Over the past 25 years, the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) has evolved from an institution with a cohort of 50 students and a focus on hospitality, to a leader in career-focused education offered to over 2000 domestic and international students annually.
“Celebrating a quarter of a century of education excellence is a good time to pause and reflect on how far ICMS has come, and to look ahead as our journey continues,” ICMS Chief Executive Rowan Courtney-O’Connor said.
“ICMS started with a hospitality management focus and has taken a journey into business and specialised degrees however always remaining true to its focus on industry and careers.”
ICMS now offers undergraduate and postgraduate management degrees across a range of industries, from business and event management, hospitality, international tourism, fashion, accounting, property, sports management and more. The college has two campuses, on the Northern Beaches, Sydney, NSW, and in the city of Sydney, Australia, and works very closely with its sister organisations Aspire Institute, Aspire English and the International Sport College Australia (ISCA).
Founded in 1996 as ICTHM, the college was launched with 50 students at the Manly campus.
Courtney-O’Connor, an ICMS 2003 alumnus, reflected that what distinguishes the ICMS higher education experience is the partnership between academic excellence, practical experience woven into every degree through the ICMS Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program, and the Professional Mentor ecosystem implemented by ICMS to engage and support students at every level of their tertiary path.
“We support our students as they embark on their higher education journey towards achieving their career goals and fulfilling personal ambitions and aspirations.,” Courtney-O’Connor said.
“Although we have grown in size since our beginnings 25 years ago, our relatively small size as an institution allows us to nurture students on an individual basis, mentoring them at college so they can go out and change the world as alumni.”
In 1997, ICMS signed an institutional agreement with Macquarie University and by 1999, student enrolments per year had reached 500.
Nauman Hasan, currently Hotel Manager of Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, was one of the students of this era (ICMS 1999 alumnus) and recalls: “ICMS equipped me with industry knowledge and work experience which gave me a great foundation to build my hotel career, I met people from various cultures and backgrounds and learned about diversity and inclusion. It was a start of a great journey which I am very proud of and thoroughly enjoyed.”
Similarly, ICMS alumnus 2002 Marcus Sutton, currently the General Manager Zabeel House in The Greens by Jumeirah Group, Jumeira Hotels and Resorts, credits ICMS with not only helping him jumpstart his career, but also in providing the college experience that went on to help him find his life partner.
“ICMS provided me the platform to launch my international hospitality career and to connect with international students from all over the world. The education, friendships and connections gained still serve me today, providing me with the knowledge and skills to work in a diverse range of properties and locations and I have access to a global network of hoteliers and tourism professionals,” Sutton said.
“In addition, ICMS provided me with the opportunity of meeting my now wife, ensuring I will always hold fond memories of my time at the colleague and providing my children with the opportunity to claim both Swedish and Australian nationality.”
By 2004, ICTHM had won its first Australian Tourism Award for Excellence in Education.
As 1997 ICMS alumnus Christian Fomm, who is currently the General Manager at the Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg in Germany, said, “ICMS offers excellent education and tools to become a future leader in the international Hospitality and Tourism Industry.”
In 2005 ICTHM was rebranded as the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS), and was accredited as a Higher Education Institution a year later, in 2006.
“It taught me to be professional, dedicated, punctual, and to deliver 5-star customer service.”
By 2008, ICMS reached 1000 student enrolments and began to deliver specialised degrees and further enhance the industry connections that now stand at over 1000-strong.
“The industry partners across a range of industries allow us to place students in internships that are meaningful for their future careers. ICMS is big enough to connect you, and small enough to connect with you,” Courtney-O’Connor said.
Liana Flyght, ICMS 2019 alumnus testifies to the power of the ICMS industry training program, with her first ICMS internship ultimately leading to her current role as Associate Project Manager at Commonwealth Bank in Sydney, Australia.
“To me, ICMS meant a valuable opportunity to connect with and learn from industry professionals, which provided a springboard for my career. I found my very first industry internship through an ICMS careers day, an internship that would later develop into a full-time position that had me traveling through Australia and internationally, working with some of the most well-known brands worldwide,” Flyght said.
“The practical experience gained through the extensive internship program is what led me to ICMS and was indeed the most valuable thing I’ve done for my career to date.”
CEO of KINSHIP digital | GAICD Caitlin Green, ICMS 2014 alumnus, added: “With the support of ICMS, I learned the fundamentals of management whilst having an unforgettable experience gaining career-relevant skills and knowledge.”
By 2013, ICMS was accredited to deliver postgraduate qualifications and in 2015, the city campus in the heart of bustling Sydney was established. The milestone of 2000 student enrolments in a year was reached in 2018, and in 2022, 10 000 students had graduated from the college since its inception.
“The location in Manly is just spectacular… being able to see the beach every day for three to four years never got old! You can easily travel down in between classes to enjoy the beach and food options nearby. Most importantly were the friendships and relationships that I made whilst studying at ICMS. I have made so many friendships with like-minded individuals who still remain close friends to this date. I would encourage all new graduates to do everything which is available to you to create connections and friendships, as not only will this enrich your time at ICMS, but you also never know later in life where these friendships/connections may come in handy for you (be it pursuing a new job or moving to a new country etc).”
Now with over 10,000 graduates ICMS continues to grow while still being true to its motto of Vision, Integrity and Purpose. As an established player on the higher education landscape, with a leading ICMS Professional Scholarships program in play, respected degrees and diplomas on offer, internships built into every course, and a Professional Mentor Ecosystem that is focused on producing fulfilled and well-rounded graduates, the future looks bright for ICMS.
* For more information on ICMS, click here
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