The Aleit Academy | Alumni in the Industry

The Aleit Academy has introduced approximately 250 graduates to the wonderful and versatile industry of Hospitality and Events. They have all followed their own path and taken up or created unique opportunities for themselves within the trade. Of these alumni The Aleit Group is proud to employ 14 themselves! The Aleit Academy is proud to affirm that all our graduates boast copious knowledge and practical experience even before they’re handed their diplomas.

Our 2020 soon-to-be graduates are currently completing their final learner programme, which requires them to submit a thesis consisting of all the necessary documentation required to coordinate their own largescale event or wedding. This equips them with the various skills they’ll need to successfully take on the industry once they have finished their studies; such as perfecting their time management abilities, improving their focus and being precise in their organisational capabilities. Their final internship placements are also fast approaching and we are excited to see them grow in their digital placements as well as their external placements once the industry is able commence with events.

As Stephan Fourie, a 2012 graduate, said, “What’s great about The Aleit Academy is that it’s a different journey for everyone that is part of it. You get what you put into it and you can take out of it what you decide.”

We provide our students with exposure to a wide variety of facets within the greater Hospitality and Event industry, including décor and styling, design, photography of events, floristry at events and much more. Each student comes in as an individual and learns from these experiences in a different way. Some people wish to end up in the wedding coordination sector where others enjoy working with flowers every day. With so many elements coming into play, the broader industry will always be in need of more people with the right amount of skills and practical experience to make a meaningful contribution!

Bianca Bressan-Dry, a 2017 graduate, says “The Aleit Academy taught me how to put the practical and the theory together, which was very useful. They also taught me, when I was doing the practical, how all the facets of an event come together and that helped me to open my own business.”

With the addition of our new Entrepreneurship and Small business course we now provide all our students with the knowledge and expertise to start their own business after graduation should they so desire. We equip them for undertaking an entrepreneurial venture by teaching them, among other things, how to create and execute their own business plan, marketing plan and strategies for business success.

“I think that the ‘temporary-closure’ of our industry has allowed many companies to reconsider their business practices and service offerings, finding ways in which to improve – something which most of us don’t usually have time to do,” said Mikayla Ellam who graduated from the Academy in 2015. “I think that we should approach the re-opening of the industry mindfully and with intent rather than rushing back to the way things used to be.”

The hospitality industry relies on the gathering of people, and therefore it will take time to get back to full capacity events and the ‘normal’ we once knew. How exciting is it that our students get to be a part of defining the new normal for the Events industry?

“I have no huge concerns about the re-opening of the industry and I think it will be staggered,” Chelsea Warren-Stone, 2013 graduate, believes. “I do think that many people will have staggered weddings, meaning one celebration with 50 people like their family in the afternoon, and then later in the day another 50 friends would do dinner at the same venue.”

Stephan Fourie, further commented, “We will have to rethink the way we build events. This paired with the obvious risks are the biggest concerns. I have fortunately been operating in the industry for long enough to know that our industry is uniquely set-up to adapt.”

Lisa van der Merwe, one of our most recent graduates (2019), who works for a hiring company, mentioned, “We already have sanitisers all around our warehouse and in the office. We have to wear masks and wipe and wash down everything with soap as soon as stock arrives back at the warehouse.”

Standard regulations, such as those outlined by Lisa van der Merwe above, will have to be put into place to ensure everyone complies with the new health and safety guidelines in South Africa. This will also allow businesses to start working remotely and assess if this is a viable option for the future.

As Chelsea Warren-Stone further commented, “We found numerous ways to be more efficient especially as most people now work from home so business improvements have been great the last few months. We have made loads of changes to make things more efficient throughout the different stages of the event planning process, which is something that we would probably continue with post-pandemic. We will still work together but maybe some of the sections can be done remotely even in the future, which can be quite nice and allow things to move a little bit quicker.”

At The Aleit Academy, we firmly believe that our industry just needs to get through the next few months as, once the industry is fully open again, we will have an incredibly busy season!

“I’m seeing a lot of collaboration at the moment, an industry more united than ever, and that makes me excited,” says Stephan Fourie.

We are especially delighted to still be in a position to allow our final year students to graduate by the end of 2020, thanks to our team’s flexibility, leaders’ positivity and a motivated student group! By working together, we are making it happen and can’t wait for the final years’ of 2020 to finally earn their Aleit-Academy-Alumni-family “badge”.