Anupam Kumar, alumni of IHM Goa and currently faculty at Institute of Hotel Management – Hajipur, in this interview with acadman.in has shared his vast experiences and gave suggestions for Hotel Management Students. Enjoy reading!
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How would you like to introduce yourself?
I am a very passionate cook and teacher. I graduated from IHM Goa and worked for carnival cruise line. After that, I came back and joined Club Mahindra where I have worked as Sous Chef.
Then I decided to join the teaching profession. Firstly, I joined Institute of Science and Management – Ranchi. After that, I joined IHM Hajipur as a senior professor in Food Production Department.
How was your experience in Goa?
Goa was a very strange experience for me because I am from a very small city of Bihar and the cultural change which I experienced in Goa was very unsettling. It was very difficult to adjust in Goa.
Apart from that, Goa was a very nice place. The college (IHM Goa) was very good, as Goa is a popular tourist destination provides with a lot of learning opportunity in the hospitality industry.
Do you think that there needs to be a change in the way things are taught in IHMs?
Yes, definitely there has to be a change. When I was a student at IHM Goa, I didn’t realize this; but now when I am teaching students at IHM Hajipur, I realize there is a big gap between what the industry needs and what the colleges supply.
I think this gap can only be reduced by using a new method of teaching and updating the syllabus. There has to be a change according to the demands of the hospitality industry.
What according to you is the importance of journals?
Journals are very important because they provide inside knowledge about every specific topic that is being taught in the class. When you are taught in the class, you learn but after some time you forget it. So the concept of writing journal is based on the old principle of writing down what has been taught in the class.
If a student maintains his journal he would be in a better state to implement what he has learnt in the previous classes. So journals are nothing but an instrument for students to enhance their learning.
We see that if a students fails to complete journals then teachers tend to throw that student out of the class? Don`t you think this is wrong?
I totally agree with you. I’m also against throwing students out of the class. I think throwing students out of the class does more harm than good. But I think if a student repeatedly makes the same mistake and does not maintain his journal, then teacher should take this measure to make him/her write the journal. But it should be the last resort.
If a student is interested in working with cruise liners then what are the procedures for applying ?
I have worked with cruise liners for three years. Over the course of that period, I signed 4 contracts, the contract was of 7 to 9 months. Working for cruiseliners was a totally different experience.
Basically, there are two kinds of cruise lines. First is cruise where a lot of tourists comes to enjoy the sea, so we can call it a floating hotel. Secondly, there are cargo ships.
I would recommend students to go for the cruise because there you will find a lot of opportunities to learn. But working in cruise is very difficult because there will be no one to help you. You will have to manage things on your own. So I would say two years of experience before joining a cruise would be good.
Freshers might face a lot of problems at cruise. So in order to apply to get a job, you should meet the agents, every cruise line company has its agents spread across the country. After that you will have to undergo a seamen course that is known as STCW. It is basically a course which you should undergo before hitting the seas. After that course there is just medical test and interview for visa and you are done.
Which things you think should be changed at IHM Hajipur?
The first disadvantage is the IHM’s location (Hajipur). If the IHM would have been in Patna, we could have achieved more. But inside the college, we give our best to provide a good life to the students.
The other problem is the communication skill of the students. In this region, we do get hardworking students but a good communicating skill always remains a problem. We try our best to ensure that over the three years at IHM the students develop a good communicating skill.