The launch brought together graduates working in diverse areas of the hospitality industry, including lodges, food services, events planning, theme parks, travel agencies, tourism, hotels and restaurants.
The purpose of the Chapter, among others, is to assist the University in achieving its objective of making knowledge work and producing future-ready graduates who are prepared for the world of work as well as promoting close relationships between the University, Alumni and students.
According to Dr Malome Prince Shai, Head of the Department of Hospitality Management, the Chapter will have a major impact on the success of the department because they need graduates who are in the field and operating in different places, to share their expertise.
“We really need their expertise because they are already in the field. Launching an Alumni Chapter is an important step in solidifying the department’s commitment to excellence in the rapidly expanding hospitality industry,” he said.
Dr Eric Pule, Director of the Advancement and Partnerships Office (APO), said the department’s Alumni should act as good ambassadors for their alma mater in all spheres of business and society.
“Graduates in the hospitality industry should work together to assist TUT and contribute to its long-term viability because alumni support is essential to the survival of universities around the world,” he said.
He added that Professor Tinyiko Maluleka, TUT’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s vision of the University having a tangible relationship with its alumni, plays an important role in establishing these special Alumni Chapters.
TUT Alum and Entrepreneur, Onica Mukhavhuli, currently enrolled for a Master’s degree in Hospitality Management, urged Alumni to think broadly, position themselves in the market and not limit themselves.
“I socialize a lot and use social media platforms for personal marketing and to learn. There is always something to take from any conversation. Since I work in the industry currently, I don’t want to close doors for others, therefore I am willing to assist other TUT alumni wherever I can,” she said.
Twelve Alumni volunteered to be part of the interim Hospitality Management Special Alumni chapter, committee pending election. They will play a role in helping the Department with projects and sharing ideas, as well as identifying projects and initiatives that will help the University to fulfil its mission of preparing future-ready graduates.