Grad 2020: A talent for hospitality management runs in the family for instructor Stephen Scott and graduating daughter Mairin Scott
Release date: June 15, 2020
Many of Camosun hospitality management student Mairin Scott’s happiest childhood memories involve restaurants and hotels around British Columbia. “When I was a kid my dad worked for Fairmont and Hilton and Delta and our family moved all over the place,” she says. “I got to see a wide variety of great hotels at a young age and go out for dinners at nice restaurants. I think that’s when I really just fell in love with the whole hospitality industry.”
After graduating from high school and working as a server at a local restaurant, Mairin asked her dad for career advice. “He really just told me more about the program at Camosun and what kind of things I could be doing,” she says. “I just wanted to figure things out and make a decision about my future and this was the natural fit. He told me that coming back to the workplace after the program I would be ready for things like supervisory roles because of the hands on leadership experience you learn.”
Stephen Scott has taught hospitality management at Camosun for the past eight years. With his daughter set to graduate from Camosun this month in the same program, he couldn’t be prouder as he reflects on the previous three years of watching his daughter excel at Dunlop House, the hospitality management headquarters and showcase restaurant at Lansdowne.
“The only rule when she first came to school was that she couldn’t call me ‘dad’ and she wouldn’t get preferential treatment,” explains Stephen. “I really came to enjoy when Mairin was around Dunlop House, because when the kids get older, you don’t see them all the time. I really enjoyed seeing Mairin every day, when I would see her doing really well - especially in things like the pubs and the event management classes.”
Awkward moments were surprisingly few and far between. “The only thing was inside the classroom you really do become aware of how many lame dad jokes you tell, especially when you can actually see your daughter rolling her eyes back at you,” says Stephen.
Mairin agrees. “My dad’s my best friend and we have a really great relationship,” she says. “The only thing I’d joke about was that I was worried that my dad would flunk me on purpose just to teach me a lesson (laughs.) The experience was a lot of fun and I learned so much from him and all the instructors.”
Both father and daughter share a passion for hospitality—and Camosun. “I love Camosun and could not speak more highly of it, the program is great and the teachers are fantastic,” says Mairin. “For me, I need to be hands on to learn, and with my hotel operations class we did a simulation on how to use a reservation system. That helped me immensely when I started working in a hotel that uses the exact same system. That connection to the real world is so incredibly valuable, especially right now.”
With the pandemic’s impact on all aspects of the local economy, particularly hitting hard the areas of tourism and hospitality, Stephen Scott knows that well-trained, professional staff are required now more than ever. “It’s really the business aspects and applied nature of our classes that set us apart,” explains Stephen. “When students graduate, they enter the industry with a whole bundle of technical business skills, including accounting, marketing, team work, leadership, management and all the intangibles of learning by operating a student pub or restaurant. As the industry reopens and restarts, we know that our graduates can hit the ground running at a time when the local industry needs skilled and trained staff to build up their businesses again and restore confidence.”
Looking ahead, Mairin is excited about her future, despite COVID-related challenges in the broader economy. “I really like trying new things at work, taking on different responsibilities, and I’m looking towards working in hotels,” she says. “I love guest services, helping make sure that everyone’s stay is fantastic is really important to me and it really gives me a lot of pride when people give you feedback that you did a good job and helped them have a great stay. Especially right now with the COVID situation, providing guest services properly is really important.”
With Mairin graduating from Camosun this month, at a time when graduation ceremonies have gone virtual, Stephen didn’t want to let the moment pass without celebrating his daughter’s accomplishments. “For me our graduation ceremonies are always a highlight of the year, and everyone understands they can’t happen the same way this year. So I went out and bought some mock grad gowns and we staged some photos around campus. It was a lot of fun and it’s a nice memory to have for the post-COVID years to come.”
Camosun’s two-year diploma in Hospitality Management equips students with applied skills and a global perspective, so that graduates will be in demand in a growing hospitality industry. Students follow almost 40 years of graduate success, who now have successful careers in some of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants in Canada and around the world. For more information on the program or to apply now for the fall session, please visit: camosun.ca/hospitality
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Stephen Scott and his daughter Mairin Scott (Photo Credit: Tracey Scott)
Last updated: June 15, 2020 2:33 pm