Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hospitality Management grads conquer Whistler

Back in 2006, Stacy Ram (pictured right) and Christine McCann were new grads of the Douglas College Hospitality Management (HOSP) program. A mere six years later, both hold management positions at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler. They chose the HOSP program at Douglas because they knew it would give them the hands-on experience and work placement opportunities they needed to move up quickly in the hospitality industry.

Hired as

Christine: banquet server. Stacy: room attendant


Christine: Manager of Conference Services. Stacy: Regional Sales Manager - Canada’s Western Mountain Region

On life in Whistler

Stacy: “I love it. I came out here to do a work experience program through Douglas in the summer, after graduation. And then I went away for a year and I missed Whistler so much I had to come back.” Christine: “It’s a really good fit for me. All I have to do is walk out the door and I can go skiing or biking on some of the best runs and trails in the world.”

Fave part of job

Christine: “Working with people. I get to build fantastic relationships with my clients because I'll work with a lot of them for one to two years.” Stacy: “That it is not the same thing every day and that I can directly see the results of the hard work and commitment that I put in on a day to day basis”

Best thing about the HOSP program

Stacy: “Learning from instructors who were speaking from real experience and knowledge about the industry. Also I made a lot of great, long-term friendships with other students who had the same mindset as me and wanted to do the same thing.” Christine: “There were so many hands-on opportunities. And also the opportunities to work in Thailand or do the work experience program in Whistler. These things helped highlight the Douglas program over other hospitality management programs in Vancouver.”

Learning on the job

Stacy: “Textbooks can’t teach you interpersonal skills. You really have to learn them yourself from your own experiences.” Christine: “Be open to the learning opportunities when you start somewhere, regardless of what you are doing. If you're a room attendant or banquet server, ask all the questions you can. If people see you have a willingness to learn and have a positive attitude, things will happen for you.”

Wise words to new HOSP students

Christine: “Be patient. Roles change quickly, and if you really want to move up, work at a resort, because resorts generally tend to see higher turnover than city properties. You can advance really quickly if you’re willing to move.” Stacy: “Make sure you are passionate about what you do, push yourself outside of your comfort zone, take chances and have confidence in everything you do. And don't give up.”

For more information on the Hospitality Management program at Douglas College, visit our website or come to an info session Oct. 16 or Nov. 13 (Coquitlam) or Oct. 18 or Nov. 15 (New West).