Students of Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) Macao are encouraged to apply what they learn from lectures into real life context. Practical components are embedded in the curriculum of all bachelor degree programmes. For two consecutive years a group of Year 2 students in Tourism Event Management programme have taken the lead to organise the annual “IFT Alumni Dinner” as part of their fulfillment of the course named “Supervised Work Experience”.
These students, who would work as an event organiser with different functional teams, need to conceptualise the event theme and conduct thorough planning under the supervision of the course lecturer. The planning and preparation are spread out through the semester, which allow students learning the related theories in catering events while applying them gradually into the planning process. The students would be involved in all perspectives of holding a catering event, from financing, marketing, menu planning, and sponsorship seeking to sales, logistics and technical support. This action-based approach in education ensures a better effectiveness of achieving the intended learning outcomes.
The event does not only provide student an opportunity of gaining hands on experience, but also strengthens the ties between the alumni, the Institute and the current students.
Students will also have more opportunities of exposure in different parts of the event industry, which helps them explore their area of interest amid different sectors.
This course is delivered every semester. While this annual alumni dinner almost always takes place during the second semester, students taking this course in the first semester would organise a catering event of various themes from time to time. Other past events included public food education to children, the hosting of the international Slow Food movement, and responses to the uprising vegetarian culture.
“We didn’t just learn from the book,” said Ms Victoria Wong, Year 2 student and General Manager of the 2018/19 class, “We encountered different challenges during the preparation, and therefore we learned a lot from them. We worked as a team and realised the importance of proper planning, communication and so much more.”
Students completing this course are prepared and equipped with fundamental theories and skills for their next challenge, which they will work on another public event that is entirely based on their own creativity under the guidance of the course lecturer in the course “Event Management – Hosting an Event” in Year 3.