Our Students – Testimonials


Read what our current students have to say about PBRS!

Vanilyn Tugay

Diploma in Hotel Management, Level 6

My Mentor was Mohit Sharma. As this was my first competition I was very excited to win a Gold medal and I put this down to the excellent training and hard work put in by Mohit.

I highly recommend Cornell, the staff are knowledgeable and friendly and Andrew Ayles who is the Academic Team Leader of Hospitality school is also very supportive of the students entering competitions. This competition has helped me to find new jobs and has opened up my career prospects.”

Gold Medal, National Culinary Fare, 2016




Daryl Mercurio

Diploma in Hospitality(Operational Management & Rooms Division) Level 5

“My Tutor Jacques was also my mentor for this competition. He was very helpful and pushed me to achieve my very best and to get me out of my comfit zone. Because of this experience I am now a lot more confident when dealing with customers, especially as English is a second language for me.

Cornell is a great place to learn and improve on your knowledge. The icareer department are very helpful and knowable when helping you look for a job in Auckland. ”

Gold Medal, National Culinary Fare, 2016




Candice Siazan

Diploma in Hotel Management, Level 6

“Olivia Ramos was my tutor and mentor. My training has been very beneficial to my career progress. It has given me the confidence and skills to advance quickly through my chosen field. Olivia is very passionate about the Hospitality Industry and has a huge amount of knowledge.

I will refer this school to my friends as it has not only given me the level 6 qualification but also hands on experience which is invaluable when looking for the right job’s in Auckland.”

Gold Medal, Regional Culinary Fare, 2016






Ma. Karina K. Makasaet

Diploma in Hospitality (Operational Management & Rooms Division) Level 5

“I had no idea about coffee making and ‘barista’ skills until I started studying at Cornell. My tutor Olivia Ramos, encouraged me to enter the culinary fare in 2016. My competition success has given me an edge over other candidates and also looks great on my C.V.

I would highly recommend Cornell to my friends as I have not only gained a qualification but also a lot of practical skills as well, which has given me the confidence to grow in the Hospitality Industry”

Bronze Medal, National Culinary Fare, 2016




Joanna Tabusares

Diploma in Hotel Management, L6

“Jauqes was my training tutor and helped me to build up my confidence before I entered the competition. He taught me how to fold napkins and how to set a table up under pressure. I am now more confident to move forward with my career as a result of his excellent training that I have received.

I also have an edge over other’s applying for jobs as this looks really good on my C.V. as well. I would highly recommend Cornell to my friends. I have learnt how to work hard and how to balance my studies with work.”

Silver Medal, National Culinary Fare, 2016



Ryuk Jo

New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Café Services and Bar Services) (Level 3)

Diploma in Hospitality – Level 5 (Operational Management & Rooms Division)

Where are you from?

Japan. I came over to New Zealand with my family.

I moved from Papermoon Mairangi Bay which is a workplace introduced to me by my tutor (Mohit Sharma) at the time.

My level 3 tutor Mohit knew the manager at Papermoon and helped me get a job there.

Throughout the course Mohit helped me and gave me advice to being a good bartender.

I want to gain more skills and knowledge to become a top bartender. Enter competitions where I can, challenge and improve myself to move up within the hospitality industry.



Beau McLean

Certificate in Hospitality (Operations & Supervision) Level 4


I was born in Australia, after which I moved to Scotland, and then I moved to New Zealand in 1997. Before coming to study at PBRS I was at Unitec studying Performance Technology, but I decided to come to The Professional Bar & Restaurant School so I could expand my qualifications and learn something new and exciting.

Hospitality is my passion, and I knew people who were going here who said it was really good, so I thought I would give it a go. I chose to study the Certificate in Hospitality (Operations & Supervision) Level 4 as it is a stepping stone to move up to a level 5 then a level 6 qualification.

My favourite part of studying here so far is learning about HR and the process of opening a bar, as it really puts you into the frame of mind of what is required to own your own business in the hospitality industry.

I currently work at Bestaff Hospitality Recruitment, through which I have worked at Vector Arena, SkyCity, Viaduct Events, and ASB Showgrounds, as well as contract catering at Spotless at Eden Park. Richard Doolan who runs Functionality, the PBRS employment agency, helped me get the job at Spotless.

After finishing my studies I want to move to Australia and work for Carnival Australia, working on a cruise ship, or to go to New Plymouth and study the level 7 and 8 courses at their Hospitality Management School.


Ashley Jordan Hunt

Certificate in Hospitality (Operations & Supervision) Level 4


Before I came to PBRS I had left high school in 2010, after which I spent two years working at The Warehouse being on call and mostly sitting around doing nothing with my life until a friend suggested to me that I join PBRS. I have quite a few friends who study here and everybody had really good things to say about the course.

I have never been an academic, but PBRS sets you up for success. The first month of the course (practical) gives you a taste of what working behind a bar would really be like. And even after you graduate if you think hospitality isn’t for you, you have the skills and the certificate to fall back on because it is NZQA recognised. So far I have really enjoyed our first block, as we got to make our own cocktails which were also judged. It brought us together as a class and we all got to know each other a lot better as it broke the ice.

Studying here has opened up the opportunity to work in hospitality straight away, as I am currently working as a bartender at Mainstreet Bar & Bistro in Henderson. Richard Doolan, who is the Careers Advisor at PBRS, helped me with the format and my language in my CV, and the tutors helped me with what I should expect in the interview, such as what sort of questions would be asked. Functionality (PBRS’ in-house employment agency) is always friendly and full of advice, and the tutors are always willing to give you one on one practical experience.After I graduate I plan to continue on all courses I possibly can, and maybe one day own and run my own bar.


Raven Panapa

Certificate in Hospitality (Operations & Supervision) Level 4


Before I came to The Professional Bar & Restaurant School I was studying at Education Action in Papakura, but after some thought I decided that I wanted to work in hospitality. My Grandmother was a caterer at Wesley College, and she used to get me to help her out, which I really enjoyed doing, so I knew I needed to change my studies to suit what made me happy. I saw the ad on TV and I thought “I really want to go there”, then when I came in and spoke with the staff I saw how cool they were and it sealed the deal for me.

I chose to study the Certificate in Hospitality (Operations & Supervision) Level 4 as I knew it would teach me everything I needed to know to go out and get a good job in the industry. My favourite part was the practical bar course, where you learn all the cocktails and practical skills. It is nerve racking coming in not knowing anyone, but from day one you make lots of friends.

I am currently working at Sun Yum Thai in Pukekohe. I got my job because one night when I was eating there I saw that they were really busy so I offered to help. They saw the skills that I learnt at The Professional Bar & Restaurant School and it really impressed them so they hired me.

When I am done studying I want to work my way up to be a manager of a restaurant and PBRS is teaching me everything I need to know to get my start in the hospitality industry. The Professional Bar & Restaurant School has helped me on this pathway more than I could have ever imagined.