(This story is sponsored by Vancouver Community College.)
Anyone who is unsure of which direction to take their career path should be sure to attend Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) upcoming open house. On Wednesday (October 16), from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the school is opening the doors of its Broadway campus (1120 East 7th Avenue) and giving prospective students the opportunity to understand some of the possibilities available to them.
The biannual event, called Experience VCC, is open to the public, free to attend, and will showcase more than 120 of the school’s programs. Visitors will be able to enjoy an afternoon of tours, demonstrations, and entertainment while they explore the campus, meet students, and talk to faculty from university transfer, health sciences, trades, arts, and more—all in one go.
In addition to getting a real sense of school life, attendees will have the chance to win $1,000 toward tuition, and anyone who applies to a program at the event doesn’t pay the $35 application fee (limited to one per person).
There will be free street and lot parking available, but the school is also easily accessible via public transit because it’s located just steps away from the VCC-Clark SkyTrain station and an even shorter walk from the 9 or 99 bus stop.
Monique Paassen, VCC’s hospitality management department head, advises anyone who is interested in the programs or finds themselves at a tricky juncture in their career journey to come to the open house so they can learn more about their options.
“At Experience VCC, people get to meet the students, see what they’ll really learn, and the career opportunities if you opt for a diploma in, say, hospitality management,” she says.
VCC has four industry-recognized hospitality programs—hospitality management, culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and Asian culinary arts—all of which will be highlighted at the open house. The “Passport to Hospitality” action stations will give visitors the chance to learn more while trying some fun and interactive activities.
There are lots of career prospects for someone with a degree in hospitality, thanks to a high demand for skilled employees. But Paassen also credits VCC’s close relationship with the industry in ensuring that 95 percent of its graduates go on to find jobs. In February, the school hosts an interview week when prospective employers can meet with and hire some of the best and brightest new talent.
“I think that’s really something that makes VCC stand out,” Paassen says. “We have such a strong connection with the industry, so we are always up to date on whether something needs to be changed in the curriculum.”
VCC prides itself on offering academic, cultural, and social environments that inspire relevant, real-world training. The on-campus facilities, including gourmet restaurants, an auto shop, and the state-of-the-art salon and spa, allow students to hone their skills while also providing high-quality, low-cost services to the Downtown and East Vancouver communities.
“We really train our students and we set them up for success with the goal of becoming a manager within the industry,” Paassen adds. “And it’s not just through theory; it’s hands-on.”
To learn more about your options, don’t miss Experience VCC, taking place on Wednesday (October 16) from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the school’s Broadway campus (1120 East 7th Avenue). For further information or to register, visit the website at vcc.ca/experience/.