I have also been working as a casual Ski Instructor during the winter throughout the past two seasons, just to get out of the office and do something I love during the winter low season.

The best of both worlds!

What role are you in now?
Front of House Human Resources Manager & Functions Manager for In2Food Catering and casual Ski Instructor at Coronet Peak.

What are your main responsibilities?
– Staff hiring and appraisals.
– Ordering of stock and equipment.
– Planning and execution of private events.

How did your time at QRC help prepare you for your current job?
Human Resources was the best thing I could have ever done in terms of knowing how to hire, train and appraise staff. The human resources portfolio that we made during our time at QRC was by far my favourite assessment, which is why I always knew I would be interested in HR. Law was also very helpful in terms of understanding contracts and I would say accounting gave me a bit of knowledge too.

What do you enjoy the most about your current position?
The people I work with. They are all amazing, bubbly and motivated people. But also the owners of the business are always happy to train people for growth, they pay well from the beginning and expect you to want to learn.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
My friends from NZ Ski have always motivated me to do what I enjoy and love.

What advice would you give to QRC students about to graduate or go on internship?
Choose something that you want to do, not something that pays well, if you can have both, that’s a bonus. Come work for us and you will have both!

Our courses:
Adventure Tourism Management
Hospitality Management 
Machine Learning

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