Medna Latulipe returned to Seychelles in early July after completing hotel management studies at the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland, reported Seychelles Agency (SNA). The Seychellois graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in business studies in international hotel management and earned the college’s best academic student award, beating out 90 students in her class.
Latulipe’s success came two years after she won the President’s Cup for being the Seychelles Tourism Academy’s most outstanding graduate in hospitality management. The course entails three years of study in hospitality management after which the students move to Ireland for one year to obtain their bachelor’s degree.
Latulipe – a resident of La Misere, a district in an uphill region of west Mahé – is now job hunting. The 29-year-old mother of one talks about her chosen career path, drive to succeed, and future plans.
Congratulations Medna. Firstly, tell us what prompted you to study and want to take up a career in tourism?
Medna Latulipe (ML) : I studied tourism and tour guiding from 2004 to 2006. After that I worked at the Mauritius Commercial Bank for three years, then for one year as a debtor’s controller in the accounts department of the Constance Ephelia resort. I still had a passion for tourism although I had diverted to finance, and it was while working at Constance Ephelia that I realized how I felt relaxed and free in a hotel atmosphere. That is when I decided to go back to school to broaden my knowledge and gain new skills to work in the hospitality industry.
How would you describe your experience studying at the Seychelles Tourism Academy and the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland? How are the two institutions different?
ML: I felt more at ease and it was easier to study at the Seychelles Tourism Academy, and the lecturers had more time to mentor each student, as the class was quite small. At Shannon College, the unfamiliar environment and weather, as well as a much bigger class, were some of the challenges faced by myself and [other Seychellois] colleagues. However, the quality of the courses and the professionalism of the lectures are similar. The main difference is the fact that the Seychelles Tourism Academy lacked some resources such as books while Shannon College uses technology to teach.
What would you say were the factors that made you excel in your studies both locally and in Ireland?
ML: I believe the motivation and determination which I had from day one drove me to where I am today – having an open mind and always willing to go that extra mile. I would also say it was thanks to the support, patience, and devotion of lecturers at both the Seychelles Tourism Academy and Shannon College and definitely my family who believed in me and never gave up on me.