By KIMBERLY SMITH
All work and no play was not the case for 45 Niagara College students invited to a co-operative recruitment weekend at the JW Rosseau Marriott.
The all-inclusive weekend at the resort overlooking Lake Rosseau in Port Carling, Ont., was to give students from the Hotel and Restaurant Management, Tourism Development, Bachelor of Applied Hospitality and Culinary Management programs an idea of the hotel and all it had to offer as a potential co-op placement.
The application process was similar to applying for a job. Students were required to submit a resumé, reference letters and a 150-word essay explaining why they would be a good candidate.
Niagara College was the only school invited.
"The reason we were chosen is because our students have great attitudes and want to learn from the ground up," says Kathryn Leistner, co-operative education consultant.
"Rosseau Marriott was impressed with our college and the calibre of students that came out to see them at the Hospitality Career Fair in February 2010," says Leistner.
Throughout the weekend, students took part in tours, workshops, culinary demos, team building activities and a lakeside campfire.
"Upon arrival we were provided with lunch as well as a short presentation about the entire Marriott Company," says Christine Moore, 20, of Wiarton, Ont.
"During lunch we had a chance to talk amongst the individuals at our table, and I was lucky enough to be sitting with Julie and Sarah, who currently work at the hotel in the Human Resource Department. We were then given a thorough tour of the establishment.
‘As the day continued, we participated in one of three workshops. I completed the interview workshop, and I found this to be an amazing opportunity to experience what the staff at this Marriott location expects when interviewing for new employees."
Amber Jones, 28, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., says, "We got to experience some of the team-building activities the Rosseau offers to their guests and corporate clients. We were also lucky enough to have round-table discussions with some of the management team from departments such has food and beverage, sales and marketing and housekeeping."
"The pièce de résistance was the warm bonfire awaiting our arrival at the end of the scavenger hunt race.
"The option to roast marshmallows and indulge in delicious hot chocolate and gooey s’mores was merely an added bonus, one we all appreciated," says Mitchell Cocroft, 22, of Grimsby, Ont.
Jones says she thinks the weekend was successful.
"Being able to experience the hotel itself and interact with the staff the way we were able to gives a totally different perspective than just researching a property online."
"Having the chance to discuss specific positions and opportunities for advancement within the company allowed us to ask questions we never would have been able to had we not been a part of the trip," says Jones.
Moore says she "hopes that they showed the qualities they were looking for in future employees."
"I thought this trip was an amazing opportunity provided to the Hospitality and Culinary
programs at Niagara College. It gave us all the chance to experience the atmosphere and the relationships that we could possibly
be a part of for six months in 2011.
"I am comfortable saying it was an experience every single one of us thoroughly enjoyed.
"We are grateful Marriott was able to do this for us."
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