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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