- Bilingual English & French
- Over 8 years of Customer Service experience
- Basic knowledge of reservation systems (Sirev, Sabre & Apollo)
- Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel
- Basic marketing & accounting
I am on my final year at Collège LaSalle. I will be graduating in Summer 2017. During my 3 years at LaSalle I have learnt many new things, gained new knowledge and have discovered new interests! Here is a brief description of all the courses I took at the college and what I enjoyed most about them.
The most obvious course I enjoyed of course were all of the “Cultural & Tourist Attractions”. In these courses, I learnt about all the different countries’ history, culture and the popular tourist attractions. What fascinates me the most is the rich history and the various cultures that each country possess. Since I have not travelled around the world and do not have the means at the moment; reading and researching about these countries makes me feel like I am there.
Since I love to learn about different countries and their cultures, it ties down to my interest in languages. I really enjoyed my “Introduction & Practical Spanish” course. I am already bilingual with English and French. Currently, I am practicing my Spanish using an amazing app called “Duolingo”. I would love to learn more than just Spanish one day.
Aside from my great interest about all the countries, I really love customer service and I am a people person. I have over 8 years of experience in customer service and I love it. I currently work in a competitive retail store. The course “Managing a Work Team” gave me insights on how to work in a team, how to handle and resolve situations with colleagues in order to work more efficiently together.
Customer service also involves selling. I really enjoy when I can help out a customer find what they are looking for. In the “Selling Tourism Products” class, what I liked most was the FAB selling technique, how to rebuttal and to really find out what is holding the customer back and to suggest other products in order not to lose a sale. I use these techniques at my current job and it just feels so natural! I can proudly say that I am very comfortable with selling a product or a service. To add to that, in order to be an amazing seller and give excellent customer service, the courses “Professional Relationships in Tourism” and “The Art of Communication in Tourism” has 100% helped me give my 100% or more to all of my clients. Both of these courses have taught me how to find out a client’s needs and wants; and how to communicate to a client professionally.
I have also completed the CQRHT customer service workshop and have obtained a certificate upon completing it. The workshop has aided and guided me on how to welcome a client, how to give them excellent service, how to deal with unsatisfied customers and to still offer the best customer service even in tough situations.
The tourism program has also opened my interest in marketing. Naturally, I am a curious person so I love searching for new things, topics etc. What I loved about marketing was the research; I’ve always been told that I was good at looking or searching for information. This program has also taught me how to obtain secondary data collections by conducting surveys, interviews and focus groups. We did have a project in which it was required to create a survey to obtain secondary data. We handed out surveys in a target area to find out people’s restaurant experiences. I also really enjoyed “Tourism Promotion”; I think that’s the fun part of marketing once you know what the objectives are. It gives me the chance to show the creative side of me. This course taught me how to raise customer awareness of a product or a brand, how to generate sales and how to create brand loyalty by also using different communication tools, attractive logos and slogans, etc. I’d also like to share a quote that one of my marketing teachers said numerous amounts of time: “Marketing isn’t something that you can understand in just one day, it takes a lifetime.” This quote will always stick to me because it’s true, as beginners, we feel overwhelmed and are bombarded with loads of new knowledge. We’re not USBs and it really helped encourage me to not give up.
Package creation, FITs and events were other courses I enjoyed. I had a project to do for my FIT class and I had fun with it. I had created an itinerary for honeymooners going to Bali for 2 weeks in Indonesia. I had to contact and email receptive agencies in Bali in order to get quotes and itinerary samples. I also had to find hotels, flights, tour guides, excursions etc. I really enjoyed this class because it taught me how to build from scratch a package for individual or group travellers. I also had to use PC Voyages to enter all of the client’s information and how to create a bill that shows the breakdown of the total price, taxes, OPC and commissions.
I’ve pretty much found interest in 90% of all the courses in my program. The 10% goes to the “Accounting and Financial Operations in Tourism”. I cannot say that I disliked both of these classes because it was like a love/hate relationship I felt with accounting and numbers in general. The only reason I didn’t enjoy it was because I didn’t understand anything at all. After putting my heart and soul to try to understand it and with practice, it became easier for me. Give me a calculator and I’m set! This class taught me how to understand and use the accounting equation, how to enter and record in journals, log book entries, how to create a balance sheet, making an income statement and how to use Excel to enter data, formulas that calculate totals and much more. With more practice, I believe that I could pursue a career in accounting. I’ve always thought my weakest learning subject was math but to my surprise I really enjoyed accounting once I pushed myself to understand it.
As for the courses “Tourism & Careers”, “Responsible Tourism” and “Tourism Products & Clientele”, all of them gave me new insights and knowledge about the tourism industry. I learnt what jobs were available and maybe to start thinking about what career path I would want to take. I also learnt about the pros and cons of the tourism industry, how it can create many job opportunities and revenues for some countries but also how it could destroy the environment due to mass tourism and pollution. I also learnt about all the different types of tourism, the different types of travellers and about the different types of accommodations. These courses also touched bases on the new travel trends.
Finally, I was fortunate to be taught as a kid on how to use a computer. So I am very tech-savvy and up-to-date with technology. I can say that I’m very comfortable learning how to use new systems and technologies. So for “Distribution & Reservation Networks” it was more of an understanding of how search engines worked, how information was distributed and an introduction to GDS and how they work. This leads to the “Reservation Systems” courses. I have learnt the basics of how to use the reservation systems for Apollo, Sabre and Sirev. I learnt different codes and how to enter them to find flights, hotels and car rentals. In class, the teacher had given plenty of scenarios where I had to book the flights and accommodations, how to enter the clients profile, how to retrieve an existing customer, how to find rates and room descriptions etc. It was a little hectic when the scenario given was a little more demanding and detailed but with practice, I got through it!
In conclusion, I tried to keep my 4 years experience at LaSalle College short and sweet, but in these 4 years I have learnt so much and will only keep learning, forever. Not every class was a walk in the park, I’ve had ups and downs…but one thing about me is that I never give up. I also believe that practice makes perfect. I plan on taking all of this new knowledge towards my path to success and future career!