Grace Manor is heading to Disney World!
The Middlesex Community College Hospitality Management major was a finalist for the Disney College Program in March 2020 when the internship was canceled due to COVID-19. Now that the program has returned, Manor feels prepared to enter the hospitality field and hone the skills she learned in her classes at Middlesex.
Born in St. Louis, Manor has lived in a number of states throughout her life. She moved with her family to Bedford in the middle of the pandemic and was excited to learn there was a college in her new town. MCC faculty and staff have been helpful in a number of ways as she went through the transfer process, including by being available to answer questions.
“In the future, the biggest help will be having my degree in a field that I am hoping to go into,” Manor said. “While I have been getting my degree, I have made connections through my classes with both students and outside sources, I’ve gained skills I didn’t have before from doing online schooling, and gained interpersonal skills that will be helpful for my future career path.”
Kim Morrissey, MCC’s Hospitality and Culinary Arts Program Manager, is Manor’s advisor at Middlesex. Throughout the application process, Morrissey supported Manor’s efforts – whether it was alerting her to new opportunities or offering support as she waited to hear if she got into the popular program. Manor was selected out of thousands of applicants and credits her classes in the Hospitality program for giving her a competitive edge.
“This is going to be an amazing opportunity for me to work in a place that is centered almost exclusively around hospitality and gain really valuable experience at the same time,” she said. “My classes and degree itself have been helpful for me to be prepared.”
In her hospitality courses, Manor has had supportive professors who provide relevant and creative assignments. They have also offered guest speakers via Zoom who helped her relate what she is working on in class to what she will be doing in her internship and future career.
Manor believes that learning the content, hearing from professionals and actively working on projects are an important part of college to help students figure out what they want and do not want to do in the future.
“College is all about preparing you to work in your chosen degree field,” she said. “This internship will help narrow down what section I want to work in in the field of hospitality. Internships can also help boost your resume and in turn help you find a better or more specific job post-graduation.”
While in the Disney College Program, Manor looks forward to taking a few classes and building connections. Whether she works at Disney in the future, she is still considering what she wants to pursue for a career in hospitality. She would like to transfer to a four-year college after graduating from Middlesex and earn her bachelor’s degree. For now, she knows that getting a degree and doing internships is helping her “get a foot in the door” in the industry.
“College is a great way to prepare for the future,” she said. “It gives you the tools to go after your academic, professional and personal paths.”
The Hospitality Management program at MCC helps students go into – and succeed in – the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/hospitality/default.aspx for more information and to discover your path at Middlesex.
Featuring flexible course formats and a variety of student support services and resources, MCC is registering now for the Fall 2021 semester. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for classes.
Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!
This press release was produced by the Middlesex Community College. The views expressed here are the author’s own.