Alumni Main Headline

IFT prepares global citizens that are ready for anything

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

An education at IFT does more than prepare people for careers in tourism and hospitality. Significant numbers of IFT graduates can be found in other industries, all around the globe. Among them is Mr. Derek Liang, who works for a global real estate organisation.

“I didn’t expect the knowledge I got from IFT could be applied to so many other areas,” Mr. Liang says. He graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Tourism Business Management in 2010.

Mr. Liang says IFT offers students knowledge in areas ranging from table manners to communication skills. They are abilities useful no matter what your field of work and they give Institute graduates a competitive advantage in the labour market.

“I feel that I present myself in a more professional manner than other colleagues,” Mr. Liang says.

After graduating from IFT, Mr. Liang furthered his studies at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom. He earned a master’s degree in international events management and stayed on in Britain, where he started a career in real estate.

Mr. Liang now lives in Guangdong Province where he is the head of international property in Shenzhen for global real estate company Savills. He is in charge of selling homes abroad to Chinese, including property in the UK and the United States. “I am developing this international property department in Shenzhen from the ground up,” he says.

Although Mr. Liang’s job can be stressful, he enjoys it. “The satisfaction comes from the client’s appreciation after you have helped them,” he says.

“Our business involves the sale of high-end international properties, which is different from ordinary property sales,” Mr. Liang explains. “First of all, the transactions are done internationally, and millions of dollars are involved. Second, the clients don’t only rely on us to provide them with quality properties. They also consult us on taxation issues, legal matters and mortgages. That’s why we have to possess ample professional knowledge in order to help our clients to make the right investment for them.”

Learning opportunities abound

Looking back on his years at IFT, Mr. Liang says the Institute gave him abundant opportunities for learning and personal development.

“I was the first student elected President of the Mainland Student Union of IFT,” he says. “This precious experience gave me the chance to learn about leadership, and opportunities to interact with representatives from other educational institutions in Macao and Mainland China.”

Mr. Liang highlights his internship, which was part of his IFT education. He says it helped shape the mindset he has for dealing with challenges.

IFT students studying for bachelor’s degrees are required to do a 6-month internship in Year 3. They can opt for placements in Macao or abroad, in places such as in the United States, France or the Maldives.

“I was an intern at AJ Hackett, the company that manages the adventure-related activities at Macau Tower, including the bungee jumping. Those were activities that I had never thought of joining,” Mr. Liang says. “As an intern, I had to do the bungee jump, too. It was a horrifying experience, for sure, but it also taught me that sometimes we just have to face our fears and take the first step forward when facing the unknown.”

Mr. Liang urges IFT students to make the most of the learning opportunities offered by the Institute. “There are many extracurricular activities available, including seminars chaired by scholars and industry experts,” he says. “The Institute also provides students with platforms to interact with undergraduates from other educational institutions. These opportunities are definitely beneficial to students and their future career,” Mr. Liang says.