From co-op to a trip abroad, DC Tourism – Destination Marketing student soaks up experiential learning experiences

Category: Student Profiles

Graduate Spotlight: Amanda Morrison

Launching a career in travel and tourism is a childhood dream come true for Durham College (DC) Tourism – Destination Marketing graduate Amanda Morrison.

As she perused programs before applying to college, Morrison knew it was the right fit for her.

“Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by attractions, travel, history, culture and all the incredible things tourism offers people, but never thought I could turn these fascinations and passions into a career,” she said. “I also chose this program with one thing in mind – can I really see myself being in this industry in five, 10 or 15 years?”

Now that she’s graduating, Morrison says the answer is a resounding yes.

“I can confidently say that I can see myself working in this industry and amongst the like-minded people I have met along the way for years to come.”

Morrison explained that DC was an excellent school to learn under industry veterans and gain the skills needed to succeed in the field.

“All of my professors were either currently in the industry or had previously worked within my industry,” she said. “Not only were they able to teach us the course content professionally, but they also provided us with more personal industry knowledge and experience that we wouldn’t have learned without having them as a professor.”

She spent last summer doing a co-op placement at Oshawa’s Canadian Automotive Museum and served as the visitor services assistant.

“I was able to learn how to give tours here and just the overall operations of museums, which is what I like the most – I like working in the attraction aspect of tourism.”

The co-op placement turned into a part-time job for Morrison who continues to work at the museum on weekends.

She was active with the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) student chapter at DC serving as secretary last year and president this year.

That led to a major highlight for her: travelling to San Diego through the Faculty-led Classroom Abroad program. In San Diego, she not only attended the PCMA conference which welcomed more than 3,000 international delegates, she also volunteered at the conference and with the San Diego Tourism Authority, gaining important hands-on experience.

“This was, by far, my favourite experience and I have made lifelong connections and learned new aspects of my industry that I would not have had.”

Looking towards the future, Morrison is hoping to travel through work.

“My biggest future goal is to be a person who can make memories for others through tourism. I would like to be able to work at different attractions and meet new people in the industry who have different ideas from me, as there is much to learn from them.”