20-year-old, Dedre Du Plessis, from Richards Bay, was one of the lucky winners in 2011. When she was announced as the winner of the bursary, she remembers feeling very shocked and extremely happy to know that she had come out tops when there were many other competitors who were just as talented as she was.
"I have a great passion for the hospitality industry and the people involved in it. I am very outgoing, hardworking and love challenges. Since the age of 10 or 11, I have always wanted to be in the hospitality industry because my whole family are good cooks and my dad was also a cook in the army. At first, I wanted to be a chef but I love the management part of the hospitality industry even more now that I am older,” she says.
Life after winning the 2011 IHS Bursary Competition
It was this passion that won over the judges. Despite the excitement and anticipation, Du Plessis had to return to school to complete her matric. She is currently a second year student at the IHS in Durban.
For me, the IHS is a very professional way of studying. When you first arrive you are overwhelmed by the work load, but I was determined to succeed and I am now in my second year and love every moment of it. I love the fact that we get so many opportunities and so much work experience whilst we are studying. I am amazed by the people that I study with and have the best lecturers” she adds.
In the next ten years, Du Plessis sees herself graduating, gaining experience whilst working in different hotels, B&B’s and guesthouses. She’d even like to travel to the United States and dreams about becoming the manager or owner of a guesthouse in her home town of Richards Bay.
My motto that I live by is ‘to do your best and God will do the rest’ and this is what I remember every day,” she says.
Her advice for young people considering joining the hospitality sector is to ensure that they have a passion for the industry and always have smiles on their faces.
Do you have what it takes?
This year’s IHS Bursary Competition will run until May 31st. If you are in matric and see yourself building a career in the hospitality industry, then click here to enter! You stand a chance to win tuition fees valued up to R180 000 for any course you wish to study.