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Lin Tang is the kind of person you'd want managing your finances. She’s good with numbers, a strategic thinker, and a natural problem-solver with an associate degree in business and a background in statistics.
Early in her career, however, Lin found that her skills were perfectly suited to another industry altogether – hotel management.
Lin was in the middle of a university statistics program when she realized she enjoyed her part-time hotel job more than her studies. “I was sitting in the lab and I had no clue what my T.A. was talking about,” she says. “At that moment, I figured this is not what I wanted.”
Lin then began researching post-secondary hospitality programs and found that Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) Bachelor of Hospitality Management (BHM) program was the best fit. “I wasn’t interested in tourism. I wanted to learn hotel operations, cost controls, and accounting. That’s why I chose VCC.”
Keeping the peace
Thanks to her past jobs as well as practicum experiences in the BHM program, Lin has also discovered a special talent for dealing with “drama.”
During a recent windstorm and power outage, Lin remembers running the halls with flashlights, reassuring panicked guests, and carrying luggage through stairwells. “It was so fun!” she says.
On another occasion, her hotel’s computer system was unexpectedly cut off, leaving the staff without access to bookings, accounts, or even housekeeping schedules. “We had over 350 rooms and did everything manually,” she says, smiling. “I’m so glad that I went through that. Now, whatever happens, I know I can handle it.”
Today, Lin works as a reservation agent at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre – a part of Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain. Lin’s long-term goal is to move into hotel revenue management. “This is it,” she says. “This is the industry I’ll spend my life in.”
Lin’s other passion is travelling, so getting employee discounts at more than 6,500 properties in 127 countries is a definite perk. “I really enjoy my staff benefits,” she says.
Lin feels that the academic knowledge and industry connections she gained at VCC have set her up for success. Now with 12 years of hotel experience, she’s excited about the future. “Right now, I feel like I have so many opportunities,” she says. “It’s just up to me to figure out what I want to do next.”
Where can a hospitality career take you? Find out at Passport to Hospitality, a series of interactive workshops (with prizes!) at our Experience VCC open house Oct. 4 at the Broadway campus.