Campus Life  

OC student wins completion grant as part of inaugural Tourism Management Diploma program

Tourism Management Diploma student, Stephanie Sonsona

For one Okanagan College student, embracing Tourism Management Diploma (TMD) studies at the Revelstoke Centre has truly paid off.

Stephanie Sonsona has been named the recipient of the Revelstoke Accommodation Association’s completion grant for 2021, receiving $1,000 to support her education.

She first began exploring post-secondary study options while in her home country of the Philippines, and was introduced to the TMD program through Okanagan College’s International Education department. She was drawn to the new tourism-focused program, as it could support her dream to travel for a career.

“I researched the town and found that there is a lot of tourism activities to do in Revelstoke and figured that this is the best place to do the TMD program,” says Sonsona.

She started the diploma in 2019 – the pilot year of the new program – and found herself immersed in an entirely new environment compared to the Philippines. But it didn’t take long for Sonsona to settle into her new community. “Revelstoke has grown on me and the people are very nice,” she says.

One of the key experiences was the 12-week co-operative work term that allowed her to apply learning in revenue management in a real-world environment. She worked at the Explorers Hotel, which offered her a position after her co-op term was over.

“Engaging in a co-op placement really made me experience what it’s like to work in hospitality,” she explains.

“The program was very free flowing. I had great professors, great classmates, and it was a relaxed learning environment.”

Jonathan Rouse, Associate Dean for the Okanagan School of Business, says that experience is the reason why Revelstoke was selected to launch the TMD program.

“Being located in Revelstoke – the world’s only inland temperate rainforest – this vibrant community breathes quality life and is the perfect location to learn the ins and outs of a unique and complex tourism industry,” says Rouse.

“Not only is this program a great opportunity to learn tourism management, but also to experience one of Canada’s premier mountain resorts.”

Joan Ragsdale, Okanagan College’s Regional Dean for Shuswap Revelstoke, said the City of Revelstoke provides a unique opportunity for College students to apply and refine their skills.

“Revelstoke is a beautiful place that offers access to nature with an amazing community. There are many local businesses that are eager to help shape the next generation of tourism managers and enhance the local tourism industry,” says Ragsdale. “Studying in a city that is one of the 14 designated resort municipalities in the province represents a valuable learning environment for students and contributes to the economic development of the City of Revelstoke.”

This program provides students with an overview of the tourism industry along with management skills for this diverse and integrated industry.

The next TMD program intake will take place in the Fall of 2022, and applications are now open.

To learn more about the program, visit: https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/tourism-management-diploma.

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