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Master's student swaps stethoscope for hospitality dream

le cordon bleu alumna Jenny May Thu swapped a future career in medicine for a Master of International Hospitality Management at Le Cordon Bleu Australia to pursue her dream of becoming a business analyst. Her new job as Restaurant Manager at an award-winning Sydney restaurant paves the way to her dream hospitality role.

Why did you choose Le Cordon Bleu Australia?

After four years studying medicine at University of Western Sydney, I wanted to find a career I could be passionate about. In 2015, I completed a Management course at Claredon Business College in Sydney, then worked for two years as a restaurant manager. During this time, I realised I needed further study specialising in hospitality - not only to pursue senior management roles in the industry, but also for my future as an entrepreneur.

I started at University of Canberra and after one semester I discovered the degree did not specialise in hospitality. I spoke to a friend who opened a chain of dessert shops in Sydney after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Paris and she recommended Le Cordon Bleu to further my studies. I started a Master of International Hospitality Management at Le Cordon Bleu Adelaide in 2019.

Tell us about your culture and background.

My nationality is Burmese, I was born in Myanmar in South-East Asia. Our culture is heavily influenced by Buddhism, going to Pagoda (temple) is a large part of our daily lives. Burmese people are very helpful and kind.

My family’s business is in the hotel industry in Myanmar which, as a growing tourist destination, has many emerging business opportunities in hospitality and tourism.

What inspires you about the hospitality industry?

The hospitality environment is so dynamic, no two days will ever be the same which is why being a restaurant manager in this industry is very exciting. My inspiration to work in the hospitality industry is the reward I get from interacting with customers and people.

Tell us about your industry experience.

I’ve been working at Mercure Grosvenor hotel (Accor Hotel) as Food & Beverage Team Leader for over a year. Unfortunately, due to COVID 19, my work was interrupted, however my master’s degree studies at Le Cordon Bleu Adelaide continued.

Recently I began applying for restaurant management roles across Australia. After only 3 weeks, I secured an interview with an award-winning Thai restaurant Khao Pla in Sydney and happily, I won the job for Restaurant Manager (this employment also qualifies as industry placement). In the last 7 years, Khao Pla has won many industry awards, and is considered one of the best Thai restaurants in Sydney by Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide (2015) and Sydney Morning Herald.

Contributing to the community and having humanity is the best achievement in life which I take the most pride in.

What have you enjoyed about your study at LCBA?

The Master of International Hospitality Management was exactly the kind of program I was seeking, and I enjoyed expanding my knowledge of human resources, marketing and business planning.

I also appreciated the networking opportunities, at Le Cordon Bleu Career Expos you can meet with representatives from leading hotels, restaurants and resort chains. It gives students a sense of belonging to the industry, and it is a chance to expand our networks. It takes you a step closer towards your career, and there is support in meeting people with similar interests.

What’s next in your career journey? 

In the next few years, I’ll start my own business based on a non-traditional concept I have been working on since 2018. My goal is to set up system to launch business concepts and operate them passively. At the same time, I’m looking to use my knowledge to either teach or work as a consultant/business strategist.

What did you enjoy the most about studying in Australia?

I love the diversity of meeting people from different backgrounds and learning about each other’s cultures. We live in such a harmonious environment in Australia and I have friends from many different nationalities.

To discover Le Cordon Bleu Australia hospitality management degrees and our special 50% Scholarships click here.

CRICOS 02380M / RTO 4959