Damon Kumar, a senior from Fiji majoring in hospitality and tourism management, said he hopes to take his educational background to his home country and expand the tourism industry there.
What makes your major unique?
Kumar said his major is unique because people learn aspects from every area of the industry. “While I was interning at the Sheraton in Fiji, I had the opportunity to really experience my future day-to-day first hand.”
“There was a specific instance in my last month at the HR Department during my internship that I organized interviews and screened candidates.”
What made you decide on HTM as your major?
“I am from Fiji and there is a lot of tourism there. I want to go back and... give back to my community. It is important to contribute, whether here, on the mainland, or back at home.”
Kumar said his area of study is going to allow him to make a living working in a field he loves, due to his immediate contact with other people and ability to create a positive environment.
What do you want to do with it?
Kumar said he hopes to take his educational background to his home country and expand the tourism business there. “I want to become a general manger for a hotel in Fiji when I graduate. I also want a restaurant of my own in the future. Before I settle down, I want to travel and maybe try consulting with other businesses.”
Favorite part of your studies?
Kumar said he spends anywhere from five to eight hours a day on his courses. He also works until midnight as security for the Polynesian Cultural Center. Despite his heavy work load, he said, “Being able to illustrate all of the skills I have learned in the classroom [and] translate to the workplace makes it all worthwhile for me.”
“I know there are lots of hotels and tourists coming into Fiji, and I know it would be a good opportunity for me to find a job at home.” He explained how the ability to understand and work in a multitude of different environments is a challenge he feels prepared for because of his schooling and experience.
“A lot of the tourism and hospitality in Fiji is managed by foreigners. I hope my work experience from academic training in combination with my theoretical knowledge from my schooling will be enough, or else I’ll have to start at the bottom.”