With a dream of working in a hotel and the ink not yet dry on her college application, Tej Kainth set out to gain the industry experience required for acceptance into Capilano University’s Tourism Management program.
Tej landed on the steps of the Inn at Westminster Quay eager to get her industry start and has been serving guests there ever since in the position of front desk agent. What she didn’t know at the time she applied was the depth of the tourism industry and the breadth of skills she would acquire.
Tej views her primary responsibility as providing exceptional customer service at the frontline. “The front desk is the first thing guests see when they walk through the door,” she says, adding that, “I am part of their journey and see it as my responsibility to make the visit memorable.”
Reservations, meeting guest needs, and handling inquiries and issues are among her regular duties. For Tej, the icing on the cake is being able to apply her own personal style and approach to each guest experience.
She finds the greatest challenge working the frontline is making every guest happy no matter how hard you try. She has learned that it is not always easy to exceed everybody’s expectations, noting that the best solution is to put herself in the guest’s shoes and offer understanding and compassion.
The best thing about working at a small property is the opportunity to gain experience in other working areas. Multi-tasking, taking action, and initiative are not only welcomed, but expected. As a result, Tej holds a high level of job confidence and is able to transfer a lot of the additional knowledge and skills she acquires beyond her job description directly to guests.
The other key to Tej’s success is her earning while learning lifestyle. A full time student who is currently completing her degree, Tej’s career choice allows her to immediately apply classroom concepts into the workplace. Of all things, it’s the “people” factor that draws her to work. From interacting with co-workers to serving guests, each day is different and offers something new.
As for the industry, Tej has only the best things to say. Endless opportunities, universal potential, and diversity keep her focused and on track. She warns that, working in tourism will bring out the best in you and will develop qualities you never realized you had! But when you love people and have a passion for service, great rewards and satisfaction await you in the tourism industry.
Tej is now the Executive Director of Tourism New Westminister. Read more about Tej’s career progression story, moving from a Front Desk Agent to an Executive Director.