Douglas College ELLA student to lead staff at new Vancouver restaurant

A former English Language Learning and Acquisition (ELLA) student will be heading the team behind the new restaurant located in the soon-to-be completed Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver.

Eric Yang was hired as the general manager of famed Chinese fine-dining restaurant Mott32. The Hospitality Management grad has come a long way from his first day in Canada.

“When I first came here at 19, I struggled with the language, but the ELLA program at Douglas College helped me,” Yang said.

Yang heard about Douglas College while a student in China, where he was born and raised. The presentation – made by International Marketing and Recruitment Manager David Chen – resonated with him as he was looking for a seamless transition when he moved to Canada.

“I wanted to learn the language and learn about the culture before diving into a big university,” Yang said. “Douglas College was perfect for that. There’s a real connection between students and staff, and you develop personal relationships and networks.

“When I came to Canada, I started from scratch and the International team really took me under their wing.”

Through the ELLA program, Yang was able to boost his English proficiency and establish a core group of support that helped him navigate at the College.

After testing the waters with political science – which he deemed “too dry” – Yang began to inquire about the hospitality industry, leading him to the Douglas College Hospitality Management Certificate.

Through the hands-on training he received in the program, Yang was able to land positions at prestigious establishments in Vancouver, including the Four Seasons, Shangri-La and now, Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver.

“It was really practical. The program was more like training for the real world,” Yang said. “When I started actually working in the industry, I was at the bottom of the bottom. But with what I learned at Douglas College, and the constructive criticism I received, I started moving up.”

Now, Yang is gearing up for the launch of the anticipated Mott32, when he will take the skills he learned to the main stage. And there will be some familiar faces cheering him on.

“The ELLA team really care about my success and even now, six years later, there is still a strong connection,” Yang said.

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