Monday, June 15, 2015

North York tourism student is taking on the world

By: Clark Kim

This article originally appeared on insidetoronto.com on May 4, 2015.

Sargam Yagnik
First stop is Dubai for travel fellowship winner Sargam Yagnik

Selected as one of three students in the world for a unique fellowship program, Sargam Yagnik will be traveling to eight countries in six weeks.

The Weston Road and Finch Avenue area resident applied for the Around the World in 80 Hours Student Fellowship Programme, which she described as a “crash course in corporate travel.”

“I wanted to work with an international company and have the opportunity to learn about things all over the world,” said Yagnik, who will be graduating this year from the hospitality and tourism operations program at the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

After an intensive interview process, Yagnik will be able to do just that through the program presented by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and sponsored by BCD Travel.

She leaves May 15 for Dubai, then travels to Sao Paulo, Beijing, Bangalore, Amsterdam and Atlanta to attend industry networking meetings, conferences and events.

Yagnik added that France and Belgium were just added to her itinerary as well.

She learned of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity through her program co-ordinator at Humber.

“I was told it was very competitive,” Yagnik recalled.

But it seems the combination she had of education, management experience and a love for travel helped her get chosen for the program along with two other students from Denmark and United Arab Emirates.

“Around the World in 80 Hours Student Fellowships are awarded to distinguished university students who demonstrate an exceptional interest in corporate travel management and a commitment to working in the global business travel industry,” said Amber Kelleher, ACTE managing director of global engagement, in a statement.

“Corporate travel management is not a career choice that many students know about, so this program helps build awareness of an alternative career path.”

Yagnik realized she wanted to work in the tourism industry after backpacking in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and living in Switzerland for four months, all after graduating from York University with a sociology degree.

“I want to travel for work,” she said. “It was exactly what I was looking for.”

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