Kgalaeng Selepe, is one of our International Hotel School’s Johannesburg Campus budding students who is studying towards her Diploma in Hospitality Management. She has an immense passion and drive for the hospitality industry making her the ideal candidate to represent IHS as one of our brand ambassadors. We are most certainly looking forward to what the future has to offer Kgalaeng in the hospitality industry and we wish her the best of luck for her future endeavors. Read more about this spirited individual and what drives her passions for hospitality below.
Where do you live?
I live in Roodepoort, Weltevredenpark.
How old are you?
I’m 20 years old.
What are you studying and what year are you in?
I’m a second year student in Hospitality Management.
How long will you hold the title as brand ambassador?
I’m hoping to hold the title into third year.
Your profile (tell us about yourself) – where did you go to school, hobbies, interests, achievements.
My very first High School was Allen Glen High in Weltevreden. By 10th grade I moved to Machabeng College, a boarding school in Lesotho; I spent a year there and was introduced to the Cambridge curriculum. I then came back to Johannesburg and attended Charter College where I matriculated in 2014. It honestly took a while for me to figure out what I truly wanted to do and be in life. At first I wanted to be a charted accountant because of the corporate/business influence of my family, so I always made an effort to focus on my grades and was recognised for them throughout high school. I was also in the first team for public speaking, which helped me build my confidence, but I soon realized my true interests involved travelling and being multilingual. I enjoy learning about different cultures, cuisines and meeting new people which lead me to the Hospitality industry. I value friendship, family and health; I also try my best to lead a healthy lifestyle. My other interests include cooking, reading and scrap-booking.
When and where did your passion for hospitality begin?
I would like to believe that many of my interests lie within the hospitality industry and I sometimes feel like I didn’t choose the hospitality industry, the hospitality industry chose me. I was not exactly born with a great passion for hospitality but it seems to be growing on me. Growing up, I always went out of my way to organize small events or gatherings with friends at home and I was always complimented for being an excellent host; it was then that my passion for hospitality started growing and with every positive experience, it continues to do so.
Why did you choose to study at IHS?
I’ve always heard very positive things about IHS and know of a few people who studied at IHS and are able to live the kind of life I have always dreamed of. This inspired me to choose IHS, it is also the best leading hotel school and so I felt that it was the best place to study at.
What do you love most about IHS?
I’ve met some truly amazing people and enjoy the friendly atmosphere and company of those people. I also enjoy the innovating lectures and skilled lecturers who make studying hospitality a joy; most of the time!
What does being a brand ambassador mean to you?
Being a brand ambassador means a lot to me, I am able to carry my love for the school through to different platforms and environments. Representing the school makes me proud and I’ve wanted to join the brand ambassador programme from the moment I joined IHS, which is why I first joined the SRC team. I have many ideas and plans I would like to introduce and implement into the school and being a brand ambassador enables me to do just that.
How were you chosen at brand ambassador?
A friend and fellow student at IHS, Rouje, informed me how to join the BA programme and it was through him that I was able to get in contact with Head Office. After communicating with Neli, and going through the process of how to become a brand ambassador, I received an email of approval and it was official.
When were you officially appointed as brand ambassador?
On the 28th of November 2016
Where do you see yourself in 2, 5, and 10 years’ time?
In 2 years time I’ll be graduating from IHS and plan to study further for either a higher qualification in hospitality or a business degree. In 5 years I hope to be working for an International Airline, hopefully Emirates or Qatar Airlines enabling me to travel around the world. In 10 years time I hope to be settling down and starting a catering business with the experience I’ve gained along the way.
Has working in the hospitality industry been different from how you imagined?
Yes! I never thought it would be so difficult, it honestly is not easy dealing with the physical pain and fatigue. There are times when I feel emotionally drained BUT through it all, I have learned so much and my experience so far is something I will always cherish.
Any advice for young people considering hospitality?
It is a ruthless industry and there are times when you might feel like quitting and giving up but the people you meet along the way, the exposure, connections and skills you gain all add to your personal experience and that is something you wouldn’t want to swap for anything in the world. In the end, it is all worth it and it’s important to remember why you started/ joined the industry in the first place, never lose sight of your goals and dreams, be strong and work hard.
What is your motto in life?
“Never stop doing your best just because someone doesn’t give you credit.”
What has been your most memorable moment working in the hospitality industry?
Shadowing the F&B manager at Holiday Inn and learning about different wines in 6 different languages.
At the International Hotel School, selecting a Brand Ambassador is a crucial task for us as we believe that this person will have to emulate all our core beliefs and hold the brand up to the highest degree. If you are an IHS alumni, or current student and are thinking that you have the qualities it will take to represent IHS, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.