Alumni in the Spotlight

We are very proud of our students' achievements after they graduate and we make a point of keeping in touch with our alumni as they travel the world and gain valuable work experience. Read all about it here. You can get some advice and inspiration from those who have gone before you.

Bianca Rossouw - Class of 2016     
Cuveé Restaurant - Chef de Partie: Hot Section

“Exciting, professional and an unpredictable rollercoaster ride of challenges”. These are the words Bianca uses to describe The Private Hotel School. Born and raised in Cape Town, Bianca joined The Private Hotel School family in 2014 when she enrolled for the Advanced Certificate in Hospitality Management: Culinary Specialisation which is endorsed by the American Hospitality Academy as the Diploma in International Culinary Arts. This is quite the achievement as students are required to pass all subjects with no less than 70%.

Following her internship at Cuveé Restaurant, situated on the picturesque Simonsig Wine Estate, she was offered a permanent position. She is currently working at Cuveé as Chef de Parite in the Hot Section. The hot section is aptly named as such, because this is where the action takes places. Dishes that require flames, fryers and other sources of heat are prepared here. This is also the area where most dishes are plated. (Yes plated, not dished. Plated refers to the action of presentation of the dish and requires plenty of skill, practice and creativity). Being afforded the opportunity to plate alongside the head chef is quite the treat for Bianca.

When asked to identify a highlight of her current position, Bianca responded by saying the diversity of people she works with on a daily basis, seeing and experiencing other view points and beliefs.

Bianca’s advice for success “In order to be successful you have to crawl before you walk”. We wish her all the best with her future endeavours.



with Ruvarashe Ruvimbo Manhombo

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Ruvarashe Ruvimbo Manhombo, I am a Zimbabwean and I studied Hospitality Management at the Private Hotel School in Stellenbosch. I completed an internship at Crowne Plaza – Rosebank Hotel in Johannesburg after which I worked at the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai as part of their pre-opening team. Currently I’ve decided to pursue my studies a step further by obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    A typical day at Palazzo Versace Hotel entailed working in the all-day dining Italian Restaurant outlet named Giardino. The concept of the restaurant itself is artistically outstanding, working in an environment of live cooking stations every day, surrounded by ivy leafs climbing up the walls and lively green mosaics on the floors –really felt like I was walking in an Italian garden every day I went to work. The concept of a Jungle theme in Giardino Restaurant was inspired by the iconic green chiffon silk Versace dress Jennifer Lopez wore at the 42nd Grammy Awards ceremony in 2000. It was exciting meeting celebrities, working with a diverse, dedicated and passionate team and exposing myself to a lifetime worth of experiences in the world of fashion, interior design and hospitality.
  1. Do you think your time at PHS helped you to pursue this position and career move?

    The Private Hotel School prepares you practically and academically for the Hospitality Industry. As a student there I quickly learnt that working that the standard 8am to 5pm mind-set is out and work can no longer just be a place you go to, but what you do and love. Today it is no longer about the size of your office that matters but the influence you have and the results you achieve. We were trained to work practically in this fast paced industry which entails long hours of work. Furthermore this amazing school and the opportunity it has given me to be exposed to the industry has made me realise that no amount of education can give you passion. If people do not see your passion they may never give you a second look. The future belongs to those who are passionate about what they do. There are definitely no half-hearted champions in any space and the lecturers are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, experienced and passionate. PHS has honestly helped me grow in all aspects of life and I am passionately obsessed with increasing my domain expertise in this industry not just racing for certificate accumulation. I am prepared for hard work and long hours thanks to the worthwhile experience the school gave me. Even after graduating, the school is genuinely invested in your career and overall success and they help you tremendously with job opportunities.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I genuinely enjoy and love people, you get to meet people from different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds and that’s what it’s about. We learn so much from each other’s stories, experiences and journeys. I love that working in this industry brings personal growth, freedom, creativity and flexibility and it gives you a global career opportunity and outlook.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    Featuring in the January/February 2017 Middle East Architectural Digest Magazine was definitely a huge wow for me. Donatella Versace was on the cover of the magazine! However, it’s almost impossible to pinpoint one event from my past that can be considered the definitive ‘greatest accomplishment’. All I can think right now at 21 years old is that there’s definitely no way I’ve even really begun to achieve greatness. I am definitely proud I’ve made it this far, having graduated in something I enjoy and having stretched myself with the experience gained practically in the industry. Furthermore, never giving up, being passionately devoted, never losing sight of or daring to achieve my dreams.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Dubai is a very culturally diverse city, you meet people from all walks of life with different backgrounds, nationalities and cultures. For example at Palazzo Versace Hotel Dubai, I was the only Zimbabwean in the entire Hotel. At times I would encounter challenging personalities at work. Dealing with challenging colleagues takes a lot of tact, I quickly learnt that avoiding escalation was key. The less reactive I was the faster the situation would be resolved. I also learnt to focus more time and energy on solving a problem or issue instead of personalizing it, by de-personalizing situations I could tackle them more objectively. Furthermore, I learnt the importance of ‘picking your battles’ and reminding myself that most challenging people have positive qualities as well.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Five years from now, God willing, I would have laid my foundation towards the beginning of my ultimate goal/entrepreneurship journey which is owning my own chain of hotels globally. After five years I should have at least travelled, gained experience and capital and hopefully opened my own hospitality establishment.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    I would have to say my graduation day, after completing a 6 month internship I had so much to thank my lecturers for. All the time that they spent educating me in the field of hospitality and tourism was worth it. Being able to look back and see what a blessing it was coming to this school will always be memorable. I thoroughly comprehend all they taught us about the industry and life.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Textbook to success.
  1. What advice can you offer current students?

    Don’t take what you learn and experience at this school for granted, your lecturers are your guides and mentors both in the industry and in life. Passion will inspire you to keep learning and growing. For example: a musician who has found an instrument he loves will carry his instrument everywhere and hold it with pride, every day he will play and practice for long lonely hours without crying for a break or leave, it is not a chore but a labour of love. If there is no love in your work, there will be no success in your corner. If you love what you do, what you love will love you.


with Monique Fredericks

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Monique Fredericks, I am originally from Nelspruit. I was a student at PHS a few years ago and graduated with my Diploma in International Hospitality Management. I worked at Spier Hotel in Stellenbosch for about a year and a half before moving to work in Dubai. Now I’m back in South Africa working as a Lounge Agent for Emirates Airline.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    On a normal working day (that’s a day with no delayed flights), I usually get to work and ensure all the catering and cleaning staff are on duty. I have to do my checks in the lounge with the Lounge Manager and ensure all the refreshments are stocked and that the lounge buffet is as per Emirates specifications. After the lounge has been prepped we open at around 09:30 and welcome our First and Business Class passengers.
  1. Do you think your time at PHS helped you to pursue this position and career move?

    Yes, it definitely did. My qualification and experience really played in my favour when applying to work for Emirates.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I enjoy the fact that not one day is the same. Every day is different and you meet so many different people from different spheres of life, it really makes my job that much more rewarding, especially when you get to meet celebrities.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    Working for Emirates, I absolutely love the company.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Passengers that try their luck getting access into the lounge are always tricky. On several occasions I’ve had guests that try and slip past me whilst I’m helping other passengers. But since we have very strict rules pertaining to lounge access I’ve had to find the passenger and ask him politely to leave if he/she is not eligible. The key though is to remain professional and not embarrass the passenger even though they might be at fault.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    I would love to start my own business, that has definitely been something I’ve aspired towards even when I was a student at PHS.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    Having met the people I did and the life lessons learnt during my time at PHS. PHS taught me many lessons which allowed me to grow as an individual and employee in terms of being punctual, meeting deadlines, customer service etc.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Hard work, Challenging and Educational.
  1. What advice can you offer current students?

    Go for it… this might be the perfect opportunity for you to get what you want and PHS is the perfect platform to do just that. You’ll never know unless you go for it despite the fear. How will you get to understand just how great you are if you never put yourself to the test.

with Amelia Burger

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    I am Amelia Burger, 23 years old, born and raised in Upington. As part of a family with a long history in the hospitality industry, I decided while still in High School to join and continue the family tradition in the hospitality industry. To ensure I joined the business with a sound academic foundation, I decided to pursue a qualification at The Private Hotel School (PHS). After completing my theory and practical training on campus I went on to complete my internship at the African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. During my internship I was not yet sure if I wanted to continue working in the Cape Town area or return to Upington then, just a few weeks before completing my internship, I received an e-mail from the General Manager in Upington informing me that they had opened up the position of Marketing Plan Executive at the hotel and enquired whether I would be interested. I immediately applied for the position as I realised that this type of opportunity would not be presented to me again soon. I am presently employed as the Marketing Plan Executive of three hotels in Upington including Protea Hotel Upington, Protea Hotel Oasis and River City.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    • My early mornings include meeting & greeting guests in the restaurant and helping out with food service if necessary.
    • I check all details of the day’s arriving guests to ensure that they have been correctly allocated room versus rate.
    • I check, action and follow up VIPs, Birthdays of guests and staff, special requests and reviews also all form part of my daily responsibility.
    • I plan, co-ordinate and action special events three months ahead for example Christmas Day, Mothers/Father’s day, Festivals etc.
    • Each Friday morning I review the hotel’s budgets versus actual expenditure and see which marketing efforts are effective or can be improved.
    • I co-ordinate monthly marketing meetings of key staff and all required statistics, reports and meeting minutes also forms part of my duties.
    • I also attend yearly Business planning meetings.
    • I attend sales calls quarterly to thank clients for their business, follow up on any problems or to ascertain from whom we are not obtaining business.
    • If I have spare time during my day, I assist in general administration of the Front Office personnel.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    Most definitely, not only did I gain the theoretical knowledge and gain the practical skill set for my career, I also quickly learned to become independent and ‘street wise’. Over and above that I met and made friends with a range of people from different cultures and backgrounds. I found this very enriching to myself as a person as well as professionally.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    The Hospitality industry is working intensely with people and no two people are the same. Also no two days are the same at work. Each comes with its own challenges and delights often leaving you tired but satisfied and never bored!
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    The hotels in Upington never had a person in this position before therefor I am very excited to be able to fulfil the position and to make history to be the very first marketing employee in this position of the three hotels while learning and evolving along the way. I am proud of how I have been able to, by trial and error, as well as with help from my seniors, set a successful marketing path for the hotels.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Not having a predecessor and also being in my family business, I have had to prove my worth to the business and that it was not just because of my family connections that I was entitled to this job. Not all people are nice and friendly and sometimes, no matter how hard you try, they do get you down. Motivating yourself and feeding off others positive remarks becomes very important.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Life is full of surprises, but planning is important. I am not rushed but would like to be a well rounded multi-skilled manager of the company I currently work for. However the employment demands of the company, my own personal growth and other factors do all come into play.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    My most memorable moments surround my friends and lecturers that I met during my studies. My friends that I made at PHS are still my friends today. PHS is one big happy family, a family far from home! I remember that we would always just find a way to have fun be it in the classroom while we were working or even during our breaks while relaxing.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Efficiency. Quality. Creativity.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    The hotel industry is hard work and long hours – especially in the beginning, but it rewards you every day with a special moments. It is an industry in which hard work will always pay off.



with Christopher Tworeck

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    1. My name is Christopher Tworeck, I graduated in February of 2016. I now live in Munich, Germany where I am an apprentice to Complex Arabellapark which consists of two Starwood hotels, namely The Westin and The Sheraton. Here I aim to increase my practical knowledge of running a hotel from the ground up.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    That is hard to answer. It depends which department I am working in. In the Food and Beverage department, that can be serving guests food, clearing, polishing cutlery and glasses. In the kitchen it can be preparing lunch service or preparing a banquette for over 700 people. In the housekeeping department it can be cleaning rooms, hanging curtains, assisting in the laundry or making sure that I find lost property for guests. In short, I do everything. It’s how they teach us.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    Yes. Without PHS, I would not have known where or what I wanted to do. PHS has helped me with discovering the ‘what’ and the knowledge to know ‘where’. Without PHS, I would not have moved to Germany and taken up the position of an apprentice.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    The people, without a doubt, the people. I can learn about new cultures and meet interesting people on a daily basis and as such expand my horizons. Also, working with a multinational and multicultural team.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment to date is being named the vice – chairman of the election board of the hotel. Once a year, the hotel has a referendum to choose the new board of youth representatives. It falls to me and my team of five to set up and hold a fair and trustworthy referendum.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Possibly the most difficult work situation I have come across is working with a colleague who does not see eye to eye with you in a restaurant at breakfast time. I overcame this by taking my colleague aside and asking him why he did not see eye to eye with me. He explained what frustrated him in a particular situation to which I gave my account of the events. We both realised each others’ points and apologised for where we went wrong. As such, we overcame this difficulty and moved on and are now good friends.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    In five years from now I see myself in management in the Rooms Division department of a hotel and working toward becoming a General Manager.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    The second semester event. We had to create a networking event for Stellenbosch 360 and we pulled together so well as a team to overcome challenges and completed our event in the most amazing fashion.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Fun. Exciting. Different.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Don’t do what I did in second semester and procrastinate with word and responsibilities. The work will pile up and you will be swamped. Work from the beginning and it will be all right. Also, the rules and procedures at PHS may seem old-fashioned, but these are there to prepare you for industry, where the rules are the same if not stricter. Other than that, enjoy it! It is good fun and you will learn a lot.



with Bibiana Swart

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Bibiana Swart. I studied Hospitality Management at PHS, completed my internship and decided to further my studies in order to obtain a degree.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    I am currently furthering my studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, completing the BTech Hospitality Management degree. The course comprises of four subjects; Hospitality Finance, Business Management, Hospitality Law and Research Methodology. I would highly recommend students to continue their studies towards a degree as these subjects are not merely Hospitality Industry specific; they are business minded subjects which encourages students to see the bigger management and entrepreneurial picture.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    PHS prepares you for an industry where professionalism is vital; from personal grooming to work conduct and cultural diversity understanding. PHS is a stern foundation for students and lecturers will always make time for student questions and queries. They are always resourceful, supportive and knowledgeable. Moreover, they do not simply lead students into the Hospitality Industry, they also continue to share their knowledge and offer support once students are working professionals.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I particularly appreciate the diversity of the Hospitality Industry. Living abroad for five years sparked my interest for different cultures and languages. I started admiring and questioning cultural differences; learning something new on a daily basis. The Hospitality Industry encourages one to explore different ways to communicate with and comprehend people in order to understand their wants, needs and desires while exceeding their expectations. I also find it energizing to interact with different people, all with unique life stories to tell and knowledge to share.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    In this point in time, my greatest accomplishment is furthering my studies towards a hospitality degree. Furthermore, I have grown exceptionally as a person. I am able to question employee treatment with my law and human resource management knowledge. I can quickly identify workflow gaps and challenge myself to find solutions to streamline operations with my management knowledge. So I have lots of practical examples of where I have managed to implement the knowledge I gained at PHS.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Difficult and demanding guests are one of the characteristics of the Hospitality Industry. I have learnt not to take complaints from difficult guests too personal. Guests and employers will say rude things in the heat of the moment, however one should just develop personal ways to keep going. If I made a mistake I tried to learn from the situation. If I had no control over a situation I just breathed and brushed it off. As I have been taught “you are always on stage” thus you have to continue performing well even though guests or colleagues make you feel hot under the collar.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    I would like to travel and explore while I am still young. My Hospitality background will, without a doubt, present many opportunities for me to work abroad; possibly on a cruise ship or yacht. In five years’ time I will probably settle down and possibly open my own business.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    The orientation week activities. Hotel visits. Fine dining experiences. Beer and wine tasting outings. Cooking delicious food. Event planning. SRC dinner. Lecturers making class fun and enjoyable. Third semester farewell. Lastly: my graduation day.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Challenging. Informative. Professional.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill



with Carmen Eksteen

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Carmen Eksteen. I was born in Namibia, but have lived in South Africa my whole live. After High School I attended The Private Hotel School. I just graduated this year and loved every moment I spend there. I am currently working at The Tasting Room, Franschoek as Junior Pastry Chef De Partie where I also completed my internship. I am looking forward to my future where I am starting a new venture at The Birdcage tea bar in Stellenbosch to realise my dream of learning to bake wedding cakes.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    At The tasting room we only serve dinner, because we serve an eight course meal with plenty of components that we have to prepare for. My day starts by going to work around 10h00-11h00. We start our shift by preparing all the components and at 16h00 we start setting up for service. Around 17h00-18h00 we have a short break just to clear your minds before we start with service. Our service will start around 19h00 until the last guest finishes his / her dish. We have off every Sunday and Monday.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    Firstly TPHS has some of the greatest lectures and you can really see how passionate they are, which motivated me. The first day I walked into TPHS I was still a little bit confused, but who is not on their first day. When I stepped into the kitchen for the first time I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. In my second year I chose to go the Culinary way and passion just started growing by working in different restaurants, bakeries and taking part in a young chefs competition where I was mentored by some of the best chefs in our area.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    Being a chef, you don’t interact with the guest very often, just now and then when they visit the kitchen. But I think the greatest thing about the hospitality industry is that we are not limited to one position. The opportunities are endless. The Hospitality industry is a very tough industry, but when you find your unique place in it, you’re hooked. It is something you can’t describe to people that are not in your shoes.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    One of my greatest accomplishments was when one of the students from TPHS and I took part in a young chef’s competition and we came in second place. Another great accomplishment was at my graduation this year where I got the award for best culinary student of the year as well as the Spirit of Hospitality award. I just want to give thanks to TPHS, because without them I wouldn’t have received any of these prizes and awards.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Being a chef you often do not get enough sleep. In the beginning of our career it can take its toll on your morale, but you get used to the long hours, standing on your feet every day, spending your days with the same people and before you know it you don’t even think about sleep anymore. It is also challenging to see less of your family and friends. However, what I have found is that when you have a passion for your job there is no work situation that you as a person cannot overcome.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    For now I just want to get experience in different pastries and wedding cakes and maybe go overseas and experience different cuisines from all over the world. The long term goal is to open my own little bakery showcasing all my experience I build over the years.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    The most memorable moment would be putting on my chef jacket for the first time in my life and of course all the great friends, lectures and chefs I met through TPHS. I have so many memories at TPHS that it is impossible to write down. But standing at my graduation with my diploma in my hand was the cherry on the cake.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Explore, dream, discover. From exploring and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life to discovering chef was my dream from the start.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Never give up, because you only fail when you stop trying!



with Monika Wiers

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Monika Wiers. I was born and raised in Namibia and completed my Matric Certificate in Windhoek, before moving to Stellenbosch in January 2012 to commence my studies at the Private Hotel School. I graduated in March 2014 with a Diploma in International Hospitality Management. I chose to complete my 6 months internship at Asara Wine Estate and Hotel, where I spent a large part of the time working in the banqueting department. I obviously worked a few weeks in all the other departments as well, but events and banqueting is my passion. At the end of my internship I got offered a permanent position as Trainee Manager. The day I started as a permanent employee, however I was placed in Front Office/Reception, due to operational requirements and by an unexpected twist of fate this was the department I remained in and started to love. By August 2014 I had worked myself up to Reception Team Leader and was able to lead a department, consisting of 3 receptionists, through high season. After nearly 2.5 years at Asara I decided that it was time for new challenges and started the job as a Guest Relations Liaison at Delaire Graff Estate in January this year. Delaire is a boutique 5 star Relais & Chateaux property, which is situated on the Helshoogte Pass and overlooks Stellenbosch. With 10 Lodges, Delaire is able to offer continuous 5 star services to guests and visitors alike.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    As a Guest Relations Liaison I am responsible for taking care of our guests as well as any day visitors that come to see the art, visit one of the restaurants or who just popped in for some wine tasting. Delaire has 2 main buildings and I am working for the Lodges and Spa section. In the mornings or afternoons I would do handover with the previous shift to find out if there were any issues, which guests checked in, which are still to arrive and any other important information. My position does involve some admin (printing of Registration cards and welcome letters, updating the handover and updating the guest history), but it is mainly focused on guest service. Once a guest drives through Delaire’s gates, the gate would call up to inform us of the arrival. I would then go out to the parking to greet and welcome them. While the porter assists with luggage, I would take them on a short tour, show them all the facilities and take them down to the lodge to ‘room’ them. Our lodges are not simply just a room, but actually consist of a lounge, kitchenette, en-suite bathroom, bedroom and patio with a private plunge pool for each lodge. I would then explain about the different facilities on the estate (Indochine and Delaire Graff Restaurant, Wine Tasting Centre, 100% Capri Boutique, Graff Diamond Store as well as the Spa). The position also entails acting as a concierge and arranging transfer and tours for guests, making restaurant bookings, printing boarding passes or explaining some of the local attractions to guests. It also involves taking Indochine Restaurant bookings, liaising with all other departments to make sure that all guests are properly cared for, greeting and showing around day guests and visitors as well as handling all phone calls for the Lodges and Spa, Indochine Restaurant and the Switchboard (after 17h00 each day). It is quite fast-paced and one has to remember a lot of things, but I really love working with new guests each and every day. The fact that I have a great team also contributes to the overall success of my position.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    TPHS equipped me with the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to work in a hotel environment. Each and every subject is relevant and important and contributes to the bigger picture. It is true that work experience and industry knowledge can’t be learned, but TPHS surely builds a strong foundation to make the transition from student to hospitality professional quite smooth and easy.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I love the hospitality industry because each day is different from the day before. Each day one meets new people and hear new stories. It is also one of the few industries where one is not limited to a position or place. I love that I have the chance to travel the world, see beautiful places and still do the work I love.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment is that I have grown from a shy, quiet 18 year old to a confident, knowledgeable and passionate 23 year old. I treasure the past years, because they taught me so much about myself, but also about this industry. Now I am excited to meet new people and embrace new possibilities. I’ve made a lot of friends and acquaintances in the industry and learned that each person is unique, with a very distinct set of skills, strengths and weaknesses. Embracing and accepting each person as they are, without judging is an accomplishment in itself.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    I think the most difficult work situation was trying to run season with only three staff members at Asara. Shortly after my promotion to Reception Team Leader, one of the receptionists was allocated to another department and the other left the establishment. This all happened during October, which is pre-season for most establishments. Suddenly, it was only me and my colleague left to run a 40 room hotel and I’ve never worked a season before. Luckily another receptionist joined soon after and as team we were able to make it through season and come out stronger at the end of it. This experience gave me some valuable knowledge and leadership skills that I make use of every day.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    I would like to work for a 5 star hotel or a Relais & Chateaux property in Europe (preferably Germany or Italy). I would still like to work in Front Office, as a Duty Manager or Front Office Manager and gain as much international experience as possible. On my off days / weekends I would like to take a train or even plane and visit different cities and neighbouring countries. Life is all about experiences and I plan on making many.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    My Graduation! On that day I proved to myself and everyone else that all the hard work, the assignments, tests and exams were really worth it. I made it … and suddenly the whole world and all its possibilities were within reach :-)
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Revealing new opportunities
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Never give up… it might seem impossible to pull through at times, but it is so worth it. Every one of you is a fighter and if you didn’t have a passion for the industry to begin with, you wouldn’t have chosen to study at PHS in the first place. Trust me, these 2 years go by in the blink of an eye and looking back I would do it all over again. Most importantly, enjoy the time you get to spend as a student of PHS (the good times and the bad) and learn from it.



with Jessica Bester

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Jess Bester, a proud Zimbabwean… born and bred. With a heart that always has and will be rooted in African soils, I attended the Private Hotel School in Stellenbosch and furthermore completed a six month internship in the Kalahari. Upon graduating, I made fast tracks back to Zim and am currently the Assistant Manager at one of Wilderness Safaris’ tented camps, nestled right in the heart of Hwange National Park.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    To think of my average working day as ‘typical’ is none but a wishful thought, as every sunrise brings with it new challenges, occasions and encounters out here in the wilderness. My main focus in my current position is very much service orientated in respect of providing each and every one of our guests with a unique and life changing experience, interacting with them and facilitating the delivery of a once in a lifetime journey. As equally important though, is my role behind the scenes where I work with a fabulous team in managing the administration and logistics of our camp, from stock control and staff leadership to food production and procurement, ensuring that our systems and operations are a consistent reflection of the overall Wilderness standard!
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    Whilst I only realised just how much TPHS prepared me after having left the classroom and entered the working world, not a day goes by that I don’t draw on lessons learnt or memories made on campus. Theoretically, my time at TPHS fostered an understanding of the industry on a holistic scale which paired with practical teaching, moulded within me both the tangible and elusive qualities needed to pursue and cope with such a demanding career. Fostering in me the will to be disciplined, diligent and most of all hard working, TPHS provided me with a platform from which to jump start a new and exciting chapter of my life.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    As someone who strives to please people and exceed their expectations, I love the fact that the hospitality industry gives me the reasoning and room to do just this, taking me places I never dreamed of visiting and providing genuine experiences that are truly humbling. With a particular passion for the lodging sector, I love that the industry has a special little something for everyone and that although our jobs require us to give all we have to those who come and go throughout our careers, we get back just as much in proportion. It certainly gives me something to live for!
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    I would say my greatest accomplishment is a combination of the standard of work I was able to produce from an academic perspective while studying, but more so the personal development achieved alongside this. Whilst working hard and gaining certification of a tertiary level is rewarding in itself, I believe that the degree to which my journey to this point has shaped my personality and moulded certain worldly views exceeds tangible value, living up to be a superior accomplishment in my life. I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that my own cut path, wrong turns included, has gotten me to where I stand today.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Whilst difficult work situations are almost an every day event that come with the industry and which we simply have to budget for, my most recent experience of these has to have been trying to assist our sister camp in attending to a broken down vehicle whilst having to co-ordinate the reality that we had guests in camp, guests on drive, guests due to arrive, limited staff in camp and more challengingly, a restricted use of vehicles. With no managers on site at the time, the only way to overcome this without affecting any of the guests’ experiences or jeopardizing the operation of our camps; quick thinking, communication, teamwork and compromise saw me through to a happy ending. It certainly can be the small things in life that pose the most value.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    With trying to balance work and further studying at the moment, I am working towards an ever growing understanding of the industry, its demands and its people, relevantly hoping that in five years time I will be educated and experienced enough to start looking at building the foundations of my own lodging type setup. With the first step to be the establishment of a promising and successful business concept, I want to be able to utilize Zimbabwean resources as a means of giving back to the country that has opened so many doors for me. Here goes!
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    My most memorable moment at TPHS would most definitely have to be our event group’s wine tasting evening held during our second semester, particularly the wine auction which not only raised us a proud sum of money, but which also provided the evening with a huge amount of entertainment. As our first event planned and hosted, the particular memory was that moment of truth where all the hard work, sweat and tears came together in a fun, terrific and successful few hours! Happy days for sure…
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    PASSION MEETS PERFECTION :-)
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Don’t be fooled, you’re in for a roller coaster ride. However, if I could give you any advice of relevant value… it would be to keep on keeping on. Nothing is supposed to be easy, ever!!! While you only live once, you can only take one step at a time to get to where you want to be in life. Realise that there’s more to living than just coasting along. Work hard, make the most of whatever it is that motivates you, go out and explore! But most importantly, find joy in what you do and the rest will flow from within.



with Sunè de Wet

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Sunè de Wet, I am 21 years old and from the Free State. I graduated in March 2015 from TPHS with a Diploma in International Culinary Arts. During my internship at TPHS I started working at Clos Malverne. After graduating from TPHS I was offered a permanent position and I continued working at Clos Malverne. During my internship I started working in the cold section and a few months before my internship ended I moved to the hot section. In the cold section I worked on the starters, second course as well as pastry and dessert section. When I moved to the hot section I worked on the fish section and I spent a little while on the grill. I am currently still working in the hot section where I run the pass and I love every moment of it.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    On a typical day in the kitchen we start our day with mise and place. At 12 o clock service starts and then I’m in charge of running the pass and plating the main course. I love running the pass especially when we’re fully booked on 120 pax. It is challenging and you need to concentrate what you’re doing. If you’re not concentrating on the pass the whole service can fall apart because the person on the pass determines the flow of the service.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    I found that the subjects lectured at TPHS prepared me for the industry. A lot of kitchen terminology as well as the lessons about how the industry works helped a lot when I entered the industry. By doing WBL hours TPHS also ensures that you get the necessary experience before entering the industry. TPHS helped me to grow an even stronger passion for what I love to do, which is cooking.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    The thing that I enjoy the most about the industry is the fact that I can actually serve food to guests, which is one of my passions due to the fact that serving or preparing food for others is what I love to do. I love to cook and bake which is why I studied culinary arts. When looking at culinary arts there are two main areas namely pastry or cold section and hot section which includes your mains. The area that I was interested in the most when I started studying was the pastry section, but during my internship I discovered that I like the general kitchen (hot section) the most. It’s exciting and I love the rush of service when we’re sending out mains.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment is that I am in an industry which I am absolutely passionate about. I have truly found my calling within such a short amount of time, from studying at TPHS and entering the workforce. I love what I do and I enjoy every moment of it.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    When I started my internship at Clos Malverne I struggled to fit in due to the fact that I didn’t know how they do things in their kitchen. At TPHS they sketch a picture of what the industry should look like but once you enter the industry you find that it is not always the same as the picture that was sketched. Working as a chef in a kitchen is extremely hard work and one needs to be passionate about your job to make a success of it. When I started working I had difficulty in adapting to the way that they do things, however I overcame that difficulty by learning from the other chefs as well as observing how they do certain things.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Five years from now I would love to open my own restaurant. Before doing that I will have to gain more experience. I want to gain more experience by working on cruise ships as a chef and by preparing dishes from different cuisines and countries.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    When looking at TPHS I would say that my most memorable memory would be meeting the most incredible people ever. From the moment I walked into the auditorium to the last moment I walked out. I met friends for the rest of my life. They have seen me under pressure and immense stress and they definitely double as a therapist by just listening… They stood by me and I will never forget them.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Passionate, challenging, motivating
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Enjoy every moment of the learning experience. It may seem like a lot of work but take it all one step at a time and at the end you will realize it wasn't so difficult. The time you spend at TPHS is specifically based on learning and experiencing hospitality. Don't let school be the only place where you learn. Most importantly take advantage of the internship program, the school will help you get placement in the best establishments so make sure you use that advantage to get your foot in the door.



with Victoria Tilders

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Victoria Tilders and I am currently working with Fort Richmond Safari's in the Northern Cape now as their executive chef. We run hunting safaris with international guests (mainly from Spain and the U.S.) and South African butcheries. I was working at Catharina's at Steenberg Hotel & Spa, situated in the beautiful Constantia Valley, surrounded by lush winelands and picturesque mountains for a year as a front of house manager.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    Depending on the shift I am working, determines the duties and responsibilities I have to perform. On a breakfast shift, work starts at 06h00 and it is my responsibility to open the restaurant and ensure that the breakfast buffet is set up for hotel guests. At 08h00 I attend the morning meeting with the various departments, which include housekeeping, maintenance, the spa, reservations and the general manager of the hotel. Following this I give feedback to my colleagues of what was discussed at the morning meeting. On a cover shift, I start work at 11h00 and have the sole responsibility of running the pass for lunch and dinner service. This includes liaising with the chef about specials, organising reservations and briefing staff. On a dinner shift, I start work at 15h00 and have to perform the duty of managing the floor during dinner service. This includes interacting with guests, overseeing the waiters and ensuring that service runs smoothly. At the end of the dinner shift, cash up is done and a dinner handover is sent to the hotel for feedback of the evening. I then lock the restaurant and sign in the keys to reception where everything is handed over to the night auditor.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    TPHS provided me with the necessary foundation of working in a hotel environment. I was given the tools to fulfill daily duties such as cash ups and in-house guest postings. I was also prepared specifically for working in the food and beverage department, by being exposed to the flow of service, costing, menu design and wine appreciation to name a few. Pursuing this position was my original direction, and I now have the technical foundation to continue to grow within the industry.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    The hospitality industry has so many facets, but for me the food and beverage department is where my passion lies. The rush of service and the satisfaction of a happy guest is what I enjoy about the hospitality industry. Great reviews based on excellent food and impeccable service is what drives me to go to work everyday.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    Thus far my greatest accomplishment is surviving an extremely busy season in my first management position. I never expected to be exposed to such hard work and long hours, although as students we were continuously warned, but until you experience it first hand, there is no appreciation for how tough it really is.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    There have been many difficult work situations because I work in a luxury environment where demand and expectation are very high. For example, we had a fully booked restaurant and a 12 seater booking that was made for the next night arrived a night earlier. By offering the guests a special space in the bar lounge, the waiters were instructed to shuffle the entire restaurant around in order to accommodate the booking. The guests were none the wiser and had an outstanding evening. Making the guest your first priority, remaining calm and not allowing ego to get involved are vital tools in dealing with difficult situations.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Five years from now I would like to have my own restaurant. The concept I have in mind is unique to the restaurant industry and requires a lot of skill and technical experience. I would like to start small and allow the concept to develop over time. The prospect of opening my own business is intimidating, but not impossible. Watch this space!
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    Graduation. Being selected as an alumni speaker was a huge honour, and I will always remember having the opportunity to be a part of the final chapter of the class of 2014. Standing up in front of a group of extremely talented individuals to reminisce on our time at TPHS will be in my memory forever.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Challenging, exciting and fun!
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Be dedicated, don’t give up and focus on the final goal. There is no better feeling than the reward of achieving a great result. Positivity is important and determination is paramount in reaching the qualification of being a TPHS graduate.



with Kay-Lee Berry

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Kay-Lee Berry and I graduated from TPHS in March 2013 with an International Diploma in Hospitality Management. Two Months after I graduated at TPHS, I decided to take my studies a step further. I started my Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Human Resource Management. I had the privilege of spending a few months in the Human Resource Department at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. After my time spent there, I decided to take a step further in my career and challenge myself in the corporate world of employment. I had the opportunity of spending 13 months at Rohloff Administration trading as KFC, in their Human Resources department. Rohloff Administration had 46 stores at the time with a total of over 3000 associates. Loving both Hospitality and Human Resources, I got the most amazing opportunity of becoming part of the Human Resources Department at Taj Cape Town and loving every minute of every day.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    A day in Human Resources and in Hospitality is different every day. New activities and challenges arise every day. From new applications, documentation, Interviews, assisting and helping, Social Responsibility, Training to Terminations and exit Interviews. There is never a typical day in both the Human Resources and Hospitality Industry. Every day is seen as a new challenge, a new opportunity and each day something new is learnt.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    TPHS helped develop me into a "Career Woman". It built the foundation of my career. Taught me the basics of both Hospitality and Human Resources. TPHS created opportunities for me, created the first footsteps of my career. Private Hotel School prepared me for hard work, long hours and to accept every challenge and obstacle as an opportunity to prove myself and to be best associate I can be.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    Being exposed to both Hospitality and Corporate, I enjoy the Hospitality Industry for so many reasons.

    - The gratitude of the associates.
    - The personal interaction between the employees and the employers.
    - The happiness and smiles on EVERYONE'S face.
    - The beautiful work environments that we are fortunate to receive.
    - Where one's true personality can be portrayed in your work and appreciated.
    - Where each and every associate of the Hotel is recognized and developed into the best possible person they can be.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    One of my greatest achievements so far, when I had the privilege of achieving second place in my class at TPHS. There were so many difficult times and long hours, but all the facts mentioned showed me that hard work pays off. Being able to do my Internship at one of the top Hotels in South Africa and now being part of one of the Leading City Hotels in South Africa, Taj Cape Town.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    I started a new adventure on the 17th March 2015; everything was overwhelming and frightening at first. Our Senior HR Officer went on Maternity Leave two weeks after I had started. I constantly had the fear that I would not fulfil their standards expected of me to the best of my ability, but that is definitely the best way in which one can learn and prove yourself on every possible level. I have the support of my fellow associates and would not have been able to overcome the challenges and obstacles without them. I had a few hurdles to overcome, but I will forever be grateful for the team in my Department and the belief and trust they had in me.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Five years from now, I would like to have completed my BCOM Degree in Human Resources as well as my Honours in Human Resources Management. I would like to move into a position and a role where I have the power and the ability to develop others to the best of their ability and form part of the Training and Development part of Human Resources. I hope to be able to develop young people into the best possible Hospitality Ambassadors that they can be.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    I have a few memorable moments at TPHS...the knowledge we received, the events that we attended, the friends that we all made, the cooking classes and some "food fights" that we had in the kitchen. We had the most wonderful opportunities and the most exciting memories.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    TPHS in three words: Gratitude, professionalism and family.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Even when times seem rough, days feel short and work feels a lot...stay strong, stay committed and remember that it is your future that you working towards. Every late night, difficult test and red bull is just a footstep closer to your wonderful and amazing future. Hard work DOES pay off.



with Yolandi Cronje

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    I am Yolandi Cronje, I am 26 year old and I graduated from TPHS in 2011 with a Diploma in International Culinary Entrepreneurship. After my 3 month internship at Asara Wine Estate and Hotel, I was offered a permanent position. I started as a Demi Chef de Partie working in various sections in the kitchen (Larder, Meat, Fish, Tapas, Pastry and Banqueting). After 6 months at Asara I got a wonderful opportunity to work at one of the best lodges in South Africa. In Mei 2012 I started at Singita Lebombo Lodge. Singita is a 5 star lodge situated in the Kruger National Park that have 2 lodges on the property, Lebombo and Sweni. Lebombo has 15 rooms, Sweni has 6 and they have 15 000 ha of private consesion. All the senior staff here works for 6 week and have 2 weeks off. I started at the Lebombo kitchen on a 4 week, 2 week rotation between pastry section and larder in my 6 week cycle.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    We don't have a typical day at the lodge. Every day has new challenges and experiences. A day consists of long hour and hard work. Our guests on average stay between 3-5 days and never get offered the same dish during their stay. Our menus (Lunch and Dinner) change on a daily basis which keeps you very creative. In the Pastry kitchen the work is a bit more structured. I either start work at 5:00 in the morning or 13:00 in the afternoon. AM shift is responsible for pastries, breads, lunch dessert, high tea and home-made butters and condiments for the bread boards. PM shift usually does all the dinner desserts, dinner service, ice cream and sorbet churning and all the extra baking goods.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    The TPHS helped me a lot in preparing for the industry. I had all the background of basic cooking skills, how to work neatly and being efficient. I am so thankful for Chef Jooste and the other lecturers for drilling all these important skills into us. Nothing and no establishment can ever fully prepare you for the huge shock of a real kitchen…fast pace, extreme heat and serious precision. The TPHS arranged my internship at Asara Wine Estate and Hotel that kick started my career.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    The adrenalin, the fast pace, the precision and the passion for food. In my part of the hospitality industry passion is key. A chef can't just think about this as a job. Its creative, it's a life style and your life revolves around your career. I also love the fact that my job can take me anywhere in the world and not one day is like the one before.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    In my 3 years at Singita I have been promoted twice, won employee of the month and while working here we reached a third place in the world for lodges and small hotels according to Travel and Leisure Magazine. I also competed in the Regional Chaine des Rotisseur and came second.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    I was moved down to the smaller Sweni Lodge (6 rooms) on the property for a few months. As a Chef de Partie back then I was second in charge. If the Sous Chef was not there I would run the kitchen. This was very demanding and new for me. I had to do menus, organize the kitchen brigade, and communicate with FOH, stock take, services and so much more. I found dealing with guest complaints also very challenging but learned so much from it. I overcame this challenge by just striving each day to do my best, putting in a lot of extra hours and asking for guidance and help from my Head Chef. You should never be ashamed or scared to ask for help and guidance, it is the only way you will learn from experience.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    I would like to be abroad. Maybe working in Australia or Europe. Gaining more knowledge of food in other countries and getting my name out there in the industry.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    This would be my Professional Baking classes. Back then I never thought it would shape my career. Now doing technical things in the kitchen I think back to what I was taught. I still use some of my recipes I was given at the TPHS and I have also taught other people working with me what I learned.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    TPHS - Professionalism, “Hard work”, Success - This Hotel School it dedicated to produce the best in the industry.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Work as hard as you can and use every opportunity given to you. Old students more that anyone knows how much work it is but we also know more than anyone else what rewards you get from dedicating every day to the TPHS. All of us have gone through thinking why so much hard work, why study until 1:00 am in the morning or doing assignments. It is worth every second once you graduate and realize you have done it, you also realize doors have been opened and the future waits.



with Kimberley Usenga

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    I am Kimberley Usenga, I am 24 years old, and I am from Zimbabwe. After completing high school in December 2008, where I had studied Culinary Arts with City and Guilds, I then came to TPHS in July 2009 to further my studies in the hospitality Industry and it has been an amazing journey filled with amazing people that have given me gems of advice that I can never forget including lectures and students who have taught me so much not only about the hospitality industry but also about life. I did my internship at Cuvee Restaurant 6 months after which I worked there for two years, in the Hot section preparing the seafood and fish dishes. At Cuvee I learnt all the basic kitchen survival skills and had many interesting experiences. I then moved to Johannesburg where I found work in the newly opened Catch Grill fish and Sushi Bar Restaurant where I became a sushi chef for one year although I am currently pursuing other business ventures outside the hospitality industry I learnt a lot in my time as a Chef.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    Our day would begin with doing all of the mis en place for lunch and dinner service which would include cooking the rice, preparing the vegetables for the salads, cooking the sushi prawns and cleaning the fish and any other necessary preparation for the day.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    The basic chef skills we learnt such as knife skills, health food and safety knowledge was very important and useful especially when dealing with seafood. Information on how to cater to customer with allergies was useful and also the what we learnt about to cope with working with people from different cultural backgrounds in cultural diversity also helped me a lot and how to be an well-rounded hospitality professional which helped me in receiving more opportunities in the work place. And there was a time when I had to do the procurement for the whole restaurant because the person in charge of that department had just quit unexpectedly so the knowledge I had from TPHS about procurement helped me in a desperate situation.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    The drama, it never ends. Every day is full of exciting stories and interesting situations that can only happen in a restaurant, form customers to staff to managers doing funny things, to the actual adrenaline rush you get in a busy service from working under pressure. And not to mention meeting a lot of amazing people who you can learn a lot from and lastly I love the creative process of making art on a plate, you are your own limit when it comes to what you can master and learn and invent and re-invent, the unlimited potential to create whatever your mind desires in culinary arts is unbelievable.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    I would have to say mastering the art of making sushi in a professional environment, it was difficult, but a good learning experience to never give up until you accomplish your goal.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    One of the challenges I had to overcome was being the only women a section with men, and trying to become good at my job when they would underestimate you and they felt that you could not make anything as good as them or work as hard as them, I overcame it by focusing on my goals and not allowing anyone to make me give up, I just kept pushing until there was nothing critical they could say. In the end I didn't really care anymore what they said or did I just began to enjoy my work and focused on that.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    I would like to be travelling the world experiencing different cultures and food experiences meeting new people and I would like to keep learning and growing, always having exciting experiences and new stories to tell.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    Every moment has been amazing one that stands out is winning a prize of a bottle of bubble after our team own the amazing race in the first week, to working with Chef Bruce Roberts at the American Express Fine Dining Food Awards, to just enjoying the company of other students whilst studying, to going on site inspections and going to Hostex as a school.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Inspiring- everyone to fulfil their dreams Supportive- give you all the help and encouragement you need to succeed Fun- it was crazy Fun! The best days of my life, we always really had a lot of fun.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Work hard. Focus your mind and seize the opportunities' and see the opportunities' in every situation you are in. Never give up, be determined to make your life what you want it to be, put in that little bit of extra effort that makes a big difference in the quality of your work, and You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To- Anything. If you can think it and see it happening in your mind, it can be done and no one can tell you otherwise. Always be thankful for your lecturers who push you to grow your fellow students who support you your family...You are really privileged to have the opportunity to study at TPHS make the best of it.


with Elni le Roux

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    I am Elni le Roux, currently the Events Coordinator and a Junior Lecturer at The Private Hotel School. I lecture Event Planning, Quantity Food Production (Practical - FOH), Health & Food Safety and Entrepreneurship (Practical) to first, second and third semesters. I completed the Diploma in International Hospitality Management. My 6 month internship was at La Residence Hotel in Franschhoek, and I was also employed by La Residence Hotel thereafter. I furthered my studies at Silwood School of Cookery, completing their City and Guilds Diploma in Patisserie and the Silwood Certificate in Patisserie. I was also the Assistant Bakery Manager at The Birdcage in Stellenbosch.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    Within Hospitality and Lecturing there is not usually a “typical day,” but some of the tasks that would occur on a weekly basis would include: preparation for lectures, teaching of classes, weekly planning, conducting meetings with our general staff committee, cafeteria planning and cash up, event & conference venue marketing and communications, etc. The list goes on!
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    TPHS ensures that you are ready for the fast paced industry with long hours and hard work, by exposing you to numerous hospitality information resources, practical hours within the industry and the experience of the great team of lecturers. They have been in this industry for quite some time, so they have the knowledge, experience and passion to help students to excel in what they do. TPHS aided me in growing my passion for the industry, keeping my head up high, and always raising the bar higher for great quality of work.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    My biggest joy within the Hospitality Industry is that every day, guest and event is unique. This ensures that there is no time to be bored!
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment is that I am in an industry which I am absolutely passionate about. I have truly found my calling within such a short amount of time, from studying at TPHS, entering the workforce, and being able to now lecture the future leaders in Hospitality.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    While working at a Hotel I had to move to the accounts department as there was a shortage of staff members. This was a rather nerve-racking thought as I have never before used the specific accounting systems and actions. I was determined to make a success out of this new position within the accounting department. Determination and staying focussed on my passion for the industry is what aided me in setting the bar high, successfully completing what was expected and going through the necessary training needed for the position.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Five years from now I would like to lecture part time and have my own Wedding Cake business.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    My most memorable moment as a TPHS student was the Events that we were given to execute in our second semester. We promoted the property as a Wedding venue. This was a great success!
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    TPHS is definitely the 3 A's as Professor Fong from UAE discussed during the orientation week. Attitude, Attire and Attendance. TPHS students are sent out into the industry with a positive attitude, dressing the part as well as showing up with confidence, passion and determination.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best! Your future is in your own hands; always remember that there is power in positivity!


with Tatenda Chingono

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Tatenda Noreen Chingono. I am 29 years of age, born and raised in Harare Zimbabwe.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    Currently seeking another job opportunity, though where I was recently working my job description entailed setting up and preparing one of the Food and Beverage outlets at a Country Club in Florida, USA. I also had to serve the members at the Country Club in whatever way possible, from food and beverage and many other ways possible. The Country Club in question had a policy in place where whatever the member asked we would oblige them.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    The Private Hotel School was a great foundation for me to acquire all the knowledge needed for the industry we have chosen. Post student years I have continued to be on the path of learning and it will never end. Besides the education I acquired from the institution I got to make long term relationships with the lecturers and past students. Not to mention get job opportunities communicated to me from the school which is awesome. I am truly grateful to all of you at The Private Hotel School.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I must say the one thing above all that I enjoy about the hospitality industry is meeting new people constantly. It has been amazing thus far and I look forward to greater things.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    I would say that my greatest accomplishments thus far are growing as a person, relationships made along the way, all the knowledge I have acquired among so much more.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Wow, one of the most difficult situations I had to face at work was working with a colleague who hated me extremely for no reason and would just make my life at work unbearable. It did affect me initially, but I overcame it by "killing her with kindness" so to speak. I decided to remain professional about it all and eventually it never was a problem.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    I see myself married with children five years from now (laughed out loud). I want to have a stable establishment in Zimbabwe. Africa is slowly becoming one of the big contenders in the world economy. So many opportunities in this continent sprouting up and the world are investing in us. I want to be one of the contributors of a growing Africa.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    Planning the events for our event planning class was one of the memorable times at the school.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Private Hotel School - Came Saw Conquered.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    I would advise the current students to value every opportunity they get, maintain relationships, work hard, for what you put in you get out. Be yourself for that is when you can be your best.


with Annalize Fourie

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Annalize Fourie , I am 20 years old and I am from George. After matriculating from Outeniqua High School, I started studying at the Private Hotel School in January 2012. I finished my 6 month internship in December 2013 at the River Manor Boutique Hotel and Spa in Stellenbosch. As their season got extremely busy, I worked there until the end of March 2014 as a Duty Manager. During my time at the River Manor I have gained a lot of experience by being responsible for all departments of the hotel. I have now moved to Mackinac Island, Michigan, USA where I am busy with an international internship at Mission Point Resort. Part of my current internship is to rotate. Currently I am at the Front Desk. After every 8 weeks, we rotate to a new department. I will be moving to Guest Activities, which entails bike rentals, miniature golf, and the gift shop, kids club, babysitting and dog-sitting. After another 8 weeks I will be moving to the reservations department.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    At the moment, I work at the Front Desk on the afternoon shift. On a typical day at work, there would be about 120 - 180 check-ins on a daily basis. These would be done as quickly as possible when guests come to register. Pre-registered rooms need to be called to inform guests that they're rooms are ready. Then, aside from the check-ins, we have to prepare for all arriving guests 3 days out. Reserved specials, or instance allergies, fridges, rollaways, cribs, pet friendly rooms, etc. need to be double checked for every reservation. Next, packages need to be done. Different packages are available to purchase with a reservation. All these coupons need to be written out to every guest and put into their key packet. Packages include paid-for ferry tickets to the island, so all Starline docks need to be emailed and informed of all the guests that would need free passes the next day. After all check-ins are done, a luggage handing fee needs to be posted to every arriving room of the day, and a credit check must be done of all rooms with outstanding balances. On top of all these duties, guest complaints all come to the front desk, as the hotel operating phone is at the front desk as well. Taxi's need to be called, restaurant reservations must be made and the front desk serves as the concierge desk as well.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    The Private Hotel School helps everyone to get used to the busy lifestyle that is the hospitality industry. When starting my internship, I knew exactly what was expected of me during my time at the River Manor. Mission Point was a little different, because of the size difference, but I quickly got used to the amount of people and work load. At first everything looked overwhelming, but as soon as I fell back onto my educations, I adapted very quickly. They taught us to be independent and especially how to handle stressful situations. TPHS has definitely taught me time-management skills during my studies and internship. Without both the academic and practical classes at the TPHS, I would not have coped in my position today.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I enjoy the fact that every single day differs from the previous. There are always new guests to speak to, tour operators to deal with, restaurants that you must call and suppliers that are being difficult. Every day brings a new challenge and asks for creative solutions. The industry keeps you on your toes all the time. And to top all of that, I get to work and live with a variety of employees all over the world. At Mission Point they recruit most of their employees from Jamaica, South Africa and Eastern Europe. I have learned a lot from my co-workers and enjoy every moment sharing our different cultures.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    I would say, with the help of Miss Theron, the Private Hotel School and the Ubuntu Institute, getting accepted for my international internship at the Mission Point Resort. Also, after only one month at the resort, I got nominated for Associate of the Month. It felt really good being appreciated for the hard work you put in every day. I did not win, but just a week after that I was nominated as Dynamic Global Exchange's employee of the month out of all their interns across the whole world.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    A difficult situation at work is definitely almost every weekend on the island. As most of the hotel's guests are Americans taking a getaway weekend, the hotel is usually fully booked on the weekends. It is then when the madness begins, when guests are not happy with their rooms, demanding an upgrade on their room, or complaining that they have to wait for their luggage, when the employees of the hotel are absolutely swamped with loads of work. The only way to overcome these situations, are to breath and take every difficult situation with a positive attitude and never take it as a personal attack. Always keep it as professional as possible and do whatever you can to keep the guest happy and satisfied.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    The near future is a little bit of a blur at the moment. I would definitely want to travel and work a little more, and I am pretty sure another few seasons in the USA won't hurt. I really enjoy the front desk and would like to be some sort of Front Desk Manager or Training Supervisor for Guest Services.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    I would have to say the Fine Dining experiences at Jordan, Overture and Cuveé, as well as the Senior Dance at the end of our Third Semester. Both of these were absolutely magical and wouldn't have been the same without the friends we made at TPHS.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Totally worth it!
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Never give up on your dreams and remember why you entered the Hospitality Industry in the first place. There may be days that you want to quit after a guest screamed at the top of their voice for 30 minutes straight, but then another guest comes up to you with a big smile and thank you for all your hard work, and all the suffering is forgotten. Being appreciated for your hard work or being acknowledged by guests should be your inspiration to strive to always be better than the previous time.


with Thembi Kuchena

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Thembi Kuchena, I am 23 years old currently residing in Abu Dhabi UAE.  I am working for a 5 star luxury hotel called Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Hotel which is part of Accor (French based brand).
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    Currently I am working as a sales executive corporate.  Typical day in my position includes meetings with potential clients and existing clients,  entertaining clients in the hotel and site inspection as well as providing companies with corporate rates, basically selling the hotel and facilities as best as i can.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    I do believe my time at TPHS did help me and give me the basics and most fundamental key points of working in the hospitality industry and being able to build a career in the industry.  I found myself having a great upper hand over others because of my studies and experience at TPHS, thank you for that.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I enjoy meeting new people, networking because we all know that hospital industry is based on who you know.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment thus far is being a young black African woman in the UAE at the age of 23, I went from being a communication centre agent to reservations agent and now sales executive in a space of 1 and a half years and I hope and pray that God can guide me to keep moving forward.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    The most difficult situation I have experienced so far was handling reservations for a property with 282 room with only two agents and one manager with a hotel running on high occupancy for 4 months straight.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    5 years from now I would like to have my own businesses become the entrepreneur woman I see myself to be.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    TPHS + the lessons + the practical lessons+ the people allowed me to understand how the industry works and helped me a lot once I was out there on my own.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    TPHS in 3 words to me would be relevant, passionate, success. Without you, the lecturers, the people, I wouldn't be where I am.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    The advise I give to existing and future students is that they should take all the experiences they get from TPHS seriously as what they take from TPHS will give them the fundamental foundation to help them be successful in the industry, like all the tallest buildings and skyscrapers in the world what helps them keep standing through the storms and winds is their basic foundation.


with Darren Johnston

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Darren Johnston; I grew up in the Western Cape. I graduated in 2012 with my Diploma in International Hospitality Management at TPHS. I have been working in the USA for the past 2 and half years where I started off as an Intern and currently a Manager in F&B at a 5 star platinum Resort.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    I manage a Beach Club Café; I am responsible for training seasonal employees in Food & Beverage Service as well as managing a cafe and Yogurt Bar within the Beach Club. My position involves administration, Inventory and guest services.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    TPHS has opened up a lot of doors for me, after completing my Diploma I worked in Front Office at 5 star Hotels in South Africa in a supervisor position, once I decided to go to the USA as an Intern my skills and knowledge TPHS provided helped me get to where I am today.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    Working with guests and been able to share my knowledge while training others, and also been able to meet people from all over the world while traveling.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    Finishing my Internship in the USA and getting promoted and sponsored to stay in the USA. I am happy to work with such great company's and grateful for all the opportunities they have provided.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Recently as it is the end of season up here in Pennsylvania, USA I lost majority of my staff due to them retuning to college and school, this resulted in the restaurant been understaffed. During these two weeks the weekends would become incredibly busy and overwhelming. Because I work in a 5 star establishment the members here expect only the best when it comes to food and service, No matter how hard we worked towards providing exceptional food and service it resulted in delays and many complaints as it was just impossible to get through the evening without any problems in food delays. From that day on we decided to run a buffet on weekends until season ends to ease most of the stress and avoid complaints. Even though a lot of the members disagreed with the idea of a buffet, we had to think what would be better to avoid complaints and focus on attention to detail and customer service.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    In the next 5 years I plan on having my Green Card, living in New York and working at a well-established Hotel. I am not sure if I will continue in Food and Beverage as I also have a strong passion for Front Office and would like to get back into Rooms Division
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    At the moment I can say everything was memorable, meeting new people and learning about new things was just amazing. I loved everything about TPHS.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Challenging, Life changing, Door opener
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Just enjoy your time at TPHS but remember its also hard work too, stay focused and keep in mind that it will open many doors and opportunities, so be excited about your future.


with Alida Nel

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    I grew up in a small town in the Western Cape and went on to study Hotel Management after school. I was inspired to get involved in the industry because of my passion for travel journalism. During my studies, I completed an internship at Majeka House in Stellenbosch. I am currently working as the Front Office Manager for WedgeView Country House & Spa, a small 5* establishment in the heart of the winelands in Stellenbosch.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    On a typical day in my position, I do everything from serving breakfast, stock control, checking rooms, reservations, check-in/check-outs, training interns, liaison with guests, concierge, website maintenance, marketing and accounts reconciliation. At a small establishment, you typically do a lot more and need to be versatile.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    I think TPHS really helped me in the sense that the work and lecturers always challenged, me to do better and to raise the bar higher. TPHS also allowed for the opportunity to work in each and every aspect of the hospitality industry which made me realise what I would like to do and what I don't like. Most of all TPHS taught me how to adapt to any circumstance with grace.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I enjoy working with people and learning about their culture/ language. I also love the fact that hospitality is international and allows to travel and explore the world. The part that I like the best is the moment when you have done your absolute best for a project and everything just pulls together and becomes successful. The gratitude that you get from your guests also goes a long way.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    I would say that one of my greatest accomplishments is that I was already a Front Office Manager at a young age. I have also worked hard and earned enough to be able to travel through Europe for 3 months which was an experience of a life time. I have now been accepted to work at a Waldorf Astoria in the USA.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    We once had a client check into a room which he completely hated even though he had booked that specific room category. Unfortunately we were not able to move him as it was high season and we had no rooms available. He attended dinner that night after agreeing on the menu with his wife. During the dinner he made a big scene about how awful the food was and how it was inedible etc. He was so unpleasant that some of our other guests even asked during the dinner if they could pay this guest to leave the guest house because he was just unpleasant and nothing was wrong. So we handled it as best we could and apologised. The next morning the guest was unpleasant again and sent back his breakfast 3 times even though nothing was wrong. We eventually had to ask the guest to check out because he would just keep being unhappy and refunded the balance of his stay. You have to accept that you cannot satisfy every guest.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    It would be very hard to give a 5 year plan because the industry changes quite often and new opportunities seem to always arise. I do know that I would love to get some more international experience and then perhaps return to lecture at a Hotel School and teach people what the industry has taught me.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    For our 3rd Semester Events class we had a project where we had to do a social event. We did a Halloween Dance and it was absolutely spectacular. We transformed the whole restaurant at TPHS and has a blast doing it and it turned out amazing!
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Passport to life
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    The best advice I have received: “Start by doing what is necessary, then by doing what is possible and if you can achieve this you will soon realise you can do the impossible.” “If the only challenges we face are those that life has thrown at us, then we are merely living life, in reaction only - we are not pushing ourselves and directing our own destiny. Our greatest challenges should be those we give ourselves to reach full potential.” -Brendon Burcharel, The Charge


with Heimo Ferreira

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    Originally a culinary student at heart, I ended up at the private hotel school for a better overall understanding of hospitality operations. I've recently ended a very busy season at a newly opened restaurant in Strand called De Brasserie. I started working there July 2013, a month after they had opened. I was a Chef de Partie in charge of the cold section as well as pastry section.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    As a chef de partie I am responsible for both the cold and pastry section prep. My days varied for which I would focus on. Typically a day would include preparing all the cold food prep for service, delegating tasks to commis chefs, on occasion performing a stock count, constantly cleaning my work surface and assisting the chef on the pass when needed. During service my day turns from casual prep to out of control orders to fill. Cooking dishes for orders!, overseeing other chefs!, assisting head chef with plating, ensuring a tidy work area and lastly prep again for dinner service to do it all over again.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    The diversity of what is being taught at TPHS could prepare anyone for any career move in hospitality. Not only have I brushed up my culinary experience at TPHS but I have gained a clear understanding of how a restaurant functions from the food supplier to the trip advisor post. In addition to gaining theoretical knowledge I have also gained practical experience in hospitality operations.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    It is not boring… I can't imagine having to sit in an office all day working on a computer with no interaction with anyone. In this industry I can move around, be active, interact with guests and colleagues as well as in my particular instance be creative as a chef.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    I would have to say the night I was working on the pass and we had service for 130 Pax. The Restaurant can only hold, 60 pax maximum so that night we really stretched our capabilities. I would say as a young chef, having the opportunity to do something like that is a decent accomplishment which I'm proud of
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    I would have to say that night serving a 130 people may have been the most difficult situation I was ever put in. Orders were coming in so fast that our docket board was full, we had to put orders underneath other orders.. It was overwhelming. I didn't see how I was ever going to overcome this obstacle. The secret to how I overcame this situation came in the form of phrase told to me by my colleague containing a swear word going somewhere along the lines of calm down and do one thing at a time. Since then I have been able to calm my nerves and serve overwhelming numbers of dishes.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Five years from now I hope to be gaining valuable experience in Food & Beverage operations whilst hopefully studying further to develop my skills and knowledge for my future goals.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    The entire experience is something I will never forget but if I have to highlight one I would have to say working as a commis chef at the fine dining awards. It was an overall experience I would never forget.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Challenging yet motivating but most definitely an eye opener.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Enjoy every moment of the learning experience. It may seem like a lot of work but take it all one step at a time and at the end you will realize it wasn't so difficult. Try and participate in as many activities whilst you are there like wine tasting with friends or experiencing new restaurants on a regular. The time you spend at TPHS is specifically based on learning and experiencing hospitality. Don't let school be the only place where you learn. Most importantly take advantage of the internship program, the school will help you get placement in the best establishments so make sure you use that advantage to get your foot in the door.


with Michael Fourie

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    I started my internship at Fancourt hotel in George in December 2012, after I finished my internship I was offered a position as Assistant Conference and Banqueting Manager at Fancourt, a position that I currently hold with the company.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    The Conference and Banqueting department looks after all the functions and events happening on the resort. Apart from ensuring the success of these functions, I also have to ensure that stock levels are maintained, staff are adequately trained, and financial objectives are achieved. The mini bars and room service department forms part of the Conference and Banqueting department and ensuring that these two departments perform to the highest standard is an extremely challenging part of my job. During quiet times, building maintenance will become a priority.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    Planning is a crucial part of my job, I really think that the pace at which the Private Hotel School expects its students to study taught me how to effectively plan my day, week and month. The practical elements of the course is cleverly developed to give its students not only the experience needed to succeed in the industry, but also valuable insight into their own personalities, without this insight it would have been very unlikely for me to reach future success within the hospitality industry.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    It is a dynamic industry, never expect one day to be the same as the next.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    Earlier this year we had to do a four day conference/function event for 250 people from a well-known pharmaceutical company. The company would conference from 8-5, using all of our conference venues, and every night they would have a dinner function in a different venue, some of these venues being as far as 15 km away from Fancourt. Handling the logistics of these conferences/functions meant that I had almost no sleep, but at the end the satisfaction was unrivaled by anything that I have ever achieved.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Understaffing at management level meant that there were occasions that I had to look after two restaurant whilst also managing my own department. In order to overcome this situation I had to very quickly become aware of my own limitations and strengths, once these were realized I worked according to my strengths to minimize the effect that my weaknesses would have on the operation of the business.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    In five years from now I will be applying for the position of Food and Beverage Manager at a five star resort. Watch this space.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    TPHS!!! It was an awesome time in my life, the students, teachers and experience contributed to a truly memorable experience. Even though it sucked when we had to order in pizzas for our practical cooking final because I messed up the Chicken Tikka Masala.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Steep Learning Curve
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Enjoy your time at TPHS, and make the most of your time there. The Private Hotel School WILL give you the qualification needed to succeed in this industry, but your attitude will determine whether you actually become successful within the industry. NEVER GIVE UP.


with Elmien Hite

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Elmien Hite and I am originally from Windhoek, Namibia. I am a former student of The Private Hotel School where I recently graduated with my Diploma in International Hospitality Management. Arriving at The Private Hotel School, I instantly fell in love with the winelands and knew my time here will be spent well. I am currently back in Namibia working at The Stellenbosch Market in Windhoek. (I traded Stellenbosch for Stellenbosch!!!)
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    At The Stellenbosch Market, I am the manager. This is a wine shop and deli. Here I am responsible of staff and the service. A usual day entails all sorts of administration work, guest service, stock take of wines and the marketing of it. Here I specialise in the wines ensuring the guests receive their preferred wine as well as a wine that complements their dish.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    In my honest opinion, going to TPHS was the best option for me. It is small, intimate and lectures know what they are doing. They can spend time with students privately making sure they understand the work. You can go to them 20 times a day and then still email them 10 times, they will always help you where possible. TPHS provided all the knowledge needed for me to be where I am today. It also offered experience in the industry that other institutes don't offer. TPHS isn't just a hospitality institute it's a family. Although still being young, I got the work immediately after applied and I am loving every moment of it.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I will probably have to say, working with guests. It is amazing experiencing guests happy and knowing you exceeded their expectations. I enjoy listening to people's stories and getting to know them. When guests walk into the restaurant you already know what they are ordering. I constantly meet new people that is in a different career choice so you build-up relationships with people you can phone anytime.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    From where I am now, my greatest accomplishment would be receiving my diploma at my graduation. Furthermore, another accomplishment would be the position I have now in this incredible establishment. I am proud of my work and what I have accomplished so far in my life. It makes me excited to even think about where I will be in 5-10 years from now.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    I would probably have to say the past few weeks was difficult. My assistant manager recently resigned which left me working double shifts every day. I worked constantly and never had time for myself. Interesting enough, I couldn't find anyone to replace him but, recently I have found someone to replace him. So hopefully soon I can have some more time…
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Wow, that is probably one of the trickiest questions. I never imagined myself here five years ago. So if I should think about five years from now, I am not sure. But I would like to own my own place. If it is a guest house or even a small coffee shop like where I work at now. I like the elegance and high class cliental I have here and therefore, I believe I will want to stay here for a long long time…
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    My most memorable memory would be meeting the most incredible people ever. From the moment I walked into the auditorium to the last moment I walked out. I met friends for the rest of my life. Friends that knows me better than anyone else. They have seen me under pressure and immense stress, they don't judge me when I get mad about something as trivial as a paper jam and they definitely double as a therapist by just listening… They stood by me and I will never forget them!!
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Perfect, High quality, Service-orientated
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Hang on!!! You might think all the hard work is not worth it, but believe me it is!!! The Diploma opens up doors for you all over the world. Never give up!! You need to work hard, to play hard. And finally something I told myself everyday: Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

 

with Kate Fairfield

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    I am currently employed on Lady Sheila, a privately owned 145ft Benetti Super yacht as a deck/stew, and am a former student of the Private Hotel School. I graduated with a Diploma in International Hospitality Management in March of 2012. I spent a few month in management positions in the Cape before completing a trans-Atlantic crossing to Brazil and up to the Caribbean. From here I travelled to Fort Lauderdale in Florida to begin my career in super yachting.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    On the interior we have three different sectors which work on a rotation basis; Detailing, Laundry and Service. Detailing is the impeccable maintenance of the yachts different interior rooms, taking housekeeping to the extreme. You will spend 2 days cleaning one room with toothpicks and earbuds, until there is no flaw. When guests are onboard you will do the same with all their belongings, cleaning everything from their shoes to their lipstick or shaving cream. Laundry involves all the crew clothing, yacht linens and guest items; you may think lectures on laundry are dull… trust me, they come in handy. You do not want to destroy a $400 skirt and try blame it on ignorance, you won't get far. Service is impeccable but it does change from owner to owner. Each has their own preferences which you get to learn in time. Charter yachts with new guests all the time are a bit more straight forward… they expect the best. They are paying in the region of $150,000.00 and $300,000.00 per week, try exceeding those expectations. 5 star 8 course meals are prepared and then delayed or even cancelled all together (yay for us crew members), other times you must create a master piece in less than 30 minutes. It keeps you on your toes.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    The syllabus is set out well and puts focus on vital points of our industry. A day does not go by when I do not use some or other lecture in my day or remember I tip or word of advice from one of my lecturers. It all is applicable, all of it. From service basics (NB!) to Human Resources, Accounting to F&B. I still have my F&B text book with me, yes it traveled in a yacht across the Atlantic, in an airplane to the USA, to numerous crew houses up and down the East Coast and finally now stands proud on the limited space on my cabin side table.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    In the last year I have been from Namibia to Brazil, the Caribbean to Miami and after the Miami Boat Show we head to the Bahamas before spending the summer in South Hampton. You get to travel! You get to meet people! Amazing people from all corners of the globe, although lately the corner seems to be rather South African. Then of course you get to make money! An entry level starting salary is in the region of $2500 - $3500. You live aboard and get your meals prepared for by a trained chef. You get medical, dental, all your toiletries (yes ladies) and use of a crew car. Tips from private owners are huge, usually more than your salary, tips on charters differ but can be between $1000 and $4000 per charter. It's a lucrative lifestyle… and yes we all blew the first paycheck.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    Getting employed. 800 SAFFAs arrived in Fort Lauderdale alone this season, never mind all the Ozzies, Kiwis, Brits and a host of other nationalities. Fort Lauderdale is the hub for finding a yacht to work on and it is crawling with yachties. There are so many crew houses and so many ways to make contacts and yet more than half these people return home. This is a competitive business. You have 6 months before your allowed time in the US runs out and you can't ‘walk the docks' like in the med (Mediterranean). Walking the docks is the way you put yourself forward and take life in your own hands. In the US it's technically illegal on the visa we fly in on and although we all try find jobs anyway, and the crew agencies condone it, you can and will get deported if found. So this narrows down the opportunities to meet possible employers. You spend every waking moment networking… with the crew agents, your roomies, your new friends, the random yachtie at the robot (sorry America, traffic signal) and if you lucky an actual captain. My greatest accomplishment? I have a job.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    Yachts are particular difficult with interpersonal relationship. It's a lot of people (anything from 4 to 25) living in a small area, seeing each other constantly and usually everyone is under a lot of pressure and stress levels are high. People freak out easily, create allies and enemies and all this eventually has to come out. Dealing with conflict positively is one of my (well, everyone's) biggest challenges. You are often in trouble and you need to not take things personally. Take what people are saying in, understanding and responding in a positive way with a view to rectifying the situation and moving on. It is hard. When you live together how can it not be personal? This is my goal in living aboard, and believe it or not, if you do react positively, you recover, learn and move on much faster. You don't sulk or let it affect your motivation and you will be happier for it.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    To still be in yachting, to survive the jet setting life and stressful industry and remain happy. I wouldn't ‘like' to be promoted or at my peak of achievement, I will be.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    Hmmm… Most memorable? The feeling of pride and relief when we pulled off our 2nd semester event that hosted General Managers of 5 star hotels from around the Western Cape. In teams of 4 we had to plan, organize and host an event. We had to decide on everything from the theme to the layout, number of guests and progress of the evening. We chose a 1940s theme with smaller intimate tables, long vases of white ostrich feathers, black drapes from the ceiling and a subtle smoke machine creating the illusion of cigars and long stemmed cigarettes. We liaised with the culinary team to serve a delicious 3 course meal with all the bells and whistles. We spent weeks hunting down sponsors to promote our event and so we could have top quality beverages on the night. Methodé Cap Classic, wines and brandy filled the night, along with entertainment and more than a few laughs. Thankfully all our hard work paid off.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Realistic, Challenging, Diverse.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Persevere. Even if you want to burn every last book, even if you stressed to breaking point, keep going. Look back after each set of exams and realize that you've ticked another set off the list. That soon you will be using that knowledge to set yourself a step higher than your colleagues. You chose this industry for a reason and trust me, it's worth it. Hospitality is everywhere, from managers in hotels to Sol Kerzner's Personal Assistant or even your own venture. When you've finished and pursue an avenue, you will take blows and have setbacks but these will be far outweighed by the experiences we have and incredible people we meet. Everything teaches you more, so that one day we can help those new to OUR industry. We'll look back, look forward and know we are the best as what we do.

 

with Daniele Sardelli

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Daniele Sardelli, but I am more commonly known as Dan. I am originally Kenyan by birth, but I am also half Italian. I lived my whole life in Kenya until moving to SA for my studies. I fell in love with the country and see myself having business there one day. 
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    When I was working at Whale Rock Luxury Lodge, I had the position of Assistant Manager; my day entailed all sorts of administrative work, as well as high guest service such as booking restaurants and creating itineraries for guests. I was also maintenance and bar manager which had daily duties. It is hard to list all details of what my position entailed, but to be honest, it was very hectic, and stressful most of the time which is what made it fun.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    Going to the TPHS was honestly the best thing that i have done with my life so far. It taught me everything I need to know about the industry, front and back of house. Most importantly it taught me how to run a business, either hospitality related or not.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    My greatest joy of the hospitality industry is seeing guests expectations exceeded, even though most of the time they do not know how hard you worked to make it happen. I love talking with guests, you are constantly meeting new people in this trade, and everyone has their own story. i intend to listen to them all.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    At this point in my life my greatest accomplishments have been finishing the TPHS in the allotted time, and having the privilege to help in the start up of a newly acquired Lodge in Hermanus in the position of Assistant Manager.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    One evening working at the lodge, there was extremely stormy weather outside which was causing flooding all over town. I received a call from a guest saying that his bathroom had started leaking. Upon investigation, the septic tank had overflow and was coming through the shower drain (this included some nasty stuff). Luckily we had one room available which was supposed to be out of order due to maintenance in the room. I was able to move the guest to that room, and give him the night on a complimentary basis. 
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Something that would exceed my wildest expectations.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    Getting caught for stealing the TPHS sign and flag and having my internship compromised for a short while. That was a humdinger. But I must say that there are many memories which will stay for me for the rest of my life. 
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Humbling, eye-opening, hectic
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    You may want to drop out, but don't, because believe it or not, you will get through it and you will be better for the experience. As a person who studied for exams on the last night, just listen in class, and you'll be fine.



with Laura Strachan

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Laura Strachan. I am from Johannesburg and have always wanted to become a chef as I love to cook. I have just finished my internship of 6 months at DW eleven-13 here in Johannesburg. I learnt a lot through this experience about fine dining and also of my strengths and weaknesses. I now want to widen my experience and obtain a wider knowledge of the overall industry. I would like to experience hotel restaurants as well as the event catering industry.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    I worked on grill on most days and found that I learnt to prepare and create most of the dishes by working on this station. I found that I learnt new techniques such as deboning and preparing the cuts of meat for the week. I worked on all sections but enjoyed grill the most as the speed and heat attracted me to the pressures of the kitchen. I usually ran grill by myself on lunch service.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    I found that all the subjects prepared me for the challenges in my internship. I found that moving to Stellenbosch taught me to be independent. I found that each of the lectures in their own way prepared me for the challenges and stresses that I faced in my internship. I found that the stress that I felt at TPHS was nothing compared to the industry and that if I did not face the stress at TPHS I would not have been prepared to work at DW eleven-13.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I found that I loved the speed and the rush of service once you knew all the dishes and it is this pressure and rush that makes you a good chef. I found that I learnt to deal with stress and time management while the restaurant was busy. I found that all the preparation was just for the rush of plating or sending out food during service.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment was the day I ran grill for the first time, the way that they trusted and believed that I was ready to take on the challenges that were associated with the preparation and the running of a section.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.

    I found that DW eleven-13 was a challenge for a woman to work there. I found that once I got settled I was treated as everyone else and that no matter the task, it was given to anyone in the kitchen no matter their gender. This took getting used to, although it also taught me to be more confident and a better person.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    I would like to have a good knowledge of the hospitality industry; I would like to have decided what field I enjoy the most. I would like to travel, so I hope to be living overseas somewhere doing what I love most in the kitchen.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    I think the most memorable moment was when Chef Barry asked myself and Sian to plate the food for the third semester farewell. I found that I felt confident that this was the field that I wanted to be in and found that being a chef is not only about cooking and plating the food, but also about the passion for the food as well as the fun that you have with the people and the challenges that you face.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Challenging, empowering and professional.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    My advice is do not give up if it gets hard. You will look back at these hard days and realise that they built you in to the person that you will be in future. I found that the hard days were tough but they also taught me so much about pressure and confidence in myself.



with Lauren Tittley

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Lauren Tittley. I am currently the Assistant Concierge at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Camps Bay, Cape Town
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    The Concierge position is one of the most diverse positions in the Hotel - you need to know everything that is going on. On a typical day, I would arrive at the Hotel and double check my traces and my diary. I would then go up to the morning meeting and find out exactly what is happening on that day. From there, I will return to my desk and start tackling my emails. This will generally last throughout the day. Whilst busy with my emails I may need to assist a guest in terms of building itineraries, recommending and making dinner reservations, arranging transport and coordinating the shuttle services and drivers, booking helicopter flights and reserving half and full day tours. I may also need to assist other departments in the Hotel - purchase flowers for the Housekeepers to do romantic rose petal turndowns in the evening, rent DVDs for the Cinema, take staff for uniform fittings, purchase a certain magazine for a VIP guest, purchase over-the-counter medication on behalf of a guest, do a marriage proposal on one of the picnic spots, assist with checking guests in or settling the guest's account on departure, to name but a few. The Concierge Department is one of the busiest departments in the Hotel. It is both exciting and challenging. I couldn't be happier in my career right now.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    Yes, I do think that TPHS helped me a great deal with my career. Without the practical training and my internship ((especially)), I wouldn't be where I am today.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    My favourite part about the industry is getting the chance to meet many different people from all walks of life.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment so far is being promoted to Assistant Concierge after only being in the industry for 2 years. Also, being selected to be Rihanna's personal butler for a week.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    5 years from now, I would like to be Head Concierge at the Twelve Apostles and have my golden keys.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    I remember our first day of orientation when we did a site inspection at Asara. We received a short talk from Mr. Horst Frehse, the General Manager at the time. I'm now working for Mr. Frehse who is currently the General Manager of the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Motivating, encouraging, guiding
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Make the most of your practical training in different establishments and cherish your connections in the industry - one day you may need them!



with Nick Cloete

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Nick Cloete and I'm currently the Assistant Restaurant Manager at the La Cantina restaurant at Fancourt Hotel & Spa Resort.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    On a typical day I will be in charge of either managing dinner service or breakfast service in the La Cantina restaurant. My duties also include tending to the admin side of a restaurant, from stock control to menu editing and programming. I also find myself managing other outlets and functions on a regular basis. Very much a jack of all trades, which is great for experience.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    Yes. I think TPHS helped to instil how hard one has to work in the industry. Deadlines are short, work load is heavy and if you don't perform - they'll find someone else. Very much an institution of building character as well as education.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    The rush! Nothing more crazy than getting slammed during service and knowing it's either sink or swim. Teaches you to multitask, operate and coordinate yourself and others. No better feeling! The socialisation aspect, meeting people from all over the world and working with some very talented individuals.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    It's still early on but running restaurants during season, pushing 14 - 18 hour days, working six days a week, for two months straight, is pretty intense. Food and Beverage is a cardio session in itself.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it. 

    Complaints are always interesting but I think the sheer intensity that is the hospitality industry in season is the hardest thing to keep up with and overcome. In terms of dealing with it - you just have, there's no time to whinge or worry. Just get it done. Also working split shifts 6-11, 17-00, take its toll.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Hard to say. I'll definitely still be in the industry. I will most likely stay the food and beverage side, so realistically looking at an Assistant Food and Beverage Manager in a 5 star hotel in the Caribbean - would be ideal.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    Having an absolute jol with the Three Musketeers - Bjorn, Nicky and Myself. T-dog was cool.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    No.1 - Hotel - School
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    By a decent pair of shoes. No cheapies. I went through 5 pairs of shoes in 6 months - your feet will thank you later. Work hard, understand that every single subject that you do will be relevant in the industry. Leadership is your most important subject - knowing what style of management works on different employees will make you an instant success and better manager overall.



with Esther Malan

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    My name is Esther Malan. I am 23 years old and currently working as a food assistant for a weekly magazine, Huisgenoot/YOU (Media24).
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    In our industry, there is no such thing as a ‘typical day'. Working for a weekly magazine, our ‘typical day' can change in an instant. You might have your day all planned out, but then suddenly, everything changes. This is due to the fact that we do not only work on one project at a time. Our standard ‘job' is to fill the weekly food pages in the magazine, but apart from that, we also do brand extensions, advertorials, food video's, food demonstration, etc. I am mainly responsible for the weekly ‘Take 5' recipes featured in the magazine. I also assist in working on the weekly main stories and everything else ‘food related'. In a typical week (which almost never happens), we check layouts, write recipes, prepare for shoots, cook the food for the shoots, style the food, put layouts together, write copy, etc. Most of the time however, we do a lot more than that!
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    TPHS taught me to stick to deadlines, which is extremely important in our industry. TPHS also provided me with the stepping stones and opportunities needed to be able to do what I do today. You have to have the fundamentals right, in order to succeed in your future career, and TPHS was responsible for building my fundamentals.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    I consider myself more to be in the ‘food industry' than in the ‘hospitality industry'. What I enjoy the most is that the industry is forever changing. Nothing stays the same. It never gets boring! What might have been a trend 2 months ago, will now be considered ‘old news'. You have to stay on top of what is new and happening at the moment. I love the fast pace in which the industry moves and operates.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment so far would be being published. The first time when I saw my Take 5-page being published under my name, and then realizing that thousands of people are seeing my recipes, that would be my biggest achievement so far.
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it. 

    There is not one situation that I can say is the ‘most difficult'. The one thing in general that I would say is the most challenging part of my job though, will be coming up with new and exciting recipes every week. We write hundreds of recipes in a year, which makes coming up with new ideas, rather difficult.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    Five years from now, I would want to be one of the ‘names' in the industry. I want to be considered as competition for others my field. I would like to be able to look back on what I have achieved so far, and know that I gave it all I had. That my hard work finally paid off.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    My most memorable moment at TPHS was after my final exam, where I finally realized how far I had come during the time I studied at TPHS. I could see how much I had grown, and that I was no longer ‘confused' about where I wanted to go career-wise.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    3 Words is not enough. One sentence though, ‘foundation for your future', seems more appropriate.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    Study, pay attention, and grab every opportunity that comes your way. Take this part of your life seriously. This is not a ‘break' where you get to waste your time and just go studying because it's what you are ‘supposed to do'. TPHS is going to be the foundation where your whole career is built on. How far you are going to go is completely up to you. Your future is not up to your lecturers, parents or friends. Yes, they are there to help and support you, but what you make of what you got is entirely up to you. Nobody is going to hand you your dream job. You have to fight for it. You have to stand out amongst thousands of people battling for the same job. Work hard, give it all you've got, and come out on top.

 

with André Craye

  1. Tell us more about yourself (Who? What? Where?)

    I'm a recent graduate of the Private Hotel School and took the leap to start a business I had been drafting while living on campus. I relocated to Johannesburg in December to launch Hotel and Wine Dynamix, which I currently operate as Managing Director. The business provides wine tasting experiences for corporate groups at hotels, lodges and conference centres as well as personnel training in wine service and wine list consultation.
  1. On a typical day in your position, what do you do?

    I spend a lot of my time on the road marketing the Mobile Wine Experience to prospective clients in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Wine tastings for corporate groups occupy most of my afternoons and evenings. In between all of that I'm working on my blog, tasting wine with friends or reading countless articles on winemaking and oenology.
  1. How did TPHS prepare you to pursue this position and career move?

    If I hadn't applied to the TPHS and moved to Stellenbosch to study hotel management, I wouldn't have been introduced to the wine industry in the way that I had been there. The TPHS opened up a world of possibilities through education in the classroom and exposure to hospitality through practical experiences. My future was conceived there, and my time spent working at establishments for WBL and the internship was priceless.
  1. What do you enjoy about the hospitality industry?

    The pace, the challenge and the reward. There's never a dull moment in this industry and opportunities for networking are greater, in my opinion, than in any other line of work. Hospitality and tourism are both rapidly growing sectors of the South African economy and investment in this growth leads to success if hard work and passion is put into it.
  1. What is your greatest accomplishment?

    Starting Hotel and Wine Dynamix, but more specifically the first time I received applause from a group of guests after a corporate wine tasting. There's nothing more rewarding!
  1. Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it. 

    A client approached me about completely reworking their wine list within a short deadline (two days) so they could go to print. I had to do this in between a Personnel Training session in the morning and meetings throughout the week. Luckily, time management was a skill I mastered at the TPHS! I allocated the day's availability according to priority and got the job done before the GM even got into her office.
  1. What would you like to be doing five years from now?

    I'd like to be able to look back on the five years gone by and feel proud of the work I've done. With support comes the opportunity for growth, and I strive to manage a company that is progressive in its ideals, powered by vision and passion.
  1. What was your most memorable moment as a TPHS student?

    The day I pulled Chef Barry aside and told her I couldn't do Culinary Arts. Six months later I was turning out crème brulées like no one was watching.
  1. Describe TPHS in 3 words?

    Life lessons learned.
  1. What advice can you offer current and prospective students?

    When that idea enters your mind, the kind that wakes your senses and makes you feel on top of the world, keep it. Don't let it go. Realise it, capitalise on it and make it happen. No-one can stop you, and the people you surround yourself with will inspire you to carry on. Work hard, get through your studies and roll with it!
 



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