Tell us about your career path and your accomplishments?
When I took a plane for the first time, I knew immediately that this was the industry I wanted to work in when I grew up. After doing a DEC program in Tourism Techniques, I landed an internship with AMEX Corporate Travel Agency as a ticket agent.I was then hired by the reservations team at Trafic Tours, known today as Transat Tours Canada (TTC). TTC was a growing company and I was able to evolve with them.
After nine years, I became an operations agent. I was in direct contact with hotels and suppliers to make sure products were properly uploaded in the system, ready to book for our clients.
I eventually became a supervisor, with my role being to manage the schedules of 25 coordinators and ensure that the team had the right tools to work with.
In due course I merged with the product department, where I participated in the creation of travel brochures, making sure the information was accurate before it was sent for publication.
After 27 years at TTC, I started at Air Canada Vacations as a coordinator for the product build team. I ensure hotels are open for sale, report all reservations, negotiate lower cut-offs and additional rooms to sell, enter contract prices and information into the systems, while also assisting and supporting the destination representatives. Most importantly, I help maintain good relationships with the partners/suppliers over the course of the many years working together. I hope to grow with them as much as I did at TTC!
How did your education at LaSalle College help you?
LaSalle College helped me explore different avenues that I could have ventured into, including working as a travel agent, destination representative, tour guide, airline ticket agent, flight attendant or in the back office setting up the different products offered to travelers.
There are various jobs in this field and the program helped me to learn the extensive language of the travel industry.
What advice would you give to our Tourism students?
Strong communication skills and knowledge of different languages are very important in this field. It makes it easier to get job opportunities and pick up experience. Choose an avenue and live the experience. Anything you do will contribute to additional knowledge, helping you to grow in the industry.
Always remember your clients make your job possible. Share your expertise and experiences because the world is huge and it can take a lifetime to explore it all.