March 28, 2014
For many, a family vacation is a hiatus from the real world to look forward to, or a sweet memory to cherish. But for others, like senior management student Nicole Luth, it has also been the inspiration for a career.
When the Hawthorne, N.J., native graduates in May, she plans to pursue the field of hospitality management.
"I really like working in hotels," said Luth, who interned at Marriott's Newark, N.J, location last summer and currently interns at The Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown. "I've always had a fascination with them. (Working in that environment) is a great way to meet new people and have new experiences every day. I love the customer interaction, and that you can focus on the guest and learn about them. I want to be able to bring enjoyment to others visiting a hotel," she said.
She enjoys the fast-paced nature of the field, and doesn't have a problem juggling several tasks at once.
"Teamwork is very important at a hotel. You need to coordinate and communicate with different departments as well as your own," she explained.
She feels she's been properly trained to do that, thanks to her internships and coursework at B&E in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
"I've learned about revenue management, how rates are set, how to interact with guests and how to handle problems. The hospitality program really opens up opportunities (for students)," she said, referencing a handful of the experiential learning activities in which she has participated. These include a business etiquette dinner, guest speaking events, and trips to places like Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Heston Winery, the Lebanese Bistro and outdoor recreation such as zip lining. She feels these experiences have proved equally educational to the classroom.
Luth has been an active participant at B&E, serving as secretary of the Hospitality Club, participating in management case competition with Dr. Suzanne Kitchen and serving as a B&E Student Ambassador. She said that becoming involved has been one of the wisest choices of her undergraduate career, and that it has allowed her friendships and business connections to flourish.
Although she is still working out her post-graduation plans, Luth said she loves the company culture at Marriott and is strongly considering a career there. In the meantime, however, she's enjoying her last few weeks at B&E. She's had a great run, and there's a bright future in store.