Advanced Diploma of Hospitality (Management) (1999)

Gurchet Singh has much to be proud of. The Indian born alumnus received his induction into the Australian tertiary education system while studying Hospitality at Box Hill Institute; today he is CEO of Hospitality Management Institute of Australia, which boasted a $2.8 million turnover in 2009.

It has been anything but a straightforward journey. Singh’s parents had him destined to study medicine or engineering before entering the family business, and he did in fact complete an associate diploma of engineering in India.

However, in 1996 some of his friends decided to immigrate to Australia, and Singh was keen to go too – he would be the first person in his family to travel overseas. His friends talked about how good Hospitality is at Box Hill, so he decided to join them there. On his first day of classes, he discovered that he wasn’t with any of his friends. “In hindsight, I realise that being with local students was one of the best aspects of the course,” said Singh. He got to learn about their life and culture, and made many long-lasting friendships.

Singh then went on to study at William Angliss, and then for a Bachelor of Human Resources at RMIT, completing it at Central Queensland University. He also gained a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.

His studies completed, Singh went to work for a private provider as a training and program coordinator for 3.5 years, where he tried to mould his training style to the training style of the teachers at Box Hill Institute.

In 2006 he and a partner started the Hospitality Management Institute of Australia, which offers a Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery), a Diploma of Hospitality Management and an Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management. Students hail mainly from Northern India, although there are also Chinese, Vietnamese and Malays.

With his commitment to ongoing education, Singh is now studying for an MBA at RMIT, and has just completed an audit course for a possible future move to working in education as an auditor or audit consultant.

In everything that he does – be it his own studies or educating others – Singh’s guiding motto is, “It’s the teachers that you remember”.