A visit to her grandparents’ ranch was the first step in a rewarding career for Stephanie Young.
Young is the front office supervisor at the Coast Inn of the North in Prince George, overseeing all front office and reception duties at one of Northern BC’s most popular hotels.
It’s a career that took her by surprise, but she’s never looked back.
Shortly after finishing high school in Victoria, Young travelled north to help out on the family ranch, west of Prince George. A stint as a front desk agent at the Coast Inn of the North suited her outgoing personality so, when her employer offered to sponsor her in the Hospitality and Tourism program at the College of New Caledonia, she leapt at the chance.
Seventeen years later, Young has worked her way up from front desk agent to bellman supervisor, duty manager, and, most recently, front office supervisor.
A typical day sees Young moving between her office and the front desk, helping with check-outs, fielding emails, managing inventory, scheduling staff, dealing with any issues from the night before and, of course, interacting with guests.
There are plenty of non-typical days too, she says. “When we hosted the Canada Winter Games here in Prince George it was fun, but it did mean 12-hour days. In this industry we work when we’re needed.”
“That’s one of the reasons I love the job: no two days are the same. I also like working as part of a team; we have a lot of amazing people in this hotel,” adds Young.
Ultimately though, it’s all about customer service, she observes. “We pride ourselves on our service and really build a rapport with our guests; in fact our biggest client volume is repeat guests. After more than a decade at the hotel I’ve got to know a lot of our regular visitors on a first name basis, and it’s important for me to maintain that relationship even though I’m now more behind the scenes.”
Young values her training, both at college and on the job, but ultimately, she says, a successful tourism career is about personality and attitude.
“If you have a positive personality and you enjoy working with people this is the place to be,” she observes. “I’m an extremely social person so I’m in the right industry for sure; I get up in the morning and I’m excited to come to work.”