Former Wakatipu High student Rikki-Lee Naea (right) plans to go globetrotting after becoming Queenstown Resort College’s first Locals Scholarship graduate.
Naea, now working reception at the resort’s Heritage Hotel, began a Diploma in Hospitality Management in 2008 after winning a scholarship worth $11,500 – almost half the $25,000 fee for the two-year course.
She did her nine-month internship at the Heritage and carried on there part-time while completing her studies.
Naea, 20, praises the qualification, saying it’s given her a really good mix of theory and practical knowledge.
“I’m using it to gain experience and then travel the world with it. It’s globally recognised – that’s why it’s so expensive.”
Naea is one of 35 hospitality diploma students officially graduating tomorrow at a ceremony at the Heritage from 2pm. A further 14 adventure tourism students are also graduating.