On June 15, two Niagara College students from the Culinary Management Co-Op program, Shania Gordon and Sade Thomas, departed for Galway, Ireland, for a four-month work abroad trip at Delphi Resort. Their applied learning opportunity abroad was supported by the Be World Ready program.
“I’ve never been out of the country before, I think it’ll be a big stepping stone in the start of my career,” said Gordon, who is currently in the first year of her program. “I have always wanted to travel the world since I could remember and this is a great way to start travelling. I chose to get involved in a work abroad experience to push myself to try new and exciting things.”
Gordon shared that she hopes she will be able to learn a different style of cuisine apart from Canadian.
“I hope to learn all the ins and outs about the food they cook, the way they cook it, where they get their food from, the different ingredients they use, and the style of cooking,” said Gordon. “I would love to learn and hopefully master the different techniques they use.
“I want to learn how the front and back of house work together as a team to provide a great dining experience. I would also hope to learn how a great and successful business is run.”
In addition to learning skills through the Hospitality industry in Ireland, Gordon highlighted how she is interested in enhancing her cultural competence, and is hoping to gain a better understanding of Ireland and its people.
Gordon complimented the support she receives from Niagara College, particularly guidance from members of the Indigenous Education department. Gordon proudly explained how she comes from a First Nations reserve called Walpole Island, also known as Bkejwanong Territory which means, “where the water divides.”
Indigenous student counsellor Jamie Warren expressed her excitement for Gordon as she prepares to experience the world outside of Canada. Warren advised the student to embrace the adventure and say “yes” to as many opportunities as possible.
“I tell the students I work with about the importance of travelling as it leads to new experiences, personal growth and is an opportunity to go beyond the boundaries of their community,” said Warren. “It is an opportunity to get to know the world and get to know themselves more through those experiences.
“The students are not just trying to get an education, but they are also trying to become stronger members of their communities as well.”
Warren reflected on a time when Gordon shared that she was going home for the holidays, and that her family wanted her to cook the holiday meal. “The skills students are developing are being applied when they are at home in their communities,” she said. “They are strengthening their communities by strengthening themselves through their education.”
Cheryl Evans, employer relations consultant, Career Services, shared how the connection with Delphi Resort started with one student who did an amazing job and resulted in additional opportunities for the College’s Hospitality Co-op students.
“When students work abroad, they are able to acquire transferable skills like adaptability, resilience and confidence – valuable competencies that employers look for when hiring prospective employees,” said Evans.
Evans explained how co-op is more than a seasonal job; it is an opportunity for students to work in their desired industry, connect with new mentors and professional career networks, as well as gain new skills to add to their resume.
The international work abroad opportunity at Delphi Resort, Ireland, provides a culturally diverse learning environment. Gordon and Thomas will not only gain a competitive edge to launch their careers, but also develop global competencies through this international experience and further develop personally.
The Be World Ready program continuously strives to create world-ready and work-ready graduates. For more information on upcoming opportunities through the Be World Ready program, please visit beworldready.ca.