Nicola Alberts, 18, of Swellendam won the prestigious “Ticket to Life” bursary at the 2012 International Hotel School Boot Camp, hosted by The Three Cities Peninsula All – Suite Hotel on Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard recently.
Out of the many entrants received, only five finalists were chosen to go head to head in the intensive five-day competition which took place from September 30-October 5.
“It is always great to see young talented people giving their best. This year’s finalists were very eager and showed a lot of team work and passion with all of the tasks and challenges that they faced,” says Chris Godenir, General Manager of the Three Cities Peninsula Hotel.
About to complete her Matric finals Nicola heard about Boot Camp from a previous winner and decided to enter the competition. With her years of experience as a waiter and her passion for the hospitality industry she also felt that Boot Camp would be the perfect opportunity to realise her dreams.
“Winning this competition gives me a chance to prove myself and the experience I have had so far has already taught me so much and opened my eyes to the hotel business,” says Nicola. “It has also helped me see that through hard work and determination you can achieve your goals.”
The grueling five day competition saw the contestants completing challenges in a range of hospitality departments at the Three Cities Peninsula. Each of the tasks was designed to prepare the students for life in the industry, requiring them to be able to work individually and as part of a team and included working in a walk-in freezer for over an hour, participating in a fire drill at 2:30am, spontaneously being called to restock the bar and unexpectedly having to clean rooms for new arrivals late at night.
Each task was allocated with points criteria judged by a panel including the General Manager of Mandela Rhodes Place, Desmond O’Connor, International Hotel School Cape Town’s Campus Principal, Alan Lester, Aimee Goliath of Shout Media Publishing and Pasella presenter, Dieter Voigt.
A landmark on Cape Town’s Platinum Mile in Sea Point, this is the fourth consecutive year that the Peninsula has hosted the International Hotel School Boot Camp competition.
“We strongly believe that not only does the Three Cities Peninsula believe in looking after their guests but also investing in our staff and young, up and coming talent in the hospitality industry,” adds Chris Godenir.