Snezana Tomasovic is a self-proclaimed go-getter. After more than 20 years as a hairdresser in Serbia, Los Angeles and Toronto, she decided to make a career switch. It was her love of working with people that made her decide to study Hospitality Management at Evergreen College.
As a busy working mother in her 40’s, Evergreen College’s downtown location was a key deciding factor when picking a college. Living in midtown, the short commute meant she could balance her family life (picking her daughter up from school and helping her with homework) with her college life.
The 10-month course and flexible schedule also made it the right college for her to get job-ready, fast. “The course is more condensed and for me it worked out better” said Snezana. “It meant I’d be ready sooner. I don’t have time to study for 4 years again. It really makes sense.”
She admitted, learning the wealth of information that she did in only 10 months was challenging but the small class sizes and supportive instructors helped her succeed. “Without their [instructors] help we wouldn’t have done as well” she said. That combination of her tenacity, together with Evergreen College’s support, meant she met the high standards required to gain her diploma.
Snezana now has a diploma approved by the renowned American Hotel and Lodging Association and she is out on placement putting it to great use. The placement at the Executive Cosmopolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto, which was set up by faciliatators at Evergreen College, allows her to learn even more. “It’s one thing to read it in a book, reality is another thing.” she says. “In real life with real people it’s never going to be by the book. It’s working day to day and trouble shooting.”
Currently, she has a supervisory role in the housekeeping department but she is excited to see all areas of the hotel from the front office to sales and marketing. “I would like to experience as much as possible and then figure out where I’ll settle.”
While working in a hotel is ideal for Snezana, she says the diploma offers a range of pathways for students. She says some of her classmates are now pursuing a career in the food and beverage industry. The diploma means graduates can one day manage or open a restaurant of their own if they choose.
Snezana also has a degree in marketing and business from her home country of Serbia. She said the combination of that degree and now her diploma from Evergreen College are a powerful toolkit which opens up many career possibilities for her.
“Hospitality is a tough industry. You have to have maturity. But I’m a go-getter, once I started I didn’t want to stop. I’ll see where this will take me but there are a lot of opportunities out there.”