Success is by the right environment; that helps you to grow, to go beyond your limits, and to make wonderful encounters. That’s what the member institutions of the Hotel Schools of Distinction (HSD) offer. I have been lucky enough to spend my last four years in one of them: L’Institut du Tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), located in the heart of Montreal, in Canada. Every school of the HSD is different, but strive towards the same direction: to train the best management-ready talents in the world.

ITHQ is pretty unique, which again, all member institutions of the HDS are. The school has two higher education degrees in Hospitality: one is a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in tourism management, or in hospitality and restaurant management. I chose the second option after having completed a technical diploma in restaurant supervision, to help me further develop my administration side. This university program can be completed in three years and a half and mandates a minimum of 400 hours in hospitality or restaurant operations before completion.

The second degree is a signature program, completely created by ITHQ in collaboration with the global hotel industry leaders: Advanced Studies in International Hotel Management. This bilingual (French & English) program is a full time twenty-six month management program with co-operative format, and innovative content linking management concepts to the hotelier’s duties.

Both programs are special and adapted to fit different students’ strengths and weaknesses. The school works closely with leaders of the hotel industry; therefore our opportunities for international internships and careers are limitless. For example, last March, I was invited to represent my school in Stavanger, Norway for the HSD Student Board. This experience allowed me to meet driven hospitality students and discuss challenges and opportunities in our industry. Additionally, I was chosen to represent my school at the Young Hoteliers Summit held in Lausanne, Switzerland and to meet global hotel industry leaders. In conclusion, ITHQ helped me develop an international network, vital in our industry.

Following these events, I have been hired in one of Canada’s fast growing hotel brand, the Germain group, where I was able to work in several operations departments and to put to use my leadership experience. As I completed my degree, I was pulled into the Accor Group, more precisely the FRHI branch at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa as an Operations Coordinator. None of these opportunities would have been possible without the ITHQ and HSD values and expertise.

Audrée Dallaire
Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec

Audrée Dallaire_2Audrée Dallaire

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HSD students