Interview with Siti Umi Amirah

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A curious mind, a firm belief in her field and an enthusiasm for imparting knowledge is what drives Siti Umi Amirah Binti Haji Ra’emi Maleek to keep inspiring her students.

Why did you choose tourism as your field of study?
I’ve travelled extensively with my family and always enjoyed learning about new cultures and meeting different people. Whenever I visit a new country I am always very interested to find out how the country markets itself in order to attract tourists. I try to learn about new strategies which can also be implemented in Brunei Darussalam because I believe that our country has a lot to offer tourists and so I’m always keen to discover new ways of increasing the number of tourists to Brunei Darussalam. Thanks to the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam, I was granted a scholarship to pursue my Degree in International Tourism Marketing Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom. This opportunity was invaluable as I gained more in-depth knowledge about tourism. In fact, the subject of my dissertation (A Case Study of Independent Tour Operators in Brunei Darussalam) enabled me to advise local tour operators about how to use social media more effectively to help boost tourism. I’m committed to helping to develop this field as I firmly believe that we have a bright future ahead if we can find new ways to further improve the tourist industry in Brunei Darussalam.

As a former IBTE student how does it feel to now be in the role of Education Officer, tell us more about this.
When I returned to Brunei Darussalam after graduating from University with First Class Honours, my former school called and offered me a job as an Education Officer. I gratefully accepted this offer and have been teaching for nearly a year now. I have to say, that I am really enjoying my job! I am passionate about what I teach and my modules include Tourism Industry, Management Principles, Customer Service, Introduction to Hospitaltity and National Heritage. I am especially keen about the latter subject and enjoy taking my students on field trips to local museums. As an Education Officer I also get to share my knowledge and experiences with my students and in turn they get to share their ideas and opinions with me. I am also fortunate that many of the teachers who taught me when I attended IBTE are still here to guide, advice and support me. I am happy to be able to make a positive contribution to the current students at IBTE!

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Photo courtesy of Siti Umi Amirah

How did your training at IBTE help to prepare you for your current role?
My student days were very active and rewarding. I was President of the Student Council (2010-2011) and I took part in many public speaking and debating competitions – this all helped to build my confidence and to develop my communication and leadership skills. These are a few of the fundamental skills which I now use every day in the classroom to engage and encourage students to learn. But my most memorable experience at IBTE was my six month attachment at the Brunei Tourism Board, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism. This is where I gained a clear and realistic insight into the various aspects related to marketing Bruneian products. Alhamdulillah, all my hard work as a student plus the knowledge imparted by my teachers earned me an outstanding result of GPA 2.9 out of 3 in my National Diploma. At IBTE, as someone who loves reading and researching I was encouraged to excel and to become a lifelong learner – and now, I encourage my students to do the same! I aim to pursue my Masters in Tourism in the future.

This article was published in the IBTE Special Issue (Oct-Dec 2016) of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!