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Guest speakers providing industry insights and perspectives at Arbutus

An important part of the international student learning experience is getting to hear from industry professionals. Guest speakers provide a level of insight and a perspective that cannot be learned from reading a textbook; they are able to reflect on their own personal experiences as a working professional and offer examples of how theories can relate to the real world. For this reason, Arbutus College asks a number of guest speakers to come in each term to talk to students about what they can expect once they have graduated.
Arbutus College’s hospitality management programs help students develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the global hospitality and tourism industries. By hearing from guest speakers, they are taken beyond basic training as they learn and understand the complex and varying needs of clients and how to resolve problems swiftly.
One such example of this occurred recently, when Lianne Leonardi, Director of Revenue Management for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Vancouver, came to speak to students. Ms Leonardi discussed the importance of revenue management – a subject the students are currently learning. By hearing from Ms Leonardi, students were able to get a glimpse into the day-to-day importance of revenue management in the industry. It helped students to build an important connection between the concepts and techniques they were learning in the classroom and how those are used in the workplace. Once the peak tourist season in over in September, students will be meeting Ms. Leonardi again when they go to the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel and see how she implements the strategies she discussed to maximise revenue.
To further students’ understanding about revenue management and how it applies in the industry, in early August they went on an excursion to a large restaurant chain to learn how restaurants implement revenue management. The following week, students attended Crowne Plaza Hotel to see front office operations – the other course students were learning at the time.
All of these opportunities to hear from guest speakers have been positively received by the students, who find them an invaluable learning experience.
To find out more about Arbutus College, please contact Tanja Milosevic.