Last May, she was named one of six winners in the Baxter Student Ambassador Program, the only travel and tourism student mentoring program of its kind in Canada.
Excited, but also a little unsure of how she would adjust to new surroundings thousands of kilometres away from family and friends, Bryannah boarded a plane to Saint Lucia last fall for her BSAP internship, and hasn’t looked back.
Bryannah’s boundless enthusiasm, energy and passion turned her six-week internship into a six-month assignment.
Now, with a head full of knowledge and a heart full of memories, Bryannah talked with Press Today about what she’s learned and what’s next…
Press Today: What’s your favourite part of working at Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa & Beach Resort?
Bryannah Day: I’m currently working in the Watersports Department and really enjoy everything about what I do. Some days I work alongside the Dive Centre’s receptionist, learning about legalities and paperwork, and some days I’m the snorkel guide and get to spend time out at sea. But getting to interact with the guests is the most rewarding part of the job. I have found true joy in adding positively to somebody’s vacation.
PT: What was your first impression of Saint Lucia?
BD: This is my first time to the Caribbean, so the moment I got off the plane I was amazed by the environment. I fell in love with the vegetation, beaches, culture, friendly people, and laid-back lifestyle. But I still can’t believe how hot it can be sometimes!
PT: What have you learned about yourself while working at Sandals?
BD: This experience has taught me how to be adaptable and has even given me a new outlook on life. Prior to this experience I wasn’t comfortable approaching someone and starting a conversation, but now I prefer to be friendly and greet everyone I encounter.
PT: What’s your biggest professional takeaway from working at Sandals?
BD: The level of professionalism is very high. Sandals has really instilled in me how much of a difference the little things make for the guests – from learning guest names to engaging in friendly conversation. Also, I learned the true value of teamwork during Tropical Storm Matthew when everyone at the resort was doing as much as they could to help other departments.
PT: How do you think this experience will shape your career?
BD: Being here in Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa & Beach Resort has been the most incredible experience, and getting the opportunity to be fully immersed in a foreign country is a blessing. I’m learning something new everyday, and am being taught the Sandals standards of hospitality, which I can apply to any future work experience.
PT: What are your plans after your internship?
BD: Take advantage of being in the Caribbean and island hop for a month — Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago. Upon returning to Canada, I want to work at a tour operator or hotel. And, with my first real career opportunity being this dense and interactive, I’m confident I’ll be able to do anything successfully.
PT: Baxter Student Ambassador Program applications are closing in a few days — any advice for the new group of BSAP hopefuls?
BD: Get excited about everything you involve yourself in! Apply yourself. Be passionate and consistent and everything else will fall into place. Never lose sight of your end goal!
With the support of our industry sponsors, including ACTA, Big Bark Graphics, Chelsea Hotel Toronto, Collette, Contiki, IGTO, Niagara Helicopters, Skål Canada, TPI, Transat,Travel Courier, and WestJet, incredible opportunities for travel, learning, and networking await the winning Baxter Student Ambassadors from each of this year’s 16 participating schools across Canada.
This year, winning Ambassadors will choose from a list of once-in-a-lifetime internship opportunities at partner organizations like Contiki, Collette, TPI, and more, where they too will gain hands-on experience to begin their exciting travel careers.
For the latest program updates, visit http://www.BaxterAmbassadors.com.
Do you have an internship opportunity for a Baxter Ambassador like Bryannah at your organization? Send a note to BSAP Program Director, Wendy McClung, at [email protected] to discuss how you can get involved.