Major: Hospitality and Tourism Master’s Program
Year: 1st year Student
Expected graduation: Spring 2020
Hometown: Athens, Ohio
Involvement on Campus: I have been employed with Ohio University Event Services for four years now. I work at Baker Center handling the set up of events as well as working with guests and clients helping them in any way that I can. I also work at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium ushering for events and helping guests.

How did you choose Ohio University?

I chose Ohio University firstly because it was in my hometown and had a major I was interested in (Restaurant, Hotel, and Tourism). I chose to stay at Ohio University for my master’s because I can not imagine any university in the world that treats students better than Ohio University. The university invests all they can in their students’ success and that means a lot to me.

How did you choose your major? What excites you most about it?

I chose my major because I always knew I was a people person, and I love working hard to make sure the guests I work with have the best possible experience. I always get excited when a guest comes to me and is able to explain exactly what they need to make their experience the best, and I know that I am capable of doing that for them.

Have you ever used career or leadership training services on campus (e.g., taken a career class, gone to the CLDC, met with a career or leadership coach, etc.)?

I have completed both certificate programs through the CLDC (21stCentury Leadership and the Professional Leadership). I have also met with a career and leadership coach on multiple occasions and I credit them for helping me decide what path was better for me when it came to accomplishing my career goals.

Tell us about one of your most significant career development experiences at OHIO.

The most significant career development experience I have had at OHIO would be when Jamie Dahl (former Assistant Director for Hospitality, Merchandising and Recreation at the CLDC) and I sat down and wrote out exactly what I wanted in a career and what I would need to do to get there. That is when we were able to decide that pursuing a master’s degree would be the best course of action to be able to attain my career goals. Without her, I know I would not be in a master’s program right now.

What would you like to do once you graduate?

After I graduate, I would like to begin the process of opening a hotel in the Athens area. My goal would be to be able to offer a higher class of hotel in the downtown Athens area that caters to parents and alumni of Ohio University.

What advice would you give to your fellow Bobcats?

The advice I would give to fellow Bobcats would be to get involved early, make as many connections as possible, introduce yourself to all of your professors early in the semester and never count out any possibilities for furthering your education or pursuing a career path.

What is your favorite thing about being a Bobcat?

My favorite thing about being a Bobcat is that no matter where you go you will find a Bobcat who will do anything they can to help you however they can. I have met fellow Bobcats all over and they are always the nicest people.

Matthew Russell

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