Emerald's McKennan McIndoe was has been awarded a $22,500 scholarship to the International College of Hotel Management in South Australia.
Emerald's McKennan McIndoe was has been awarded a $22,500 scholarship to the International College of Hotel Management in South Australia. Kristen Booth

Emerald student finds her passion

AN EMERALD student's hospitality dreams are one step closer after being awarded a $22,500 scholarship.

McKennan McIndoe graduated from Marist College last year with no plans to attend university.

She never had her heart set on a specific career path, but always thought it would be "something to do with travel and people”, which is what she loves about working at the Irish Village.

"I do enjoy helping other people and going the extra mile for every single customer,” she said.

"I love the people side of it. I'm a people person.”

However, after speaking to a friend and student of International College of Hotel Management (ICHM), the 17-year-old found her calling.

DREAM BIG: McKennan McIndoe kick started her hospitality dream working at the Irish Village.
DREAM BIG: McKennan McIndoe kick started her hospitality dream working at the Irish Village. Kristen Booth

Located in South Australia, ICHM offered a unique style of education, creating a balance of on-campus learning and industry placements.

In October, McKennan travelled to the college for careers week and discovered a place where she could learn through a more hands-on approach.

Students carry out six months of study followed by a six month paid internship at an international hotel.

"By the end of the week it felt like a home away from home,” she said.

"It was fantastic. I love the fact you study for six months then work for six months. You learn and then get to apply it.”

After hard work and persistence, she was overjoyed to learn she had been awarded acceptance and a $22,500 scholarship.

"When I got the scholarship, I was so overjoyed. I cried,” she said.

"I sprinted over to mum and bawled my eyes out.”

Her mum, Tracy McIndoe said she was "hugely excited” about the news.

"There's that huge element of pride because it wasn't easy. The fact that they saw something in her, as a mum, you think 'wow, it's not just me', because we all think our children are perfect,” she said.

"I'm so, super excited, because I just feel like she has found her thing.

"And the beauty of it with ICHM is it's just so broad. If at the end of it she decides hospitality isn't her thing, she's got a degree in business.”

McKennan will move to the ICHM campus in Adelaide in July to start the three-year Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) degree.

She said the area of finance will be her initial focus, with event management tracking a close second.


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