From Bundy to Banff, Great Attitude Unlocks Great Opportunities
Whether she’s navigating dusty rural roads in Australia, or chauffeuring visitors on the snow-lined streets of Banff, you’re in good hands with Shari Mortensen behind the wheel.
Like many young Australians, Shari came to Canada for a two-year working holiday, seeking snow and scenery. Shortly after her arrival in Banff in 2015, Banff Rocky Mountain Resort recognised her people skills and adaptability, welcoming her to the team as a Shuttle Driver.
Shari has been a pivotal member of the team ever since, forging a reputation for her ability to rise to new challenges – with a can-do attitude and good humour. On a work day, you could also find her assisting guests at the front desk, supervising the hotel pool and gym, setting up for weddings and conferences, and serving and helping out in the kitchen at the Alpha Bistro.
“Driving the shuttle bus, in particular, you get to meet so many interesting people from around the world. Some days I’ll drive the same guests on the bus in the morning, then serve them here at the Bistro for dinner. It’s really nice to see a lot of loyal and familiar faces,” Shari says.
For Shari, who has worked a variety of diverse roles from farmhand, to make-up artist, to pharmacy assistant, being an adaptable all-rounder is part of her way of life. One of 10 children, she and her siblings grew up on her family’s small-crops farm in Bundaberg (“Bundy”), Australia, where they lived, worked and were homeschooled with their family.
“There’s always something to be done on the farm, with so many crops (grapefruits, pawpaws [papayas], rock melons, butternut squash, capsicums [peppers]…), animals (goats, horses, cows, chickens, cats, dogs…), and kids around. There was never a dull moment,” Shari says.
Here in Canada, Shari has enjoyed ticking off a number of experiences on her bucket list during her working holiday adventure, including ATV, helicopter and skydiving tours, and seeing the Northern Lights for the first time at Lake Minnewanka.
“I love that Banff is a small town where there’s lots to do. Living in staff accommodation has been an amazing experience – I’ve met some of my best mates here, and living, working and socialising with them has been even more fun than I imagined.”
And it should come as no surprise that Shari counts winter sports such as snowboarding, snowmobiling and ice-skating among her greatest highlights – because back in her hometown of Bundaberg, the coldest temperature rarely dips below 11°C (52°F).
When asked the best thing about life in Canada, Shari looks out the window of the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort, motions towards the mountains, and says thoughtfully, “We stand at the front desk, look at these views, and wonder how we’ll ever leave. It speaks for itself!”
Want to join our friendly team? Find out more about career opportunities with Banff Lodging Co. on our careers page.