The Business & Tourism department at MSVU is a community of people, experiences, opinions and voices. Our blog will reflect that community with the inclusion of guest bloggers who have stories to share of value to our community.
Today's guest blogger is Lauren Perry, a second year tourism student who has just returned after her first co-op experience in Jasper. AB.
I just got back from an amazing summerco-op work experience working for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts at their Jasper,Alberta location. Last fall I heard about the opportunity and applied not even expectingan interview. Yet, after a few phone calls and interviews back and forth I wasoffered a job with their housekeeping department in late January.
Beforeleaving the Mount last spring I began to doubt my decision slightly as everyonewas talking about going home for the summer. However, although I had justfinished my first year, I embraced the experience and tried to learn as much asI could.
Showing initiative really paid off for me.If you show a passion for something, I have now learned, you will be rewarded.My managers knew from the beginning that I was there on co-op and they providedme with so many great experiences as I showed a desire to achieve within theindustry. I had thought that I would just be another room attendant and wouldget lost in the mix within such a large company. However, I got to advance tothe late shift after just over a month, I shadowed front desk for a day, mymanagers, and other housekeeping personnel, and I even got to fill in as clerkfor a few days while they were on vacation. My manager made a point to give mespecial tasks and said as I left Jasper that I could contact him aboutabsolutely anything. He was a huge part in making my experience out west trulymemorable.
When leaving Jasper I felt a mix ofemotions. I took away so many great pictures, and had so many great memoriesexploring a region I had never experienced before; however I did miss home andwas ready to get back into the swing of things at the Mount. I am so glad thatI experienced this my first summer away from home. I have truly grown as an individual.I was sad to leave people I met, and the memories I made, but I will alwaysremember this summer.
Everyone at the Mount told me I would comeback a different person. I did not believe them. However, having a trulymemorable first co-op experience has changed me. I learned a lot about myselfliving away from home and encountering new relationships. I also got to learn alot about the tourism industry and where my career may take me. If I can giveany advice to new students, or any students taking co-op, I would say toexplore any options that come your way, and truly do not limit yourself. Keepyour options completely open and great things will come. Also, turn to supportfrom your friends and family as well as Profs and the co-op office.
You may bewondering, where will I go for my next co-op experience? Honestly, I have noidea. I want to keep my options open. It may be for Fairmont, or it may not. Idefinitely want to explore more and see what another department and locationcould bring to my development. MSVU, do like I did and get out there and “bepart of something big”.