My name is Amy Beal and I am a soon-to-be graduate of UW-Stout! I will have a degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management with a concentration in Convention and Meeting planning. I also obtained a minor in Spanish and one in Business Administration. It’s been a crazy journey and I’ve loved every minute of my experience at Stout!
When they say college goes fast, they’re not kidding. It is crazy that four and a half years ago I was just a freshman, not knowing what the next four years had in store for me. As a sophomore I transferred to Stout from UW-Whitewater, not really having any idea what would lie ahead of me. Would I like it? Would this be a good fit for me? Would this be the university I graduate from? All of these questions ran through my head and the only way to get answers was to try it out. I could not have made a better decision! I have had the best years of my life at Stout and honestly, I did not realize the outstanding education, experience, friendships, and networks I would leave with.
I got involved right away my sophomore year with cheerleading and some organizations that tied into my major. I couldn’t believe how friendly everyone was and how quickly I adapted to life four hours away from home. I felt so welcomed. As I moved through sophomore year I became more acquainted with networking and how important it was to start looking at my future. I attended the on-campus career fair and by surprise, landed a summer internship doing events! I knew that this would be the perfect start to my Hospitality experience, and it sure was.
Junior year rapidly approached and my classes began to get a bit harder. I picked up my second minor and had more classes added to my course plan, which meant I would be staying at Stout for an extra semester. I was happy about that ☺ I became captain of the cheerleading squad and my schedule got busier. I still wanted to have time for some fun, as well, so I made sure it all balanced! I landed another summer internship at the career fair that year and was excited to gain more experience in those three months!
Finally senior year was here! About halfway through the year I learned of an opportunity to study abroad. This had never interested me before but when the opportunity came up I wanted to try it out! It was a one month summer trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina and I got six credits for classes I took for my major and my minors! It was the most rewarding experience I have ever had, not to mention SO MUCH FUN! Staying the extra semester was a great idea at this point because I got to have this wonderful experience.
And now I’m at the end…I have spent this fall semester totally preparing for life after graduation. I reworked my entire resume and started job hunting. I was nervous that I wouldn’t have a job lined up before I walked across the stage, then I realized where I go to school! Career services really prepared me for the job hunting process with resume workshops, mock interviews, and tips for the career fair. In October I took my resume to the career fair and talked to as many employers as I could. I got six on-campus interviews for the next day! The interviews went well and hearing back from employers with positive feedback was very exciting!
Just before Thanksgiving break, I got an email from the number one place I wanted to work, offering me the job! After a week of weighing out my options I accepted the offer and am now starting my full-time job in January. I will be an Event Manager for Three Bears Resort, Cranberry Country Lodge, and Ground Round Restaurant in Tomah, WI. I am so excited to start working in the field I am so passionate about!
The advice I will give to all young college students is to get involved in everything that you can, take any opportunities that come your way, and make time for yourself and your friends! Take advantage of services on campus that will help you prepare for your future. College only comes once in your life and if you don’t get involved now, you won’t be able to go back and do it again. Enjoy your four years and work hard for your future!