Study Abroad at Lang
BComm student, Claire Parke's goal is to work in the global hospitality finance industry. Through her study abroad and co-op experiences in Australia and Lake Louise, she is creating her own unique career path.
"My experiences at Lang have shown me different areas of the hospitality industry that I would like to pursue after graduation. I also have made connections with people currently working in the industry who I have been able to rely on for advice and support."
Claire Parke, BComm
Major: Hospitality and Tourism Management
Hometown: Caledonia, ON
Why did you choose UofG/Lang for your Commerce degree?
"I was always very interested in business and the hospitality industry. However, within Canada, there are only a few hospitality programs. I was debating between another business school and UofG, but it was the campus visit that sold Guelph for me. The community feeling of the campus made me feel welcomed and right at home."
What additional experiences have you added to your degree?
"This is my second year as a member of the HFTMSA (the major’s main student association) and this year I am the Director of Finance.
I also took part in a student work experience at the Fairmont Lake Louise where I worked in the fine dining room. The third year of my program was a co-op year where I worked at a Marriott hotel at a number of different roles, including the front desk, marketing and accounting. I was able to help integrate a new cloud-based operations system across a number of hotels.
I also completed a study abroad in Australia during my fourth year. This was the best decision I have ever made! I made great friends, explored a beautiful country and experienced a new culture and University setting."
How have these experiences helped you shape your career path?
"My experiences have shown me different areas of the industry that I would like to pursue after graduation. I also have made connections with people currently working in the industry who I have been able to rely on for advice and support. I have also learned that I would love to work abroad at some point in my career."
Looking back on your time at Lang, how do you feel you have grown as a person?
"My time at Lang has taught me many valuable things about myself. I have grown in my self-confidence and in my capabilities in the workplace. Over these last four years, I have learned what facet of the hospitality industry I would like to pursue, and how to network with employers. I have also found the confidence to speak up for myself or for others, whether in a job or group project situation. I have learned that in order for a project to get done to the best of our abilities it is important to read whether the situation demands leadership and/or delegating responsibilities to everyone’s strengths. University has taught me the importance of hard work and the benefits of constantly pushing myself outside of my comfort zone."