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Thomas serves himself up a bright future in the hospitality industry

Thomas serves himself up a bright future in the hospitality industry

Published:11 January 2018

Diploma of Hospitality Management student Thomas Perna has been pursuing a career in hospitality since high school and is already working two part-time jobs in the industry.

Thomas Perna has a long career in hospitality well and truly on the boil thanks to CQUniversity.

The 18-year-old Diploma of Hospitality Management student said he was glad he decided to pursue an interest in hospitality while he was still in high school.

“I was always interested in the hospitality industry and when the teachers at my old school, Emmaus College, told me about the courses available and the quality of the teachers, I went for it,” he said.

After completing a Certificate II in Hospitality as part of CQUniversity’s VET-in-Schools (VETiS) program, Thomas quickly found himself hungry for more.

“I learned every aspect of hospitality at Willby’s (Training Restaurant) – I worked behind the bar, made coffees, how to set up for breakfast, lunch and dinner and buffets and wait service,” he said.

“I even have been allowed to step-up into a leadership role and help manage some of the events in the restaurant.”

After completing the Certificate II Thomas enrolled in the Certificate III and started to see the various potentials hospitality has to offer.

Since then he’s secured part-time work with Dunlop Catering and a coffee van. Recently he helped lead the hospitality team at the CQUniversity Christmas Ball, attended by more than 600 guests. He plans to be managing a hotel or restaurant in the next five years.

Hospitality is just one of the many courses that will be profiled at the Rockhampton TAFE Careers Expo on 24 January at the Canning Street Campus from 2-6pm.

“Go ahead and do some training – it’s very simple and can lead you down a thousand different pathways,” Thomas said.

“TAFE training opens up your eyes to the real working world and it makes it a lot easier to find a job.”

For more information about the Rockhampton TAFE Careers Expo register your interest at