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News > ESF Chairman's Awards > Rapid fire questions with Rachel Handley (Island School, Class of 2021)

Rapid fire questions with Rachel Handley (Island School, Class of 2021)

Rachel has been awarded The Chairman's Award for embodying the spirit and values of their school. She is pursuing a Bachelor's degree at Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School.


Island School

The ESF Chairman’s Awards is a celebration of the world-class performance of our graduates. The awards recognize excellence in academics and outstanding achievement in Leadership, Commitment and Contribution to Service, Embodying the Spirit and Values of the School, Sport and Creativity. 

Today’s #ESFRapidFireQuestions features Rachel Handley of Island School who has been awarded The Chairman's Award for embodying the spirit and values of their school and The Chairman's Award for Excellence for outstanding academic performance in the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP). ESF has partnered with Hotel Tourism Institute (HTI) and the International Culinary Institute (ICI) to offer the IBCP curriculum related to hospitality management to students in Year 12 & Year 13. 

Why do you want to study hotel management? 
I would like to use the career that I build in hospitality as a way to give back to my community. I believe that the hospitality sector would teach me the necessary skills that I would require to navigate the intersection between society and business, which is precisely the kind of position I want to be in after graduating. Studying hotel management so far has already given me far-reaching insight into values that customers (and thus people in general) appreciate - not just within the service industry, but within life itself. Throughout the 2.5-year program that I am currently undertaking, I know that the knowledge I will gain through studying hotel management would allow me to bridge the gap between services and people in a mutually productive manner, which is my personal means of community service. Essentially, being able to make customers’ visions come true, and help bring them happiness through the events I plan and cater for is my main drive for choosing the hospitality industry. 

You have earned "The Chairman's Awards for embodying the spirit and values of their school". What do you think are the spirit and values of Island School?
To me, the core spirit and value of Island School is and always will be the sense of community. The relationships built between students and teachers is something genuine that I feel may be lacking in many other academic institutions. Today especially, when competition drives so many of us, it’s hard to find an environment wherein genuine relationships and communication can be naturally fostered. Island School provides students with this key value in a fun and holistic way, which is why the community that I’ve built here feels more like a family than just a mere group of my peers. 

How did your ESF education set you up for success?
ESF education has provided me with so many opportunities to lay a foundation for both my soft and hard skills. Through integrating students into a community of open-minded, diverse individuals, I was able to learn a lot about my friends, the world, and myself, which allowed me to have constant personal growth throughout the time I spent in Island School. Furthermore, ESF education also broadened my worldview and I felt like the way that the curriculum was structured and executed never inhibited or suppressed my curiosity, which was how I was able to learn not just technical information and hard skills, but also soft skills such as proper communication, effective problem-solving, and leadership skills

What advice would you give to other ESF students who would look up to someone like you? 
The advice I would give to other ESF students is to embrace who you are. Take up those opportunities provided while you’re still in an environment that allows you to explore yourself, and use them in a productive and meaningful way. ESF education will guide you through the next few years of your life, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes; mistakes simply mean that you’ve learned a little more about yourself and that now you’ll know how to overcome your problems the next time you face them.

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