I enrolled in the Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism (HRT) program in the fall of 2015. I didn’t know what to expect or how I was going to be able to succeed or pay for my classes. The only thing I knew was that I was very excited and nervous at the same time. I knew that I wanted to get my major in Hospitality and Tourism Management because I wanted to have the opportunity to travel, and serve people who were looking to have fun. While at school, I wanted to absorb as much information as possible about the tourism industry. I enjoyed reading every book, contributing to group projects, and trying to exceed on every exam. During my time at CSU East Bay, I had to put some sleep hours aside, so I could complete my homework or other school’ demands. I enjoyed attending almost every HRT meeting because for me, this was the best way to connect with my professors, find out about new plans, or to meet industry leaders. Attending those types of meetings was a way to discover the path that will lead me to a successful career. While at CSU East Bay, I had the opportunity to attend important events such as, the Travel and Tourism Research Association conference at Vail Colorado and the next year in Quebec, Canada. I also was able to attend the CalTravel summit in Palm Springs, California, thanks to a scholarship from this association. In the same way, I was able to attend a conference and a reception in New York thanks to a scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation and to funds from the CSU East Bay. There were plenty of opportunities at CSU East Bay to travel and get involved in local, national, and international events. I cannot forget the different opportunities I had to volunteer at school, like the “Wine Experience” event, and the President’s Etiquette Dinner, which were the best way to get some experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. All those great experiences contributed to the professional person I am today. Equally important are all the memories of support and trust from all my professors during school and after I graduated; for them, I still and will always be part of CSU East Bay. For all the reasons mentioned above, I feel so proud and thankful for being part of the CSU East Bay Alumni and especially, for have been a member of the HRT program. Thank you CSU East Bay and HRT program!
-Maria Leticia Preciado