“I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world.”
Providing opportunities to be prepared
Angela Muise, a fifth year student in the Mount’s Tourism and Hospitality Management program, has dreamed of a career in the tourism industry since her days in Junior High. When weighing her options for university, Angela considered leaving home to study abroad, but discovered a program right here at home. A short commute and an attractive co-operative education program helped Angela’s decision, and her search officially ended after attending an Open Campus Day event. “My tour guide ended up being a student in the Tourism and Hospitality program. She told me about her co-op experiences all over Canada and really prepared me for what to expect.”
“Travelling to Spain was one of my greatest experiences.”
Angela’s desire to gain real world experience with the material she was learning in class resulted in a decision to decrease her workload and extend her time at the Mount. Angela firmly believes her choice has resulted in a broader understanding of the industry. “Some students forgo co-op or exchange opportunities because it can delay your graduation, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world.”
Through the international exchange program, Angela spent a semester studying in Murcia, Spain. “The experience opened my eyes to international tourism – to a whole new culture,” she says. “I left Spain with four class credits and a Certificate in International Sustainable Tourism Management.”
The impact of diversity and faculty mentorship
Angela credits the program’s variety of required courses for preparing her for the future. “Our classes range from business and languages to electives in event management and organizational behavior,” she says. “For students like me, with no experience serving or working in a kitchen, taking the restaurant management course in the Mount’s teaching kitchen gave me a brand new skill set.”
And aside from course work, Angela boasts strong relationships with faculty. “The professors here want to help students reach their goals. Many of my own professors know what I want to do 10 years from now because they sat with me, talked about the future and offered great advice.”
Looking to the future with confidence
Three completed co-op work terms at Spirit Spa, The Haliburton House Inn and most recently as a tour guide with The Harbour Hopper have given Angela sharpened skills, increased confidence and a sense of resourcefulness. “My work terms gave me the confidence to become the professional I am now,” she says.
“A few years ago, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you about what I’m planning to do with my life. There’s something to be said about facing situations that test yourself.”
Angela has her sights set on being the future owner and manager of a boutique hotel. “I want to own a 12 to 15 room ‘hole in the wall’ property – something original that will surprise guests.” Inspired by her travels and a love of collaborating with others, Angela is well on her way to a bright future in the tourism industry.