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Gracie Reesor

Program and year graduated: Hospitality and Tourism Operations Management (HTOM), 2013.

Current position and summary of role: Corporate Training Manager for Drake Hotel Properties (The Drake Hotel, Drake One Fifty, Drake Devonshire, Drake Commissary and Drake General Stores). I oversee the training and on-boarding programs for all 500 plus Drake employees.

What do you love about your job/career?

I love the people I work alongside every day – they are true hospitality professionals with killer work ethic and who genuinely care about the guest experience. In the time I have been with The Drake, we have grown together. I started as the Daytime Food & Beverage Manager of our flagship hotel and now I oversee training and on-boarding for all 500 plus Drake employees across five properties and the Drake General Stores (the retail arm of our company).  

How did Humber help you?  

Beyond the classroom, I found the professors at Humber took time to get to know each student personally and offer assistance in any way they could. This has extended far beyond my time at Humber. I regularly keep in touch with them, in fact, I invited two to my wedding!

Where are there growth opportunities in your field? 

I would encourage the folks in special events programs to consider getting their start in operational roles, such as Food and Beverage Supervisor. You need to know how the business normally operates in order to effectively run it during events. Also, seriously consider back-of-house roles (such as prep or line cook) – restaurants cannot run without qualified and professional cooks!

Why should students consider hospitality as a career? 

Growth potential – you can quickly move up the ranks in this industry if you have a strong work ethic and positive, willing-to-learn attitude. Transferrable skills – if you choose to travel while building your resume, know that hospitality is the #1 global employer and there’s never a shortage of work.

Written by Sean McNeely