HSD alumni of the month: Veronique Borduas, Institut de tourisme et d'hotellerie du Quebec (ITHQ)
Veronique Borduas: From 5-star hotels to a microbrewery
When one of our professors told us that an ITHQ graduate was now the manager of the new Siboire microbrewery location in Montreal, our first reaction was, "Say what now?! The second was, "When are we going?!"
We recently sat down with Veronique Borduas, a young leader and graduate of the ITHQ's Advanced Studies in International Hotel Management Â (ASIHM) program.
Your program prepared you for a career at luxury hotels, yet today you’re working at a microbrewery. What led you to change course?
I enrolled in the ASIHM program because I wanted the best training that would make me a well-rounded manager, no matter which establishment I ended up at.
During my program, I had many opportunities to work at upscale hotels, such as the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Alberta, and I had an incredible internship experience at the Evian Resort, a luxury complex at Lake Geneva, France. I was also selected for the manager training program at Atlific Hotels, one of Canada's leading hotel management companies.
Through these experiences, however, I realized my main goal wasn't to work at a big hotel but rather to use what I had learned to develop a business that shared my values.
When one of the owners of Siboire asked if I wanted to be part of their adventure, I said yes without hesitating. I was already familiar with this incredible company that has very strong values I really care about. I was pretty excited at the idea of opening a new location and putting together a team.
What did the ASIHM program teach you and how does it help you in your work?
My courses helped me make connections I wouldnâ€™t have been able to otherwise. I also developed my curiosity and analysis skills. The ASIHM let me explore many management-related fields. This is very useful in a job like mine that requires you to wear many hats!
The two internships I did during the program also taught me a lot about myself. I had to quickly adapt to different environments and personalities, and I think these experiences have made me a better leader for my team of 32 employees.
Is there an ITHQ professor who made a particular mark on you?
Julie Faucher, definitely. She specializes in procurement, and she is incredibly brilliant. She was my role model during my studies and continues to be. Her personality, expertise, way of sharing her knowledge, and appreciation of her students' achievements makes you want to constantly do your best. This is what lets you reach new heights.
As we can see from Veronique's experience, the graduates of our ASIHM program have everything they need to work in the luxury hotel business, but they arenâ€™t confined to this sector. The management and leadership skills you develop in this program are not only transferable to but also sought after in many industries. Even microbreweries!