Over 80 level 2 commis chef, commercial preparation and culinary students from Boys Town HEART NTA, Dunoon Technical High School and Clarendon National Youth Service Programme had the benefit of experiencing the tourism product first hand outside of the classrooms, during tours of Sandals Montego Bay recently.
The interactive tours, which featured sessions with the resort’s executive chef, general manager, and training and development manager, is part of the innovative Sandals Tourism in School Programme, aimed at giving tourism students a chance to be hands-on as well as interact with experts in the various departments on resort.
Sandals Montego Bay’s general manager Carl Beviere welcomed the students to his resort, while expressing the hope that they would find the experience quite meaningful. He also gave a general overview of the property and its operations.
“The Tourism in School experience at the resort is designed to give hospitality and high school students a chance to see our tourism product up front, as many have only done the theory but haven’t been to resorts such as those we have in the Montego Bay regions, and so far the response has been phenomenal,” noted Sandals’ Regional Manager, Communications and Public Relations Ian Spencer, who along with Regional Coordinator Sherine Williams conducted the tours at the resorts.
Spencer pointed out that many of the students had become so enamoured with what they had seen at the resorts that they have expressed an interest in entering the hospitality industry after graduating.
The students toured the various food and beverage outlets in particular, as well as the other areas on properties and were addressed by Sandals Montego Bay executive chef Gianluca Dicostanzo and executive sous chef Junior Mowatt.
The executive chef pointed out the operations of the kitchen and stressed the need for students to not just have the practical skills, but also the right attitude in order to gain meaningful employment as chefs within the industry.
Students were also encouraged to have a passion for the profession, as it included long hours and sacrifice in order to rise to the top. They executive chef further stressed the need for constant education if students were to remain on the cutting edge of industry practices. A lively question and answer session ensured following the lectures.
“We were very pleased with operations at Sandals Montego Bay and the experiences received. For many of us students, it was our first time touring a resort of this size and prestige, and we really soaked up all the information available,” noted Patricia Walker a student of Boys Town heart NTA.