The best in the world

Melissa Haakama's award helps her stand out from the crowd in the tourism industry

08 April 2012 / Be the first to comment

Medals for Excellence winner 2011

Qualification: Advanced Diploma in International Tourism
Centre: Wellington Institute of Technology, New Zealand

Melissa grew up in Thames, New Zealand and has always been interested in travel and tourism. Growing up with a world map on her wall and a desire to visit so many places she first studied tourism in high school. This sparked an interest to continue her studies at tertiary level at Wellington Institute of Technology (Wintec), where she spent two years completing the City & Guilds Advanced Diploma in International Tourism.


In 2011 Melissa was awarded a City & Guilds International Medal for Excellence after achieving top results in tourism. Melissa said she was shocked when she heard the news but is ecstatic and proud to be the best student in the world in this qualification.

"This means a great deal to me as it shows potential employers how hard I worked whilst studying towards my diploma. I hope it will be beneficial to me when applying for jobs as it's a point of difference that helps me stand out from the crowd," said Melissa.

At 21, Melissa has the world at her feet. She's been working as a customer service representative, brushing up her customer service skills which she says will benefit her future career in tourism.

Wintec's tourism programme manager, Ian Schultz believes “with a globally recognised qualification behind her and Melissa’s personality, she will succeed“; with Wintec's Head of School for International Tourism, Hospitality & Events, Sara Refoy, adding "The assessment, teaching and learning that is provided to students at the School of International Tourism, Hospitality and Events are all about student-centred learning that enables graduates to be work ready. The City & Guilds Medal of Excellence that Melissa has achieved is through her dedication to her studies during her time at Wintec."

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