Thereza Mugobi, Ag. Director of Tourism, Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism

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Servizio alumni

25 Settembre 2023

To help current students and recent graduates navigate the world of work, several USI Alumni shared their career paths and career story. Here the story of Thereza Mugobi, Ag. Director of Tourism for the Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism in Dodomo (Tanzania). USI Degree: Master in International Tourism, 2013.

How did you start your career?

I started my career when I was first given a scholarship by the Tanzania Government to undertake a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management from The Western Cape University in South Africa. This was a thrilling moment in my career in the tourism industry. During university holidays I used to travel and practice what was being taught in class and real-life experience, I found myself traveling to the USA and working as a waitress at Wendy’s Fast Food and Humberg. This was the time I first experienced the real winter imagine coming from Tanzania where there is a comfortable climate year-round and going to the USA for the exchange program. After I completed my BA degree in Tourism and Management, I was awarded a scholarship by the Swiss government (The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships) to join USI for a master’s in international Tourism. This was a milestone in my tourism career and I found myself being a hard-working student my dream of transforming my country’s tourism industry started here. It was a two-year experience in Lugano I remained composed with full of determination. After completing my study, I returned back home and I was immediately employed as an assistant lecturer at the Open University of Tanzania in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality.

While coming from a country with abundant tourism and natural resources and being a young motivated Tanzanian who has maintained good grades throughout my studies with a desire of ensuring the development of Tanzania’s tourism industry, I found it valuable to apply for the Ph.D. program in tourism to complement my academic career. During this program, I learned a lot of theory and even learned how to use statistical packages for data analysis (SEM) which I found an interesting experience. After three years I graduated and started and started a different consultancy in tourism-related matters. A few years later I am now appointed as a Director of Tourism under the Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.

Why did you choose a career in the Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism?

The travel and tourism industry is one of the most important sectors in our country’s economy, its contribution can be observed from the revenue collected, foreign earning, job creation an protection. It’s an industry with huge opportunities which are not yet explored thus providing an the potential brought by this sector.

What is your current role/duties?

  • Formulating and managing the implementation of various Policies, Laws, Regulations and Guidelines for the tourism sector in the country;
  • Registration, licensing and regulation of tourism businesses in the country;
  • To conduct inventory, inspection, classification and grading of accommodation facilities and restaurants;
  • Identify tourism attractions, new areas for tourism development and investment;
  • To promote National, Regional and International cooperation in the Tourism Sector;
  • Strengthening partnerships with the private sector;
  • To encourage and attract investment in the tourism sector in the country.

In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary for a successful career in the Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism?

  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills in order to consult with a range of stakeholders including tour operators, hotelier, tour guides, community groups and other key stakeholders;
  • Commercial awareness and an entrepreneurial approach to work, customer service, marketing and PR skills.

What positive aspects and qualities meant most to you during the study programme you attended?

During my study program at USI, the most positive aspect was learning and applying theory to real practical case studies. The case studies about the different destinations and hotels were some of the aspects I enjoyed in the master class. The quality of the program was blended by the flying professor from different parts of the globe, this was one of the best quality experiences I had been taught by professors from the USA, UK etc these were the best practices the program had arranged. The study trip to Portugal and the business travel trip we had to Rome was exciting moment of the program and this makes the quality of it as it allowed us to really work with tourism destinations and provide solutions for their development.

What competences and/or skills acquired in your USI Study Program have been useful/are useful to your professional career?

Studying at USI provided me with the knowledge base and competence to critically analyze different case studies in the tourism industry and it gave me the confidence to develop appropriate and effective leadership skills to respond to strategic opportunities and challenges. The knowledge acquired enhanced both technical and professional skills which are essential for effective analysis and decision-making of tourism destinationrelated matters in my country. Other skills that I possess include; MICE Organizer, Adaptability, Leadership, Management, Teamwork, Customer care, interpersonal, Entrepreneurial, Collaboration, Time management, and Multitasking.

What is your advice to USI students entering the job market?

They should be patient with their dream job, they have to start with a lower-paying job and gained experience and thus the high-paying job will come looking for them. They also need to deliver with determination as a main spirit. They need to work hard and stop demanding high salaries at their first employment. They should allow nature to flow as usual and through their hard work and dedication to their career they will definitely come to their dream job. I encourage the youngest to find opportunities not necessary to their home country some of the countries like Tanzania had a lot of potential in the tourism industry I really wish every young generation studying the master’s program to start their career in Tanzania.

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