I was fortunate enough to be part of the BBAH program at the NOTL campus. My time at Niagara College has really assisted me in my career and personal life. How was a college program so beneficial? – let me tell you: The school itself was always spotless, it is easy to navigate and the staff working there were very friendly. The library has a plethora of research materials, online journals, and private study rooms. One of the best things about the BBAH program was our professors. They had many years of real industry experience, and elevated education (masters/doctorates) you’d expect to see at a university. With our small class sizes, you really got to know the professors and your classmates. The network you build from this program will stretch provinces, countries, and industries. The program isn’t all fun and games. There are classes that will push you to think differently and will make you understand the industry in a broader and/or more global sense. I’ve used the strategic thinking methods and approaches, I’ve gained from this program numerous times in my career. One of the best things about the program was our co-ops. Starting with the career fairs, all the big Niagara region hotels, restaurants and travel agencies came to us. No need to cold call, or have your resume lost in a computer system! Because of this program I was able to work with great hotel brands such as Fairmont, Skyline, and Marriott. From the success of my last co-op, as soon as I graduated I secured a job in BC, which I would have never dreamed possible if it were not for the BBAH program.
The College’s job fair allows an abundance of companies to come to the school and display themselves. I was able to work for Fairmont for 2 of my summer co-ops and 1 summer at Deerhurst due to the exposure and meeting the HR managers. From Deerhurst, I met my future employer and moved to Kelowna, BC right after graduating.
During one of my courses with Professor Janet Jakobsen, I learned of an event held in Washington D.C that was looking for volunteers. A bunch of students applied and went to Washington with Janet for 5 days. This experience of being part of a massive program really made an impression with me and events.
When the job posting for the Events Coordinator became available at my current property, I was able to showcase my knowledge and experience which helped me in getting the job. The Revenue Management course taught by Dr. Paul Willie from the BBAH program gave me an opportunity to receive a CHIA (Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics) designation. The Director of Sales and Marketing at my current place of employment found that I have this certification and was impressed by the accomplishment especially since our property uses the STAR report. Soon after our Sales Coordinator resigned, I was offered the position because she believed I would be a good fit for her and the Sales team.