Inspired by the 2019 theme of the college, “together achieving academic excellence through positive attitude, collaboration and professionalism”; the Hospitality Department at Welkom Campus held its’ first ever Hospitality Academic Seminar for the students on the 10th of October 2019.

The main aim of the seminar was to promote academic excellence and award the students an opportunity to experience an event that they would normally learn about theoretically. The students experienced first-hand how it feels to be guests at a seminar.

The event started at 08:00 am where students went into the boardroom to collect their breakfast and then proceeded to the hall for registration and commencement of the function.  Upon registration, the students received their nametags with lanyards, customised paper bags with notepads and pens for notes taking during the different phases of the seminar.

Dr Pitso Kheza; the Senior Education Specialist (Student Support Services) opened the ceremony with the word of God and prayer.  The Acting Campus Manager for Welkom Campus Mr Ratsilo Maleke did the opening and welcome of delegates and guests.  The HOD of the Hospitality Department Mr Butch Duvenage explained the purpose of the day and introduced guest speakers.

Dr Rachere Radile (Deputy Principal: Academic Services) spoke first and focused on academic excellence and practice for success.  He spoke about the importance of maintaining standard as this was critical in the Hospitality industry. Students were encouraged to apply the Steven Covey principle of “begin with the end in mind” as as illustrated in his book “7 habits of highly effective people”.  Dr Radile expressed a desire that he would like this seminar to be an annual event, challenged the team to make this realizable and he hoped that other college departments would emulate the  hospitality unit.

In his presentation, Dr Kheza addressed examination preparations and strategies that can be used by students to study for exams.  He thoroughly explained the study methods, breaking them down and providing examples. Dr Kheza used the opportunity to motivate the students and boost their morale for the upcoming final examinations .

From the main session in the hall, all students proceeded to their respective venues for various programs: Level 2s in the kitchen for knife skills demonstration, Level 3 setting up for lunch in the restaurant, Level 4s in class for a presentation on law as part of Client services.  The rotation went on until 12 O’clock when finger lunch was served in the restaurant and the hall.

Two more sessions were held after lunch to complete the day.  After the last session the students gathered in the hall where Mr Duvenage delivered a vote of thanks.  He thanked all the speakers and the facilitators for the day, also presenting them with fruit baskets as a token of appreciation from the Hospitality Department.

The students had this to say about the event:

“May I take this opportunity to pass my gratitude, on behalf of the Hospitality Level 4s, We thank you a lot for organising such a fruitful event in order to help us to achieve academic excellence.

Thank you, our fabulous lecturer, Me Lekhuleni for always putting your magic onto everything.

Thank you, our energetic Lecturer Mrs Du Plessis, for always going and extra mile and being there for us.

Thank you Me Stubbz for your humble spirit, even though you are quiet, but you want what is best for us.

Thank you, Mr Duvenage, for demonstrating the skill of flambé, we learned a lot.  Thank you also for making this seminar a success.  Thank you, a thousand times, we pledge to do our Best during our final exams in order to make you proud”.

SM Ntsherwa

“It was inspirational, the speakers really impacted on us.  The study methods and exam preps were exactly what we needed.  I have started to implement the study methods recommended by Dr Kheza and they’re working.”

Moshodi TP

“I feel motivated, what the speakers said that we can do better and believe in ourselves and trust our abilities.” K.C Mongale

“It was great especially seeing that we are loved and supported as the Hospitality Students” ND Ntabe

Based on the feedback of the students, clearly this seminar has achieved its’ mission.