Tern Testimonials: Nikki Lumanog (Tourism and Resort Management Student, Singapore Polytechnic)
Our Saturdays never felt so productive, big thanks to Mr Robin Yap for giving us the opportunity to attend Tern, our first travel career conference. As a Tourism and Resort Management students of Singapore Polytechnic, my classmates and I knew how beneficial this event will be for us. Upon reading the programme and knowing all the guest speakers, we were all hyped up and excited for the event.
After the sharing of Loh Lik Peng, Greg Schulze, Timothy Hughes, Louise Daley, and Robin Yap, came the Q&A part. Quite hesitant, I asked, “Is having a degree important in the Tourism industry?” and the particular reply from Mr Robin Yap struck me. He shared to everyone that although paper qualifications are deemed important, believing in yourself, being passionate, and working hard towards achieving your goals mattered the most. I look on this advice as my biggest take-away from the event. Not only those words will be useful in my journey in pursuing my diploma but it will go beyond until I get into the actual industry itself.
Next, we got the chance to interact with Jacquelyn Chan and Samantha “Sam” Chan and asked them more about their business– Rucksack Inn. As a Tourism student, it is important for us to know more about the changing trends in the industry and they gladly shared to us more about their experience. Before starting up their business, Sam shared to us that she is a “backpacker” herself. She likes travelling and meeting people. Meanwhile, being an air stewardess for Singapore Airlines, travelling is part of Jacquelyn’s life. This made us feel that experience comes to play in starting up a business and most importantly, one’s passion. Without these, Jacquelyn and Sam would not probably take the risk of creating Rucksack Inn. One day, we hope that we get to cross paths with them again.
Lastly, the sharing from Sarah Whyte was inspiring. She shared about her experience after a delayed flight and how the flight crew and the pilot empathised with the trouble of the passengers by handling the situation with a positive note. Through her sharing, we realised how handling a problem can affect the mood of customers instantly. Moreover, the value of empathy is of utmost importance in the industry. When we approached her, she shared that her life was not a smooth-sailing journey. There were ups and downs and lots of uncertainties. However, she left us with an impactful phrase which is to “trust your instinct.”
In a nutshell, Tern was truly memorable. The speakers were so inspirational and we were able to pick up important learning points from them. At such a young age, we were able to be mentored by hospitality experts who inspired us to keep our enthusiasm and passion burning towards achieving greater things in the tourism industry.
Nikki Lumanog is a student of Tourism and Resort Management at Singapore Polytechnic.