Ever since William completed his studies and left Adelaide for a global hospitality career, he’s come back at least once a year to visit friends and reconnect with the city. We spoke to William to find out how his education in Adelaide opened up a diverse career path and why he’s back to live and work in Adelaide once again.
Name: William Ng
Course: Master of International Hospitality Management at Le Cordon Bleu
Home country: Malaysia
What brought you to South Australia to study?
I was toying with a few institutions around the world, but I really wanted to do the Le Cordon Bleu course. It’s globally recognised and includes six months of practical internship. I’d been to Australia before to Brisbane, Sydney and the Gold Coast, but not Adelaide. Some of my former classmates from Malaysia were here, and they told me how good it was. Adelaide seemed affordable, and with such a good course, I decided to give it a chance. I’ve never regretted it.
How did you find settling into your new home in Adelaide?
It was a little challenging at first as it seemed quiet compared to what I was used to in Kuala Lumpur, but I soon came to love it. I was living in a new student lodge, and as more students moved in, I got to know people from many diverse backgrounds. I felt a little shy, but as I met more and more people, I started opening up and making friends quickly. I’ve met so many people and made friends that I have kept in touch with over the years.
How has your Adelaide education helped shape your career so far?
I’ve had a really diverse career so far, and my Adelaide education was a great launching pad. As part of my course, I did an internship at the Holiday Inn in Melbourne which turned into a full-time job for a few years followed by another hotel job on the Gold Coast.
Not long after that, my career took a new path when I started working for an American company assessing quality assurance for big hotel brands like Intercontinental, Accor, Hyatt and Starwood. It was a bit like mystery shopping where I went ‘undercover’ at some amazing hotels to check the service levels and quality of the experience for travellers. One of my favourite holiday destinations was Fiji. I’ve been lucky to see so many wonderful places!
After a few years of constant travelling, I diversified again by working with an IT company selling hotel software. I would help hotels learn the new software and go in-house to train their staff. I think my education in Adelaide helped me achieve these varied career experiences. I like that I’ve experienced the hospitality industry from different perspectives.
Why have you come back to Adelaide to live?
In a way, I feel like I never left. Even when I was travelling around the world, I would always come back to Australia and Adelaide a few times a year to see my friends. When I was ready for my next career change, Adelaide was a natural choice. So when I was offered a job working as a Duty Manager at Atira Student Living, a student accommodation here in the city, I was back in South Australia within two weeks. It’s like my second home!
What would you say to students thinking about coming to Adelaide to study?
To be honest, I would say be open to new experiences. Adelaide is a booming city and is very diverse. Embrace the change; you never know what’s there for you in life. Leave your comfort zone and live in the now.