From the Beginning…
It all started in grade 12, college selection time. I was either going to George Brown for some for some culinary program (I’m a loooowkey chef) or Centennial for Hospitality and Tourism Administration.
Why not something cosmetic related since I’m into makeup? After taking my high school co-op at a beauty salon, that helped me realize yeah I love helping ladies boost their confidence by complimenting their eyes with a bumpin’ shadow to make them pop, but not enough to do it full time for the rest of my life. That industry requires a ton of devotion I wasn’t willing to give. Its now my hobby, my main goal in life was to travel and get paid doing it. I chose,
Centennial College for Hospitality and Tourism Administration.
September 2011 enrolled as a full time student. During first semester I had a course called Dimensions of Tourism. This was the class that helped my organize the rest of my life to be honest. Kind of extreme, but it’s true. There are 8 sectors of the hospitality and tourism industry. Recently, the industry condensed it to five; – Transportation – Accommodation – Food and Beverage – Recreation and Entertainment – Travel Services
After learning what each sector was about I realized one thing. I WANT to be in contact with people, like direct, up close and personal. Funny considering the fact that I tend to say I don’t like people. It’s the conversation with someone from a different walk of life I find so, intriguing. You could learn a lot from that, and that is what I wanted. Now, time to filter out where I want to start. Where I want to start meaning, I did and still do, plan on experiencing as many parts of the industry as I could. Transportation, I ain’t driving nooooo Mega Bus or Greyhound. Don’t plan on flying a damn West Jet aircraft either so nah. That sector most definitely wasn’t for me. Now accommodations was and area I did have my mind on. Working in a nice, prim and proper hotel could be my thing. As well as food and beverage, I also found that sector appealing, because I like food and I like to drink 🙂 Recreation and Entertainment sounded exciting, working special events like elaborate formals and social events was something I could see myself doing. Travel services was especially appealing to me because traveling and getting paid for it was my main goal anyway.
My conclusion? I wanted to do everything but transportation, not bad. Why not get a head start? The job hunt began, I was looking for jobs within the industry, just on a smaller scale. I had no idea where to start, so I talked to my dad. He’s one of those people, that just knows people. Ask him if he could help me out, since he helped me get my first job (I’ll talk about that a bit later). My dad knew the manager of a near by Starbucks! I had an interview, got the job, BAM! I was a barista. Fancy, yes a Starbucks employee job title is a barista, if you didn’t know that before, now you do.
Now, in my second year of college, working two jobs, something had to give. At this point in my life i need to stop doing things that weren’t leading me into the direction I wanted to go. This meant leaving my FIRST job, Marks formally known as Marks Work Warehouse. It was a retail establishment that specialized in selling construction wear for men among other apparel for both genders. I started working there summer of 2008 and from there is where I learned a good portion of my customer service skill, s/o to Marks. Leaving there was bittersweet, been there for 5 years, helped get me through high school formals, buy hot gyal clothes for Civis/Dress Down Day (I went to a uniform high school), but I realized I’m getting older, time to step things up.
After 2 years, I could now say I have food and beverage experience under my belt and I haven’t graduated yet. You see how planning ahead works? Being in a 3 year hospitality program (that I stretched out for personal reasons) all the courses I took, taught me about every single part of the industry in one way or another. All my profs worked in the field of the course they were teaching, I had one prof that owned a bread and breakfast teaching us the ins and outs of hotels, like what each room requires as well as payroll etc. Another prof was teaching the different type of tours people go on and how one is organized, he owns a tour company. I needed to experience what else was out there.
Summer 2014 was my intern/co-op semester. I had to decide which one of all the courses I took I would like to experience first hand. I was already in the food and beverage industry so that was out. Why not try accommodations. Toronto is known for having some of the best hotels, Royal York, Ritz, Hazelton, Shangri-La, Trump, just to name a few. Told the co-op prof where I wanted to start, hotels, and we went from there. Her next question stumped me. “Okay, where in hotels would you like to be placed?” LOL maaaaan I never thought that far! I was too busy thinking of all the discounts I could get just “working” in one! Imagine laying up in the Shangri-La just because you got the room at a discounted rate, levels. Good thing I’m so open to this industry, I’ll work in any department, besides housekeeping, anything but that for obvious reasons and that’s what I told her. With the information I provided my prof with, these were my options; Thompson Hotel – Banquets Department or the Sheraton Centre – Downtown for Meetings and Events. I had an interview at both and although I reeeeeeally wanted to be placed at the Thompson (have you seen that place?!), the Sheraton Centre was willing to have me as their intern from May to August of 2014, yay!
Wanna find out how that went?
…keep Cruising with Cocoa 🙂