A Dream Worth Waiting For: Meet Breagh Hartlin

Since she was young, Breagh Hartlin knew a sedentary 9-to-5 job wasn’t in her future. “I’ve always had a desire to see the world and meet new people,” she says. “I dreamed of getting paid to travel.”

When the time came for Breagh to explore her professional options, she soon found her curiosity piqued by CBU’s Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management program. Initially intrigued by the opportunity to pursue a career in far-flung locations around the globe, her interest was bolstered by a CBU alumni survey that showed 94.59 per cent of BHTM graduates reported employment in a field or occupation related to their undergraduate studies. That’s when Breagh realized she had discovered the career path she had been searching for. “Hospitality seemed like a perfect way for me to follow my dreams,” she says.

The first day Breagh set foot on the CBU campus, she was overjoyed to learn that CBU’s stellar reputation within the hospitality industry meant her program had attracted a wide range of international students. “Of the 110 students in my program, only five of us were Canadian,” Breagh remembers fondly. “Over the years, it was so much fun to make new friends and learn about different cultures.”

Just as Breagh settled in, the unimaginable happened. With her graduation merely weeks away, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, bringing the world to an unprecedented halt. “I had pictured myself walking across a stage,” Breagh says. “Instead, I graduated in an online ceremony. It was a weird feeling.”

In the days that followed, Breagh saw her graduation ceremony was just the first of many milestones that would be disrupted by the pandemic. “Through CBU’s strong relationship with the Fairmont luxury hotel chain, I had attended a job fair and received an offer to work at the Fairmont Lake Louise. But after graduating, my job was canceled,” Breagh recalls. “I was told to reapply when the pandemic ended.”

“I was devastated,” Breagh admits. “For two years, I stayed home and waited for COVID-19 to settle.” As time passed and the pandemic continued to ebb and flow, Breagh’s professors stayed in touch. “They continued to help me stay connected to the Fairmont and eventually made it possible for me to find a new position within their organization,” Breagh says.

“I’m so thankful to have gone through a program where the professors cared to develop ways to support their students. Mary Jane Morrison, Daniel Francois, Jennifer Currie and Megan Ringer went out of their way to help me prepare for the future and land my dream job,” Breagh proudly states. “They watched me grow, pushed me out of my comfort zone and never gave up on me during the pandemic.”

In May 2022, Breagh finally began working at the Fairmont Banff Springs. “A different hotel than originally planned, but my dream location,” she laughs. “Since moving to Banff, I’ve been having mountain adventures, enjoying the nature and wildlife and snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains.”

“I’m living my dream,” she says.