September 26, 2022 | Quebec
Iren M. came to Canada to build on a background in biology she started while still living in the Philippines. Moving to be a healthcare aid and caregiver was an easy transition, but she didn’t find the fulfillment she was looking for in a career, and in 2018 she decided it was time for a change.
She had always been passionate about planning activities and travel and decided the travel and tourism sector was a good fit.
For Iren, starting her own business made a lot of sense. She found there weren’t many options helping her community, and she felt she had the knowledge and insight to tailor products and services to fit community needs.
Iren started working in the industry shortly before COVID-19. She had built a physical office and started her practice face-to-face, but the pandemic forced her to shift her focus. She knew moving online was the solution, but it would come with its own challenges. She needed to become more reliant on computers and online technologies, and she was determined to succeed.
Moving online came with greater opportunities and additional barriers. It would be a great chance for her to continue to serve her community, but extend her reach beyond as well. However, Iren knew language could be an issue, and she began to take every opportunity to improve her English.
Her dedication not only allowed her business to survive the pandemic, but it allowed it to thrive.
Motivation for the Future
Iren realized there was still more room to expand her knowledge of owning a travel agency.
Slowed by the pandemic, Iren happened upon CDI College’s Travel and Tourism program. It was the perfect opportunity to build on her experience and develop new skills to benefit her business. Through the program, she was better able to develop her knowledge of travel products and booking systems. She also saw development in interpersonal skills, which benefited the customer service she was able to deliver.
Learning these skills has also allowed Iren to achieve personal growth. She finds she is better able to manage her professional and personal time. This means not only is she able to support her clients, but she also has more time to spend with her family, including amazing vacations.
Through all her hard work and passion, Iren feels like going to a dedicated program has allowed her to better support and serve her community. Ultimately, it keeps her optimistic about her businesses future success.
What advice does she have? What does the future hold?
Iren has learned from her experiences in business and going back to school, both come with their unique challenges.
For students coming into the program, Iren recommends staying on top of things. Being organized and systematic about work can help new students in the program achieve greater success. Most important of all, says Iren, is developing relationships with instructors and classmates.
Learning from classmates is just as important as learning from instructors. The hands-on training and classroom activities are essential to the learning process. She advocates for learning by being an active participant, and if things aren’t making sense, don’t be afraid to follow up with an instructor.
Iren also believes honesty is a key factor to success, and in order to earn trust from others it’s important to be honest with them. She also suggests being patient. Don’t rush by things, develop a strong foundation for your business and the money will come.
Travel and tourism is a massive industry. Iren knows in order to be successful you have to understand how it works, and you have to keep your skills updated.
For Iren, the future is bright. She plans to continue to upgrade her knowledge of the key systems used in the industry and stay informed on business trends. This approach ensures success for her clients, her community, and her family.