As a 1993 graduate of Centennial’s Hospitality and Tourism Administration program, Jason Gautreau has lived and travelled all over the world – including the Cayman Islands, where he currently works as Area Director of Finance at the Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa. 

But life hasn’t always been a walk on the beach. When Gautreau was just 12 years old, his stepfather was killed in an accident while working as a truck driver.

“My mom became a single mother and worked hard to provide for me and my brother,” he says. “I inherited my work ethic and drive to succeed from her.” 

Determined to help support his mom by establishing a stable, fulfilling career, Gautreau set his sights on Centennial’s program with a singular goal in mind: to work for the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. 

“Centennial helped me accomplish that goal,” he says. “I secured a co-op placement there, and they hired me full-time as soon as the placement was over. It was like a dream come true.” 

Since then, Gautreau has worked for some of the world’s biggest hotel brands. But it’s the Royal York that stands out as the place where he got his start – in more ways than one. 

“The second part of my goal was to one day get married at the Royal York,” he says. “Which I did in 1995, when I married my wife there – whom I met at a Centennial pub night.” 

Advice for new alumni

“When you secure a job, always be willing to learn something new – even if it’s outside the job you’re being paid to do.”