Q: Name? Age?
A. Heidi Ahrens, Age 28
Q. Program and year graduated?
A. Hotel & Restaurant Management, Graduated 2015
Q. What is your current position?
A. Restaurant Manager / Assistant Events Manager at Oliver and Bonacini Cafe Grill inside The Westin Trillium House Hotel, Blue Mountain.
Q. Which class did you find most beneficial?
A. The most beneficial class for me, hands down, was the Tourism Careers class. It provided me the skills I needed to apply to jobs, interview skillfully, and land the job I wanted. I still use the techniques I learned in that class today.
Q. What do you enjoy about your career?
A. I currently work for a restaurant based out of a hotel and I enjoy learning every aspect of the hotel, restaurant, and events industry. I also enjoy mentoring and teaching new staff about the industry. I enjoy being a part of a team that constantly provides impressive service and learning how to be the best at what we do, and I love the feeling of the energy emitted from a large team and a lively environment.
Q. What advice would you give future/current students taking this program?
A. The best advice I could future students taking this program, or any program is to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. The only limitations you have are in your mind. Every day I see so many great employees with huge potential that are just afraid to try. I would suggest striving to work for the company that you think is outside of your reach, and find a company to work for that shares the same values you do.
Q. What was the biggest obstacle you faced during your time as a student?
A. The biggest obstacle I faced during my time as a student was figuring out where I fit in and how to get to where I want to be. I graduated the program and went back to being a waitress because I knew I wanted to be in restaurants, which was really hard on the ego, but now I'm glad I did it.
Q. In what ways did Humber prepare you for the work world?
A. Humber prepared me for the work world through my Careers class, Internships, lectures and site visits. Humber's faculty is straight out of the industry and they know what they are talking about.
Q. What opportunities would you urge other students to take advantage of?
A. I would urge students to seriously reflect on where they want to be and what they want to do before they get to 4th semester and are applying for internships. I would urge students to apply for the internship that will get them a foot in the door and as close as possible to where they would love to work. This is 90% of the battle of getting to where you want to be. Once they can see your work ethic and personality, they will offer students a position if one is available. Don't underestimate the opportunity associated with internships.
Q. In your opinion, what are 5 crucial skills needed to preform your job?
1. Time management
2. A can-do attitude
3. Don't let making mistakes get you down
4. People person / social skills
5. Above all else, you just have to care about what you're doing
Q. Why Hospitality?
A. I've heard professionals from all different industries say that they would hire anyone with a background in hospitality before other candidates, even if they didn't have experience in their required field. Hospitality is fun and it can take you anywhere in the world!