Four UNIZULU students are now better equipped for the challenges in the demanding tourism industry after attending the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum at Meetings Africa 2017, where they met and shared experiences with industry bigwigs.
“Attending the IMEX-MPIMCI Future Leaders Forum event was a memorable experience for us. The opportunities available are amazing. The project is massive and one could not help but want to be involved,” they said in a post-conference report.
The four postgraduate students were Bervely Marovatsanga, Olwethu Mhlauli,
Sinolwazi Mlambo, Sibusiso Ntshangase and were accompanied by Professor Thandi Nzama, the Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Arts. The conference, held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from February 26 to 28, 2017, was attended by students and academics from universities across the African continent.
The purpose of the event was to encourage students to explore careers in the meetings and events industry. It also provided a platform through which the students networked and shared ideas with leading industry professionals.
“It was meant for us (students) to be inspired, get first-hand industry insights and to market ourselves,” the four students said. Mhlauli said she was even more motivated to pursue her dream of starting her own events company. At the event she chatted to Taubie Tebogo Motlhabane, the executive director of the Tshwane Convention and Visitor Services Bureau, who motivated her to go for her dream and told her to never to give up.
“She continued to say all we (students) needed to do was believe in ourselves and stay focused, and make sure that we diversified our qualifications, so as to broaden our horizons and put ourselves in better positions to get jobs”.
Mhlauli said while the event was a memorable experience for them as postgraduate students, she would like to recommend that undergraduate students in the Department of Recreation and Tourism also get a chance to attend this significant vent.
“We had a fruitful experience and gained a lot of information that we would not have gained if we did not attend this conference. It was such an eye-opener as to how advanced the events industry has become and how much it has grown,” she concluded