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Tiffenni Wilkenson from Ontario Travel inspires Hospitality and Tourism students


tiffenni-wilkensonTiffenni Wilkenson, Partnership Development and Sales at Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (Ontario Travel), delivered an inspiring keynote speech at the Exploring Tourism and Hospitality Careers Expo at Fleming’s Sutherland Campus.

Regional Tourism Organization 8 and Fleming College partnered for the second year to host the Explore Tourism and Hospitality Career Expo today. The event was an opportunity for Fleming students, high school students, and guidance counsellors to explore the great career opportunities within the tourism and hospitality industry.

The event kicked-off with Tiffenni’s presentation, which detailed her career journey. Tiffenni began her hospitality career at Ontario Place, working part-time student positions for 4.5 years. “I started from the ground-up in tourism and I wouldn’t change any of that,” she said, detailing the variety of jobs she had at Ontario Place and the skills she gained through each one.

These part-time jobs helped Tiffenni land full-time employment at the Ontario Science Centre, where she continued to grow and gain new skills. But her dream job was at Ontario Travel, where she continued to apply for work.

“Never give up!” she said. “It took me five years to get my current job.” Tiffenni explained that every time she did not get the job at Ontario Travel, she continued to gain new skills to be a stronger candidate for the next time. After five years, Ontario Travel came to Tiffenni to offer her a job.

“Be hungry for knowledge. I have been taking courses for my entire career,” she said. “I also have just said ‘yes’ to every opportunity that came my way and that’s how I got to where I am today. If the door was opening, it wasn’t up to me to close it. I had to check it out.”

This includes doing the CN Tower Edge Walk. “I received an email offering me this opportunity. I was reading it and my palms were sweating and I thought, ‘why would you send me this email? Now I’m going to have to do it!” said Tiffenni, who shared that she was extremely nervous to complete the daredevil task. “Don’t let fear stop you. I ask myself, ‘will this make my life sound interesting?’ Yes? Then go for it! I love having a good story to tell.”

She concluded her presentation encouraging students to explore the tourism and hospitality industry. “There are never-ending opportunities in this industry and never-ending things you can do.”