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NSW Top Ranked Student Samantha Chooses ICMS

NSW Top Ranked Student Samantha Chooses ICMS

March 29, 2021

Top ranked student, Samantha Johnstone, an alum of Tara Anglican School for Girls scored first place in the state of New South Wales in her Hospitality High School certificate exams.

Samantha’s achievements don’t stop there. Not only did she achieve this result during the disruptive academic year of 2020 – but she also received Early Entry and an ICMS Professional Scholarship.

The combination of business, hospitality and event management subjects offered at ICMS is one of the things that attracted Samantha to ICMS. “I always thought I’d take a gap year but I found ICMS in year 12 and once I saw how well the degrees aligned with my interests I decided to take a chance and apply for Early Entry. In fact, coming in for the interview was my first time on campus,” Samantha said.

Samantha had attended the ICMS Open Day earlier in August but because of COVID it was online so she hadn’t yet seen the spectacular ICMS sandstone ‘castle’ overlooking the Manly beach.“I was excited to get to the campus. Once I got in the room for my interview I felt relaxed and the questions helped me to reflect on what I wanted from my career and it affirmed my decision to study a Bachelor of Event Management, ” she explained.

Being the top ranked Hospitality student in the state came as a delightful surprise to Samantha. “I was so shocked when I heard I was the top ranked student in New South Wales. Hospitality was one of my favourite subjects so I was aiming high but it was still a huge surprise when I got the call.”

Samantha’s Hospitality teacher at Tara, Judy Cropper, has reason to be proud. Not only of Samantha and her top ranked position in the state, but the fact that two of her classmates also achieved a ranking in the state’s Top 10.

After she received her Early offer to ICMS, Samantha decided to apply for a scholarship at ICMS too. “Just before the final scholarship interview I got the call about being the top ranked in the state for Hospitality. I knew I needed to mention that in the scholarship interview. The interview panel seemed to like that and I am sure it gave me an edge in my scholarship application.”

The scholarship panel was impressed not only with Samantha’s top ranked position and overall results, but also with her maturity and poise during the interview process. She was one of several commencing students awarded a record number of scholarships offered to domestic students in 2021.

In her acceptance speech at the ICMS scholarship ceremony held on 24 March, Samantha explained how setting goals helped her to achieve.

This time last year, standing on this stage was only in the realm of my imagination, but I’m glad to have made it a goal of mine which I am now excited to say has become part of my everyday reality – not only as an ICMS Scholarship recipient but also as a student,” she said.

This year’s scholarship ceremony was the biggest held at ICMS to date and celebrated recipients who received scholarships across all areas of ICMS. The event has been one of the first ceremonies held on ICMS grounds since the beginning of the pandemic.

Watch Samantha’s 2021 ICMS Scholarship Ceremony (Speech begins at 47:20) here

Three Things Samantha Loves about ICMS:

1. Close-knit Community

I love the close-knit community at ICMS. I have made so many good friends already and know that if I were at a huge uni this probably wouldn’t have been possible. I have also established relationships with my lecturers and some of the other staff. Being from a smaller high school, so that’s what I am used to.

One of the reason’s Samantha has been able to make friends is the fact that three out of four of her classes are face-to-face on campus, something which is not yet always possible at a larger univesity as opposed to this small higher education institution. “I enjoy seeing familiar faces and the experience of being a part of the ICMS community,” she said. “Having developed a greater appreciation for building meaningful relationships and inclusivity beyond your smaller circle, I think the lively atmosphere here at ICMS caters to this immensely,” said Samantha.

2. Work-Life Balance

I love that fact that I get a good work life balance at ICMS. I have a busy life. I am a sports coach at my old school and I also work at a fine-dining restaurant in the city – so the fact that I my timetable is only two to three days a week suits me.”

3. Industry Training

Samantha is looking forward to her second year of bachelor degree study which will include two subjects of Industry Training where she will be able to gain real-world practical experience in the event management sector. She believes the event sector will pick up post-COVID. “Restrictions are always changing and I believe they will probably always be around in some form or other. This gives those of us who are new to the sector opportunities to embrace new technology and new ways of doing things. In fact, I am excited to be a part of the rebound.

Samantha summed up her Scholarship Ceremony speech with the quote “No matter what you do, in absolutely anything in life, always stay true to you!”

ICMS Professional Scholarships Program

Under the ICMS Professional Scholarships Program, applicants will be considered for the ICMS Professional Scholarships, the ANZ Scholarship, HOSTPLUS Sports Management Scholarship, HOSTPLUS Hospitality Management Scholarship, the Wotif Scholarship and the Alceon Scholarship. ICMS will match the candidates to the most appropriate scholarship from their application form. Students are welcome to note or refer to a particular scholarship within their application if they wish.

Together with the Corporate Sponsored Scholarships featured below, ICMS Professional Scholarships include:


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