A Bursary Winner’s Inspiring Journey

Kuils River resident Phiona Arries is on top of the world. The 21-year-old, who is currently working as an assistant property manager, has won a year-long bursary, worth R50 000, to study at the Cape Town campus of The IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management (IIE HSM).

Arries won the life-changing prize in the school’s My Extraordinary Career competition, in which entrants were asked to record a video of themselves in a suitably themed setting and describe their dream career within the hospitality industry. Participants also had to clarify what winning a bursary to study towards a hospitality management qualification would mean to them.

IIE HSM spokesperson, Etresia Booysen, says: “The judges looked for entrants who not only demonstrated a deep understanding of the hospitality industry and had a clear vision for their future in the field, but also who communicated their ideas effectively and persuasively. Phiona ticked all those boxes and is a worthy winner.”
Arries says she did not believe she had won when she was contacted by the school, but it was a dream come true.

“Prior to my current job, I worked as a waitress at a catering company, and I enjoyed the bustling and unpredictable environment so much, that I started doing some research and realised that the hospitality industry is where I want to be. I can’t wait to start studying the Hospitality Management course at IIE HSM in February next year.”

Following graduation, Arries says she wants to travel and work overseas to hone her skills and gain international experience which will help achieve her long-term goal of opening her own lodge.

Concludes Booysen: “The competition was aimed at identifying those with a passion for hospitality who are committed to making a positive impact in the industry. It also gave them the opportunity to showcase their creativity, public speaking and presentation skills, all of which Phiona passed with flying colours. We look forward to welcoming her to the school next year and can’t wait to see what lies in store for this enthusiastic and talented young woman.”