Sometimes the best things in life are the unexpected, especially when it comes to big decisions like a career choice. This was the case for Samantha Peltz when she was recruited by a friend for a job opportunity at Coast Inn of the North in Prince George. At that time, she was unsure of what her perfect career would be, but fast forward nine years, and Peltz is still happily employed there. Recently awarded Coast’s “Ambassador of the Year” (all Coast employees are “ambassadors” for the company), it seems to be the perfect fit for both Peltz and her employer.
“At the time I was hired, I never expected to stick with the hotel for as long as I did,” says Peltz, who had previously worked in retail. “But when I was younger, I always knew that I wanted to work with people, and then I got this job and fell in love with it. I could never sit behind a desk all day.”
In her role as the Front Office Ambassador, Peltz explains that no day is ever the same, and that’s part of the attraction to the role. “I need to be prepared as so many things happen in a day. By taking proactive steps, and knowing the daily arrivals – whether it will be hosting a large tour group, or a wedding, or other event, it’s about ensuring that everyone is comfortable,” says Peltz.
“My greatest challenge is staying on top of the little things that can go south,” comments Peltz. “It’s about making sure that we are fulfilling our potential as a team.”
Her top advice to tourism job and career seekers is to develop excellent problem-solving skills, listen, and be proactive. “You must want to be there, put in one hundred and ten per cent, and be consistently open to learning new things,” says Peltz.
Though she didn’t go on to post-secondary, Peltz suggests that it would always be an advantage to have post-secondary tourism or management education. For professional development, she achieved the emerit Front Desk Agent certification, a national industry credential, with support from Coast, which helped her develop the skills she needed on the job; she highly recommends the program.
When asked what it is about her job she loves most, Peltz says it is the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, and ensuring visitors feel welcome and comfortable. She also enjoys proudly representing and promoting tourism in Prince George and Canada as a whole.
At the recent Coast “Ambassador of the Year” award presentation, Peltz was described as a “change agent” who goes above and beyond by knowing her guests’ names and preferences, and is always prepared to do what it takes to achieve success. “I was flown to Kamloops to accept the award and it was a complete surprise!” says Peltz.
As to what the future holds, Peltz plans to take advantage of the many opportunities at Coast. “I plan to work alongside my supervisor at the front desk and learn her job so I can take on more and further the success of the team.”