Meet Viktoriia Shpak
For years she travelled the world.
Working as a hospitality professional.
But now Vancouver is her hometown. She moved there after a friend recommended it.
Her years in the culinary, bar, service and restaurant industry have stood her well – an industry that is her life-long calling.
She started off in Vancouver as an assistant manager at a small restaurant but now she is the new office assistant manager at Aedis Appraisals.
Aedis Appraisals is a Vancouver-based company offering home and commercial appraisal services, depreciation reports and consulting services.
Her career started eight years ago in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Her employer – the Hyatt Regency, an international hotel chain.
“I moved to Dubai to get the best hospitality knowledge l could get in the world,” she says.
Dubai is known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. And standards in the service sector – especially for hotels – are extremely high, given that UAE is one of the top 10 richest countries in the world.
But why the hospitality industry?
“I entered hospitality business because it’s the best area to learn all kind of professional skills.”
And she’s right considering all the jobs she has performed.
Waiter, guest greeter, sales agent, printing out menus. It’s an endless list – each furthering her knowledge, increasing her skills and abilities.
After Dubai her next career stop was Miami – working on cruise ships of the Apoplo Group.
For two years she worked on various cruise ships as a waitress and assistant supervisor.
Her home base – Miami.
After that Vancouver beckoned her because a friend suggested she move there.
She did and has never looked back.
She got a job as assistant manager at a small restaurant – George’s Pizza, specializing in pizza and Italian comfort food.
She worked there for three years and now has taken on a new role – planning for the opening of a Filipino restaurant with the owner of George’s Pizza.
This is on top of being the assistant office manager at Aedis Appraisals.
And the market is ready for a new Filipino restaurant.
Vancouver is home to the second largest Filipino community in Canada with about 134,000 Filipinos – making up the third-largest Asian-Canadian and visible minority group behind the Chinese and South Asians.
Throughout her career she has been mindful of a few principles and beliefs.
“You are the one who can change your life, never stop learning, always be ready to handle any situation.”
Her biggest asset?
“My ability to multitask.”
Most important lesson learned?
“Trust, it’s just a word sometimes.”
Her definition of a dream job – “do what you love.”
Always seeking to improve her skills and knowledge she has taken a slew of courses focussed on the hospitality industry – manager, waiter, service agent.
She is fluent in Ukranian, Russian, English.
Well educated – she has a Masters degree in international economics.
A strong believer in giving back to her community she is involved in several endeavours.
“I was a volunteer at a senior’s home where l had the pleasure of mostly providing companionship for them and also being the evening events coordinator at the time.”
She fosters animals.
“Yes, l foster puppy’s and cats. I love animals…they are my stress relief.”
She loves cooking but there was a reason for it.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t find a favourite restaurant in Vancouver, so I started cooking at home. My favourite dish is Ukrainian borscht.”
It’s a hearty Ukrainian dish – a soup with red beets.
Traveling has been another passion.
“For traveling l have had visited four continents. Next in my travel plans is Africa.
“I love all places equally but Greenland and the country of Georgia are bringing back the most memories.”
For her ”being successful is my biggest motivator in life.”
“ I’m really good at communication skills, organizing, timing, get work done under any pressure.
Life lessons that have stood her well.
“I’m constantly aware you are the one who can change your life…never stop learning and always be ready to handle any situation.”
Well said, Viktoriia Shpak, well said – you are the epitome of the modern woman.
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