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Humber College networking event brings together Toronto’s industry youth

TORONTO — Young Travel Professionals, Toronto (YTP-TO) and Humber College collaborated on a fun night of networking yesterday, inviting young professionals already working in the travel industry to impart their wisdom to students eagerly looking to join.

For the second year, the event was held at Novotel on the Esplanade in Toronto and sponsored by Contiki Holidays, a specialist in millennial travel. It consisted of about a dozen speed networking appointments of five minutes each, with a YTP-TO member paired with two students for each session.

“YTP-TO is trying to create a more casual and intimate opportunity for students to engage with industry. Students have a chance to build their network and learn firsthand how young professionals are navigating their careers in tourism and hospitality sectors,” says Michael McCreesh, YTP-TO board member and project manager at Ontario by Bike.

Humber students were keen to ask questions about all aspects of the industry, many of them unsure about the different job opportunities within the sector, or what job responsibilities and opportunities might be available.

“Look around tonight and you’ll see everyone is really engaged. Most importantly though, everyone is relaxed, laughing, sharing and having fun, which in my experience is when true relationships are forged,” adds McCreesh.

YTP-TO members were honoured to pass along any tips and tricks they had picked up over the years. One member urged students to get some basics tech skills, like WordPress, social media and HTML, to boost their resume. Another recounted how she networked as a student by asking professionals to meet over coffee to discuss the industry. And more words of wisdom included having a positive and helpful attitude, being keen to take on new responsibilities and helping your manager with duties.

At the end of the night Contiki gave away great prize packs, including a $500 gift certificate to use on any of its trips.

“The partnership with Humber and YTP is very important to Contiki and this event has allowed us to support the future of the travel industry,” says Jenni Berg, national business development executive, Contiki Holiday. “Contiki is all about connecting young people to the time of their lives, and through events like this we are able to also connect millennials with new opportunities and career paths.”

Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation – even if it’s a waiver – the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.

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