A love of coffee and a serious soul search led Vorada Kupatavetin to enrol in hospitality training at CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury).
Vorada had completed a year of university at home in Thailand and moved to Auckland to study linguistics but was it wasn't quite the New Zealand experience she had imagined.
"At 24 I was in search of career inspiration and it was a friend who showed me the CPIT hospitality options online. I love coffee and the barista training looked really interesting. Christchurch felt like the real New Zealand to me, the quietness, its beauty, weather and fresh air."
After finishing her Certificate in Restaurant and Bar Service, Vorada continued studying to successfully complete a National Diploma in Hospitality Management and win the 2011 Student Award for Excellence. "I love hospitality, the tutors are really motivating and the students are so friendly, kind and relaxed. It's like a family feeling."
Vorada found the marketing section of hospitality studies most interesting, particularly the focus on developing a themed café.
"I am really proud of myself for achieving this success and now I have the confidence to chase my dream of opening my very own bakery café."