Bond University student, James Taylor, has swapped the Gold Coast’s beaches for the desert sands of the Middle East after scoring a four-month internship at the world famous Burj Al Arab in Dubai as part of his International Hotel and Tourism Management degree.
The Burj Al Arab is the fourth tallest hotel in the world and is billed as the world’s most luxurious hotel, featuring luxury suites, personal butlers, four swimming pools and a private beach.
James is working in the hotel’s food and beverage department, rotating between the Skyview Bar suspended on the 27th floor, 200 metres above the ocean; Al Iwan, an Arabic restaurant modelled as the ‘royal dining hall’; and Al Mahara, a seafood restaurant, recognised as one of the finest in the world, where guests dine under the sea.
“The opportunity came about when the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management visited us at Bond to talk about their internship programs,” said James.
“The Academy is owned by the Jumeirah group which also owns the Burj Al Arab so I decided to submit an application.
“My teachers at Bond were really supportive in helping me organise my application from start to finish, as was Bond’s International Regional Manager.
“The University has an established relationship with the Emirates Academy so I certainly wouldn’t have had the chance to work at the Burj if I hadn’t made the decision to study at Bond.”
The internship will help James fill the requirement for students to undertake 400 hours of industry work placement, which is a key element of Bond’s Hotel and Tourism Management degrees.
“The combination of this work experience component with Bond’s focus on high level business disciplines such as revenue management, strategic planning, organisational behaviour and business law allows us to equip our graduates with the business skills required to manage a complex organisation while ensuring they have a first-hand understanding of grassroots operations,” said Dr Mike Raybould, Bond’s head of Hotel and Tourism Management.
“Bond has built industry partnerships with global brands such as Marriott, Radisson, Sofitel and the Emirates Academy so that students like James get the very best internship experiences worldwide.”
While James may be spending his time in Dubai at the world’s most luxurious hotel, he certainly isn't swimming laps in the indoor infinity pools or lounging on a sunbed on the Burj’s private beach, calling for a mineral water facial spray.
“I’m working six days a week so I don't have much spare time to experience the fast cars, high fashion and luxury lifestyle that the Emirates are famous for,” he said.
“But working at the Burj Al Arab allows me to see a side of Dubai that not too many people are lucky enough to witness.”
James will return to the Gold Coast in May to complete his Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management. Having worked in various hospitality jobs around the world for several years now, his Bond degree will allow him to take his career to a new level.
“This industry exposure at the Burj Al Arab will be crucial in helping me decide how I want my career to evolve and a chance for me to revise and learn new skills,” he said.