Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blog Series Part II: How My Liberal Arts Degree is Helping Me in Graduate Business School

We're almost to the end of the week! The cohort is looking forward to tonight's Thirsty Thursday speaker Alyson Miller from Brand USA (check back in a few days for a recap post!).

Today we share part two of out current blog series, "How My Liberal Arts Degree is Helping Me in Graduate Business School" (if you missed part one, you can read it here).

Maddie Fallon shares her experiences as a student majoring in tourism management, and what being a "tourist" in business means to her.

Be a Tourist in Your Own Company

When people ask me what my major was in undergrad, they usually respond the same way after I answer them, “Tourism management? Hmmm, that’s different.” Usually the response is followed by the question, “So what did you learn about?” In the absence of time and patience, I usually compare it to hospitality management and let the conversation pass. But there is more to tourism than one would think, and a degree in that field provides a lot of value to the business world. In my classes, I learned a lot about facts and figures of the industry, different types of tourism, and how to run a tourist location. I also learned how to attract tourists to a location, and even how to be a tourist. Perhaps the most important aspect of my major is this last lesson. Being a tourist is fun, but can be unrewarding if you don’t even know what to appreciate, especially in your own city. There are so many reasons why tourists go to certain locations to have certain experiences; usually to encounter something new. By being a tourist in your own city, you can learn to appreciate what tourists come to look for, and where you come from as well. As I looked into this subject more during undergrad, I came across the 2011 Happiness Challenge created by Gretchen Rubin, a contributor for Her video highlights how tourism is a state of mind, and suggests a resolution to be a tourist in your hometown to create a new perspective and inspire adventure and curiosity. 
Experiencing your city in a new way encourages you to notice new things where you live and remember why you love your home. I believe this lesson translates directly into business. Being a “tourist” in business to me means to simply learn and experience new ways of doing business that haven’t been experienced before. It also means that being a “tourist” in your own business can renew someone’s passion for their job or company. For example, the CEO of a company might revisit the department they worked up from and be reminded of their perseverance and dedication. The inspiration that might stem from that would be beneficial to the whole company, with a leader strongly reminded of the company’s mission they have worked so hard to achieve. While studying tourism, the most valuable lesson I learned was how to be a tourist. It taught me to appreciate my own home, whether it’s my city or the company I work for, in order to gain a new perspective, and that is very valuable in business.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

How My Liberal Arts Degree is Valuable to Me in Graduate Business School: Blog Series Part I

And we're back! After a nice summer respite here in the office, we welcomed the MSBA class of 2017 at our August orientation. They hit the ground running and showed great potential and leadership skills right off the bat. 

The first two weeks of classes are now under our belt, complete with the first blogging assignment from our fearless leader and Program Director, Professor Stew McHie. 

In this blogging series, we will feature students' LinkedIn blog posts with the topic "How My Liberal Arts Undergraduate Degree is Helping me in Graduate Business School". 

To start us off, we have Regina Torres. Regina graduated from Kendall College with a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management. Take it away, Regina!

Changing Careers? Mine Your Skills

Choosing a new career path can be daunting. Maybe your background doesn’t match the direction you want to go. Good news: they may have more in common than you think.

Chances are you’ve learned valuable transferable skills. For instance, my undergraduate degree and work experience are in Hospitality Management, and I’m currently shifting toward Management Consulting.

While they are different fields, here are three lessons the hospitality industry has taught me that will serve wherever I go:

1. Lead by Example: Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer stated “Example is not the main thing influencing others; it is the only thing.” Some of my best managers started in menial positions and worked their way up. Through their example they’ve become not just managers, but leaders.

2. Listen, Carefully: When I first joined the W, a colleague told me about a blind woman who had once worked in the hotel’s call center. She had consistently received the best guest feedback in her department. How? She was a great listener. Without the distraction of the screens and clutter around her, she focused better on the guests—their tone, their needs. She connected with them.

3. Be Flexible: Clients change their minds, owners cut budgets, coworkers get sick… In the words of national treasure Tim Gunn, “Make it work.”

If you’re thinking of changing directions, assess your transferable skills inventory. You may be surprised at how much you find.
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