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Hospitality management executive cohort: Q&A with Joel Rivera

Posted on August 16, 2016

News-Joel-Rivera-380Meet Joel Rivera, a graduate of the Bachelor of Hospitality Management Executive Cohort program.‌

What is your current career? 

I am very happy to be the Director of Human Resources for one of the most iconic hotels in Vancouver, The Westin Bayshore.

Why did you choose this career?

I happened into this industry because it was a job while in university, but I fell in love with it immediately. There is something about the hospitality industry that just enables me to be me. Whether it's helping guests "be a better you," "thrive in their space" or "create memorable moments," it's who I am and it's a natural fit.

Why did you choose VCC?

I wanted to complete my post-secondary education, but needed to work while doing so. VCC offered the best program that not only catered to my educational needs and goals, but also had the flexibility to best fit my working lifestyle. It also allowed for me to still keep some balance in my personal life.

What makes you glad you chose VCC?

VCC has instructors who are tuned into what is happening in the industry; the majority of them are currently working in the industry. The in-class and online materials are valid and filled with "real" up to date examples. You don't hear, "I remember when..." Instead, the program covers subject matter such as social media marketing, current HR hot topics such as employee/labour relations, RFP and bidding using our current markets. It was great to get takeaways that we can use immediately in our day to day work.

My favourite aspect about the Executive Cohort programs would have to be the learning from my peers. There is such a wealth of knowledge in these classes! We had hospitality practitioners from every area; GMs, operations, finance, revenue management, sales and HR.

"As an HR professional, this program gave me the skills to be a true business partner within my organization, to add value to the team. When I sit in meetings, I am confident."


Train to excel in hospitality management. Registration is now open for classes starting in September.