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Posted: February 13, 2019

Jazz Singh grateful for community that embraced him

College of the Rockies People: Their Courage, Curiosity, and Contributions

It had always been College of the Rockies student Jaskaran (Jazz) Singh’s dream to come to Canada. He envisioned a bright future for himself, and his many Canadian friends inspired him with stories of the opportunities available.

Singh, originally from northern India, is now a student in the Hospitality Management diploma program at the college’s Invermere campus.

“I love to talk with people and to extend my hospitality,” Singh said. “It gives me happiness when I help people or when I serve them. I love to interact with new people and this program is a great platform for me to be able do so.”

However, building a new life in Canada away from his loved ones and peer support network has been challenging for Singh.

“It is very difficult to be away from home,” he said. “You are alone in another part of the world away from your home, family, and friends. At first, it’s hard because you do not have anyone who can help you in difficult situations.”

Though he was lonely when he first arrived in Canada, he quickly found himself embraced by the Invermere community and adjusting to the Canadian way of life.

“When we arrived in Invermere, some of the Indian families had a welcome party for us,” he said. “They made Indian food especially for us, and helped us to settle here. I found five very good friends here and they never let me feel alone.

“The Invermere community is so amazing. Whenever I walk on the street people always say ‘hi’ and talk with me. I like the way people meet and greet each other; the way they accept people with other religions and who come from different countries. They are very helpful to other people and are cheerful,” he said.

Not everything has been such a seamless adjustment, however.

“Living in Canadian winter is not easy,” he said. “It’s really cold here. In India, the coldest temperature I’ve seen was one degree Celsius.”

And his thoughts on snow? “It looks good but it’s not good when you have to walk in it.”

Singh plans to remain in Invermere for a year or so after completing his program to gain experience before moving on to a larger hotel in a bigger centre. In the meantime, he and his classmates are helping to fill a much-needed role in the local hospitality industry.

“Working with the students in the Hospitality Management program has had a positive impact on our industry in a number of ways – much more than simply filling positions,” said Karin Ogilvie, Director of Operations for Copper Point Resort in Invermere. “This particular group of individuals bring a special energy to our workforce, as they have chosen this career path and are invested in their futures here in Canada. Their enthusiasm to understand our guests and the culture of our property is refreshing and our leadership team appreciates the opportunity to mentor and work with eager new colleagues.”

“Jazz was one of the first students in the Hospitality Management diploma program,” noted Michelle Taylor, Acting Manager, College of the Rockies Invermere campus. “For someone who has been in Canada less than a year, it is truly remarkable how he makes even some of the locals feel welcome.

“This was evident when we had a local domestic student join one of his classes. Jazz sensed she was quite nervous to be there so he sat beside her and helped ease her into the group. He’s been a treat to have in our program and the hospitality industry is lucky to have him.”

Lead image: College of the Rockies student Jaskaran (Jazz) Singh. Photos courtesy College of the Rockies

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