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Gabriella Devita Febiola (Gaby)

New Zealand Diploma in Hospitality Management - Level 5

Working: Restaurant Host
MASU by Nic Watt

Studying hospitality management at NSIA taught Gaby Febiola much more than just top-notch hospitality skills. She gained confidence, learned how to tackle challenges, and grew not just professionally, but also personally. Her natural talent combined with her NSIA qualification have proven to be a winning recipe, landing her sought after roles in some of Auckland’s best restaurants.

Tell us about your NSIA studies.

NSIA was a lot of fun - I loved it! My tutors were friendly and extremely helpful when I faced challenges. They didn’t just tutor me, they also became my role models and people I could look up to. NSIA tutors have a huge amount of industry experience and they were always willing to share valuable tips on how to succeed. They used real-life cases to teach us how to deal with complaints professionally and calmly. I learned that I can be just as valuable to an employer as someone with more experience, so long as I’m prepared to work hard.  My tutors helped me become not just a better employee, but a better individual. I think that’s the greatest thing about NSIA – they are a team who bring out the best in people. 

What sort of employment support does NSIA offer?

During our course we got opportunities to gain work experience, so we graduated with practical skills and relevant experience as well as theoretical knowledge. I helped with functions at the campus cafe, Orange CafĂ©. It was very useful because it built my confidence and taught me how to listen to my customers’ needs and provide a first-rate dining experience. I could then apply those skills to the workplace. 

NSIA has a careers service called Connect to assist students into employment. They helped me with my CV and advised me how to dress properly for interviews. They encouraged me to be the best version of myself and taught me how to outshine other job applicants without exaggerating my skills. At NSIA they genuinely care about students getting jobs.

During my studies Connect helped me get a part-time job as a waitress at a restaurant in Ponsonby. We were a small team and I learned a lot. A few weeks before I graduated I got a job as a restaurant host at The Sugar Club by Peter Gordon in SkyCity. I was so happy! When I told the Connect team I got the job, they hugged me and congratulated me like family. The Sugar Club is a well-known fine dining restaurant on Level 53 of the Sky Tower, so it was an amazing opportunity for me. 

Now I have just started a new job, working as a restaurant host at the equally well-known SkyCity restaurant, MASU by Nic Watt. I greet customers and take them to their seats, make seating arrangements, confirm reservations, reply to enquiries via phone and email, and cash up at the end of each night. It can be very busy, and I have to remain calm under pressure and make sure my customers leave happy and satisfied. I enjoy the challenge, my customers and my colleagues.

How has NSIA helped you get where you are today?

I will always be grateful to NSIA and Connect because without their support I wouldn’t be where I am now. Everything that I know is thanks to my NSIA experience. My tutors taught me how to be a good employee, and a good person with a good heart. They prepared me to face the challenges of the workplace and they laid a solid foundation for my career. From here I plan to keep furthering my knowledge and skill and work my way up in the hospitality industry. Eventually I want to get into senior management.

MASU by Nic Watt

MASU is a highly-acclaimed Japanese robata restaurant in the heart of Auckland’s exclusive Federal Street dining precinct. Placed in the prestigious Metro Top 50 Auckland Restaurants for 2018, MASU specialises in the traditional robata style of cooking with a modern twist. At the helm of MASU is globally renowned Kiwi chef Nic Watt, who has run a string of successful, upmarket robata restaurants in London, Macau, Hong Kong and the USA.