GUNPATH ADVISES FUTURE DUT STUDENTS TO PUSH ON AND NEVER GIVE UP
Durban University of Technology graduate, Seshini Gunpath was emotional upon graduating with her Master’s in Management Sciences in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism, at the 2022 Spring Graduation ceremony held at the Durban Exhibition Centre, Durban on Thursday, 30 September 2022.
Gunpath who is from Parlock in Durban, said she felt emotional to think she had finished her Master’s qualification.
“My family are extremely proud of my accomplishment, they have really been an amazing pillar of strength, especially my husband Dhiresh, he used to sit up with me late at nights just to keep me company so that I don’t fall asleep. My beautiful niece Hiranya who is in matric this year, helped me with my data capturing,” confessed happily.
Gunpath’s dissertation is titled: The Role of Customer Service Training in the Hospitality Sector: A Case of the Wild Coast Sun Hotel.
She explained the reason for choosing this topic was due to her having 27 years of industry experience and customer service training.
“I was curious to find out from employees of the establishment, why were they doing their jobs, was it for just the money or the passion for the industry? One of my main challenges experienced doing my studies was that I could not do face to face interviews with my respondents due to COVID-19,” she said.
Her recommendations for her study were to examine the employment structure, equity amongst gender and age profiles. To also look at job satisfaction, customer service, customer satisfaction, and training effectiveness.
In the 90s when she completed her Diploma, unfortunately that was the only qualification on offer. Years later the B-Tech was introduced and whilst in industry she bumped into one of her lecturers, Mr Jaya Naidoo and another colleague of hers, urged her to further her studies.
She continued studying but in other fields and has a Diploma in Human Resource management and a Higher Certificate in Occupational Directive Education and Training Practices (ODETDP).
In 2019, she decided that she would love to be a lecturer at DUT, and therefore pursued her Master’s.
“I had an amazing supervisor Dr Melanie Lourens, and Dr Sasi Gangiah who was not just my supervisor but a coach and mentor through this process. They were very patient with me and guided me through the process,” she said.
Gunpath does plan on completing her PHD, and has already found her topic. With regards to her future career path, she hopes to get a permanent position at DUT, as she has been freelancing for the Hotel School for the past two years.
“I have loved every minute of it. I feel alive when I am in class. I also love that I can share my industry experience with the students and not just read the boring textbook,” she imparted.
Her advice to future Master’s students is try first working in one’s field of study, gain a good understanding of the field, and to push on and never give up.
Pictured: Seshini Gunpath