Inspiring Young Alumni: Catching up with Kevin Collins ’13
Since sharing his story for the St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) Inspiring Young Alumni Wall, Kevin Collins ’13 was recently promoted to the Director of Rooms at the Park Hyatt Toronto in June 2023. Collins has also been actively involved with our Alumni Association and will be the featured keynote speaker at the upcoming university fair on October 17, 2023.
Read on to learn more about this inspiring young alumnus.
Please provide a brief update on your professional life.
As the new Director of Rooms at the Park Hyatt Toronto, I oversee the front office, housekeeping, and security operations of the hotel and Stillwater Spa – a full luxury spa located at the hotel. I am responsible for the forecasting, revenue, and budgeting of all areas, along with maintaining and advancing all guest-facing service aspects of the property.
After a four-year renovation, the reimagined Park Hyatt Toronto welcomes guests back to the Yorkville neighbourhood for a refined luxury experience that celebrates the arts, culture, quality food and beverage, and a ‘home-away-from-home’ service approach!
Please describe your history with SMCS.
I was first introduced to SMCS in Grade 8 and was evaluating my prospective high school options for the following year. I was captivated by the opportunity to attend SMCS due to the reputation for an all-encompassing education that allows you to find your passion both inside and outside the classroom, work through your challenges, and be supported. I attended SMCS from Grades 9 through 12.
How have you remained connected with SMCS since graduation?
After I graduated from SMCS, I stayed in Toronto (for university and the beginning of my professional life), which has allowed me to keep in touch with the school in various ways. I have been provided with the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at an alumni networking event and supported and mentored Grade 12 students as they participated in the Global Ideas Institute project hosted by the University of Toronto related to mental health in athletes. I have also attended the Archangel’s Den contest, Turkey Rolls, and have even been able to participate as an on-field official for a few SMCS football games!
How would you describe your time at the school?
I would summarize my time at SMCS as formative. On a professional level, within the opportunities provided and daily life at the school, I created life-long positive habits that have only proved to be a huge aid in my professional life. The foundation of growth in terms of hard skills learnt in every class, business and data analysis, language skills, and contract development, for example, but also the soft skills like communication, time management, resourcefulness, leadership, openness to criticism, that are all required to succeed in life, were developed in the classrooms and on the field, rink, and stage are so valuable. Personally, the friendships and memories created during my time at SMCS are sincere and have been influential in all my interactions with people since my graduation.
How did SMCS prepare you for and propel you into life?
I created formative positive habits and relationships that influence and guide me to this day.
How do you live out the Basilian motto of Teach me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge?
I believe that the motto summarizes the principles of what a quality and well-rounded person should be – and that is the guide for me every day when I am at home with my fiancé, friends, and family or at work with my colleagues. I try to be well-informed, honest, and sincere in my interactions and seek opportunities to support those around me.
Briefly describe what you are doing now. Would you like to share any future plans?
In terms of my professional life, I continue to be involved in the sport of football as a high-ranking football official working with the Canadian Football League, USports, and Amateur levels of football across the country. In my personal life, my fiancé and I are set to be wed on October 21, 2023, and I will have three fellow SMCS graduates as part of my groomsmen party and many more in attendance as the bond of friendship is strong.
Describe how you are being the best for the world through your work and education.
If asked to summarize the hospitality industry into one word, my answer very easily would be the word ‘care’, which would be my response to how I am the best for the world. At the Park Hyatt Toronto, the principle of care is foundational in all that we do – we care for our fellow colleagues, we care for our guests, we care for our community, and the hope is that the care we show in so many different forms continues as a ripple effect so that the world is building day-by-day into a better place.
What advice do you have for current students?
I would advise current students that as they seek out and explore their future careers, they examine industries that are perhaps not as ‘mainstream’ as those promoted as common in their field of studies and find a niche space that touches on their passions. Using a hotel as an example, we employ certified accountants, engineers, information and technology managers, security members focused on the physical and digital security of our systems and data, finance and revenue analytics, chefs, and many other areas that layer on top of the traditional idea of what a hotel would be.
We are excited to feature Kevin Collins as a member of our inspiring young alumni. More inspiring young alumni can be found on the featured wall across from the main office.