ssob-steven-macneilSteven Mac Neil, ’10 grad of CBU’s Hospitality & Tourism Management program, is currently employed as Assistant Manger of the Mallard Lounge at the Fairmount Chateau Whistler in British Columbia. His duties include scheduling and evaluating staff, directing restaurant service, running promotions, resolving guests’ problems, and monitoring productivity.

Steven previously worked as a Food & Beverage Outlets Supervisor  at the Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, where he was honoured with the “Service Plus” Award after only a few months on the job.

Steven attributes much of his current professional success to his education at CBU.  “My experience in the Hospitality & Tourism Management program provided me with the skills to excel in the real world.  The instructors were extremely knowledgeable and supportive and the internships provided practical, hands-on training that made the transition from school to the workforce a smooth one.”

Steven completed both 6-month internships at the Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa in Ingonish, Nova Scotia.

Steven  plans to stay with the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts chain as he continues his ascent up the corporate ladder. In the future, he may consider moving to one of their locations overseas to pursue management-level positions. “I’m always looking for new and exciting opportunities to expand my areas of competence and expertise.  CBU taught me to keep striving to improve myself and aim high with my career goals.”


I chose to attend CBU because it offered the unique combination of academic excellence, dedicated faculty and a strong sense of community.  At CBU, I never felt like a “nameless student“ as one may at other universities with large class sizes – even first year classes were small enough that professors could get to know their students and vice versa.  This provided me with the opportunity to work as a teachers assistant from my second year onward, as well as reach out to trusted professors for guidance when trying to decide on a field in which to major.  With no practical experience to help me decide on a career path, I changed majors a few times and eventually double majored in Accounting and Communications.

CBU offers ample opportunity to get involved in campus life and extra-curricular activities.  I was a tutor, teachers assistant and a member of the Women`s Varsity Basketball Team and the campus always had social activities on.  Maintaining a full course load, playing basketball and working with other students certainly kept life busy, but it helped prepare me for the demands of a professional career and learn how to find the ever coveted “work-life balance”.

After graduating from CBU, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and moved to the Cayman Islands in 2005.  I am currently the Finance Manager at MaplesFS, an international company with offices in 7 jurisdictions worldwide.  The role requires strong technical, communication and management skills – all things I developed at CBU.

I would recommend CBU to everyone.  It’s provided me with the skills and experiences necessary for a successful and satisfying career.

Robyn Joe, CA
Truro, Nova Scotia
Bachelor of Business Administration, CBU 2003

Caleb Gibbons, BBA, MBA, CFA, FRM, Managing Director, Portfolio Management, RBC Capital Markets

“The excellent instruction I received at CBU set me on a path for continuing my business education and being fortunate enough to have that preparedness met with opportunity in some of the world’s largest financial centers. As a native Cape Bretoner it is also great to see the degree to which international students are attracted to CBU and the success they have enjoyed post graduation.”

~ Caleb Gibbons, BBA, MBA, CFA, FRM, Managing Director, Portfolio Management, RBC Capital Markets


Transferring to Cape Breton University to take the Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management program is one of the best decisions I have made. The tourism industry is always in need of skilled employees, who have the knowledge as well as the experience. The HATM program at CBU was composed of hands on classes, interesting courses and more importantly, two six month internships. In my opinion, this was one of our most powerful assets upon graduation; we had a resume as well as a degree. I graduated in May 2010, and by July of that same year, I had myself a full time position at Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, as Catering Coordinator.

I have been working at the Chateau Laurier for over a year now, and could not imagine a more interesting and fun job. As coordinator to the Social Events Manager and Director of Catering, I deal with a lot of different people, and the work varies from one day to the next. I assist them in the planning of various events from weddings, to galas and fundraisers, to Embassy and government events.  I think one of the main reasons I got hired was because of the HATM program at CBU.

When I started at CBU, I felt like I was going back to high school. I had spent the last year at the University of Ottawa in classes with 100-300 other students. At CBU we had about thirty students per class and I was shocked when in all my classes, on the first day, our professor made us introduce ourselves to our fellow classmates. This set the tone for the next three years I would spend at CBU. We got to know our professors extremely well and their open door policy made the program that much more enjoyable.

The variety of core classes we had to take throughout the program made for a well-rounded course load, which paired business knowledge with tourism industry skills. We had to take accounting, English, introduction to food theory and nutrition, and resort facilities and management, to name a few. We learned a lot of hands-on skills throughout the program, which made the transition to a full time job much easier. We worked in a kitchen, learned the steps of service and ran a restaurant. We spent a day in Housekeeping and a night shift doing the audit at local hotels. We learned how to do food orders, we planned and ran our very own International Wine and Cheese event and received our Food Safety Training Program Level 1 Certificate.

I did my first internship at The Briars Resort and Spa in Sutton, Ontario, where I worked as a restaurant and banquet server. My second internship took place at the Fairmont Algonquin in St-Andrews, New Brunswick, where I worked as a server and bartender at the Club House Grill. The second internship helped me get my foot in the door with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.

I truly enjoyed my time at Cape Breton University, and being from Markham Ontario, it opened my eyes to another beautiful part of the country.  I could not have asked for a better university experience, or a better location to learn what true hospitality is all about.

Claire Sanderson
Markham, ON
BBA Hospitality and Tourism Management, 2010

ssob-testimonial-david-aldersonCape Breton University opened my eyes to creating innovative solutions by looking at issues through multiple perspectives.  The MBA in Community Economic Development advanced my skills in business, social and economic development.  The Shannon School of Business (SSOB) opened doors to the local community enabling me to apply my skills during course work to business and economic development endeavors. During a SSOB roundtable events, I met business and community leaders whom I continue to have working relationships with today as we look to create solutions for a sustainable future. These relationships, and my passion for business, economics, and energy and environmental issues, led to my current position at Cape Breton University’s Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE).

David Alderson
Groves Point, NS
MBA in Community Economic Development, 2009

The Shannon School of Business provided me with the foundation to learn in a post secondary environment and also provided me with a very tangible degree, which I could have used to go right into the real world and obtain employment. Furthermore, I developed some great contacts with professors who served as references, which I used in my law school application. I am a very proud graduate and alumnus of Cape Breton University and I would recommend CBU and the SSOB in particular to anyone who was interested in going to university.

Mark Gouthro
Glace Bay, NS
Shannon School of Business Grad, 2004

Cape Breton University is one of my best decisions made. The experience and education I received gave me the knowledge and confidence that I needed to pursue my career goals. After working in different management positions within the Hospitality Industry, I started my own business 5 years ago and am now expanding it by purchasing another local business. The education I received allowed me to have the confidence I needed to step out on my own and the knowledge and skills required to do it successfully.  I recommend Cape Breton University and the Shannon School of Business to everyone I know looking to expand their education.

Maureen Barrington
Sydney, NS
Hospitality Diploma 2001
BBA with a concentration in Tourism Marketing 2003