My full name is Bongiwe Nelisiwe Dlamini, but I prefer being called Nelly – this is the name that most people know me by, and all of my friends call me Nelly! I’m currently studying towards a Hospitality Management Diploma at The International Hotel School, where I’m in my third and final year.
I’ve just recently completed the theory part of third year. Since I’m a mid-year intake, my semesters are a little bit awkward, but I’ve adjusted well to it and I enjoy being a mid-year. I’m at the very last lap of my educational stretch at IHS with just the 6 months experiential learning remaining. I’m at the liveliest and most supportive campus, the Durban campus.
I leave for the United States of America on Sunday the 2nd of December 2012. I’ve landed a Front of House internship at a private club in Key Largo, Florida – Ocean Reef Club. The biggest blessing for me was getting a bursary from The South African Youth Exchange through Awesome Travel. This means that all my expenses in getting to the USA have been taken care of, and all I need to do is honour my contract with my employer, represent my country to the fullest, and on my return to South Africa, bring back what I’ve learnt overseas and contribute to improving our Hospitality Industry!
A little bit about me…
I was born in Durban, raised in Cape Town for 10 years, and relocated back to Durban when I was 17 years old. I’m now 22 years of age. I love music, theatre, sports, and dance – I once thought that my career path would lead me in the direction of the Arts.
I’m passionate in everything I do; positivity is always key for me (there’s always a silver lining in every situation). Most people associate me with laughter or my smile. I cherish and value loyalty, honesty, family, and friends.
I know this may seem like a cliché, but my motto is ‘Carpe diem’ – usually translated from Latin as ‘seize the day’. This is how I live my life. I make the most of every situation or experience in life and live in the moment. I do plan for the future, but this very moment is what is guaranteed…
My passion for hospitality
Back when I was still at Westville Girls’ High School, Nellie and Nicola (the Durban campus sale and marketing reps) came and spoke to us about the hospitality industry and The International Hotel School. From the presentation, it dawned on me that IHS has tailor-made courses based on your needs. The final selling point for me was that with my diploma from IHS, the world would be my oyster. Working overseas can now become a reality and there would be no position I couldn’t fill in the hospitality industry.
After Nellie and Nicola’s presentation, I matched up my personality with one of someone who would enjoy working in this industry and finally, my passion for the service industry is always reaffirmed by experiences in the properties I’ve been placed in.
Once I’ve completed the 6 month internship at Ocean Reef Club, I plan on moving back to Cape Town to work at a hospitality establishment and save money. The money saved will fund my next overseas work opportunity, either on a cruise ship or in Canada. I would like to gain as much overseas work experience as possible before settling down in South Africa for good.
What the future holds
I like the front of house aspect of hospitality; I enjoy interacting with guests and meeting people from all different walks of life. My dream job would be one that allows me to travel while working and I enjoy my job so much, I don’t feel like I’m working at all. Ultimately though, I want to find a gap in the hospitality market and start a business.
I constantly learn new things about myself by trying new things and pushing myself for self- improvement. The one event that really confirmed this to me was when I went sky diving, even though I had Acrophobia – a fear of heights. This has been the best experience ever and has taught me that nothing is impossible and one’s fears are all in the mind!