Gold medal winner to lead CPIT Graduation

News News & events

19 Sep 2014

A former Food and Hospitality student with a gold medal from Nestle Toque d’Or will lead hundreds of graduands at CPIT’s Spring Graduation ceremony this Friday.

Over 300 students are graduating with a range of degrees, diplomas and certificates in the afternoon ceremony. Gina Johns, 21, will lead the students into Horncastle Arena and give a short speech.

Johns says she was surprised and honoured to be asked to lead the students at Graduation. “I’m a bit nervous about speaking to everybody but also really excited. It will be a big day and I’m really proud to have been asked.”

Johns started studying the Diploma in Hospitality Management at CPIT in 2012 and is excited to receive her qualification on Friday. “When I was younger I thought being a waitress was the best job in the world. Then I got a job in hospitality when I was fifteen and decided I definitely wanted to study that. I signed up for the two year course at CPIT and it has been great.”

2013 Toque d'Or winners

Gina Johns (centre), pictured with fellow Toque d'Or winners Hannah Grieve and Daniel Hoare, will present the graduads at CPIT's Spring Graduation ceremony on 19 September.

Johns was one of three CPIT students to take out the gold medal in the illustrious Nestle Toque d’Or competition in 2013. “That was one of the most amazing experiences and to win was incredible. It’s also so awesome to have that on my CV; people are very impressed by it.”

Since completing her course, Johns has taken up a full-time position as a manager at the JDV restaurant in Merivale. “It’s absolutely the dream job I would have wanted after finishing study. All the theory I learnt during the course has been really helpful. I was taught a lot of theory and finance skills which have been really useful.”

In the future, Johns plans to move to Melbourne to be closer to her chef boyfriend, who is also a CPIT graduate. “He’s working at one of the top restaurants over there so it will be great. Eventually I would love to work in event management in Australia. That would be ideal.”

TVNZ American correspondent Jack Tame, himself a CPIT graduate, will be giving the key address to students at Spring Graduation on Friday.

CPIT’s Spring Graduation will take place this Friday, September 19, at Horncastle Arena from 2pm. Media are welcome to attend the event.