The Hospitality Industry is one of the most misunderstood industries in the world, and yet it’s the #1 global employer that’s never short of work. Humber College’s School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism has a wide variety of innovative hospitality programs, including the Hosptiality and Tourism Operations Management program and so much more! These hospitality programs offer a community of support, help you develop the skills and experience needed in your field and give you real-life connections to hatch your career.
We had the chance to speak with three grads from the Humber’s Hospitality and Tourism Operations Management program. They share their experiences in the program, how it helped them hatch a career in the industry and what makes the Humber hospitality programs so valuable. What do they all have in common? They never expected to find themselves in the hospitality industry but are grateful that’s where they ended up!
Making Connections and Opening Doors
Gracie Reesor, an established hospitality professional with over 8 years of experience in the industry, chose to enroll in the Hospitality and Tourism Operations Management program to maximize her connections within the Toronto hospitality and tourism community. “I had never worked in the Toronto hospitality community and wanted to leverage my studies at Humber to meet new people before diving headfirst into a career here,” she says. One of the most valuable connections she made was with her professors. “I found the professors at Humber took time to get to know each student personally and offer assistance in any way they could,” she explains. It is always valuable to create real-life connections, this was especially true with Gracie’s Humber experience. Her professors helped to shape her time at Humber, providing valuable insight and support throughout the learning process.
Prior to starting the program, Gracie had a few job offers in the hospitality field but chose to decline until after her program was finished. “I’m thankful that I held off until the end of my program – the time I spent in classes broadened my perspective on the industry and where my best fit would be,” she says. She completed an internship after graduating from the Hospitality and Tourism Operations Management program and was introduced to a recruiter that lead to her first position at The Drake. “It was fate,” she exclaims! While Gracie is grateful for the doors that were opened after graduating from the hospitality program, she is also grateful for the practical, hands on learning she received. “I loved how hand-on and practical the course materials were at Humber. We were so spoiled with regular guest speakers and opportunities to tour various hotels and restaurants in Toronto,” she explains.
Finding New Passions and a New Career
Sonya Padovani, currently a Sales Coordinator for the historic Omni King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto, had found work previously in different fields after graduating from university, but nothing that she was passionate about. The Hospitality and Tourism Operations Management program was exactly what she needed. “I was intrigued that there was a program designed specifically for someone with my need. I already had post-secondary education; I needed a program with practical skills, networking possibilities and a short duration,” she says. Even though hospitality wasn’t initially her first choice, she realized how many opportunities there were to grow in this field and that it was able to cater to her passions.
Sonya did her research before applying the hospitality program and was able to connect with faculty members and former students currently working in the hospitality field. This gave her the confidence to apply, knowing others had a successful experience. “I liked how the faculty were approachable and the curriculum was very practical. I felt like I was making the right choice entering this program,” she says. Sonya wanted a career she was passionate about and the Hospitality and Tourism Operations Management program gave her the knowledge and skill set to achieve this. “I wanted a career, not just another job. Now I have a career path with options!” she explains. Throughout the program, Sonya was exposed to many different businesses in the industry that she could reference on her resume. Another benefit was the opportunity she was given to “refine information and job interview skills and techniques”, which she found to be extremely valuable to landing her job before even graduating!
Gaining Firsthand Experience
David Loney, a Management Trainee at the Marriot International, wanted to explore opportunities that would complement his Commerce degree and the hospitality industry. “This degree allowed me to combine my robust business knowledge with practical experience I needed to be successful in my career,” he says. David knew that practical experience in the industry was highly valuable. “I have a firm belief that in order to be successful in any industry, you must have firsthand experience working with customers and associates in that field of work,” he explains. Which is exactly what he did. Another enticing draw to the hospitality industry was the opportunity to be part of something big. “I chose the hospitality industry because it is undergoing many changes and it’s an exciting time to be involved…it has given me the opportunity to influence how the industry reshapes itself over the next decade,” he says.
Gaining many invaluable skills, David was most thankful for the specific industry knowledge that helped him transition from school to work. “The practical knowledge such as the specific industry terminology, marketing tactics and networking allowed me to seamlessly transition into hospitality and not feel lost,” he says. The program was especially attractive to David as it offered an opportunity to launch his career quicker than other programs, as well as a personalized experience. “Small class sizes made every opportunity more personalized,” he explains. As many of his professors had tenured experience in the industry, it helped to provide a realistic perspective and insight to the daily functions of the field.
Hatching Your Career in a Thriving Industry
Taught by accomplished industry experts, the Hospitality and Tourism Operations Management program provides students with real life environments and scenarios to prepare for your career. With over 500 industry contacts to grow your network, you’ll be ready to enter the industry in no time. If you’re looking to hatch your career in a thriving industry with no shortage of opportunities, then pursue your passions with Humber’s hospitality programs today!