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Frank Chen
Hometown: 
Wenzhou, China
Program: 
BS, Hospitality Management
“My professors in the hospitality management program truly went above and beyond to educate and mentor me…”

Your home is in China. How did you find out about Ohio State and what made it stand out to you?

Ohio State has a big name in China already. Not only for its reputable education but also for its growing alumni base in China. Through research and word of mouth, I really admired the diversity, global atmosphere and enormous opportunities Ohio State has to offer and eventually made up my mind to join the Buckeye family.

What is it about the hospitality management program that attracted you to it?

I have always had a strong passion for people which made me especially interested in Hospitality Management. However, before college I was not sure which sector of the industry I am most interested in pursuing. Instead of a more specialized Hotel Management or Restaurant Management program, I was more inclined to explore a more comprehensive Hospitality Management program.

What have you discovered that is unique about your hospitality management education at Ohio State?

Ohio State’s program is unique for its strong support by the professional community and connection to career development. It is relatively small but it allows much more customization and flexibility. With various specializations incorporated into the program, I was able to explore hotels, restaurants, event planning and even casino operations before I made my career decision. Additionally, programs such as Mentorship Program and Big Dish effectively connect students to the industry community and builds bridges that can greatly benefit career growth.

You have taken on many roles in student organizations at Ohio State. How has this shaped your experience in hospitality management and at Ohio State?

Student organizations provided me the opportunity to develop my early leadership and to grow my network among peers and professionals. From a Freshman looking to get involved to a Senior leading three organizations, this journey has shaped my leadership style and guided me through a series of growth. My Ohio State experience would have never been the same if I did not take on these roles.

Tell me how your professors have impressed you?

My professors in the hospitality management program truly went above and beyond to educate and mentor me over the last few years. Dedicated professors like Anne Turpin, Jay Kamdampully and many others have taught me lessons both inside and outside of classroom. They genuinely care about students’ development and use their experience from academics and industry to guide us toward our passion and goals. The fact that we could be so close both personally and academically with professors is impressive. Many professors of mine are both personal mentors and academic teachers. I have been extremely fortunate to learn so much from them.

What are your plans once you graduate?

After graduation, I will be going into hotel industry but I have not decided which hotel chain or company to work for. I am currently exploring opportunities in China, U.S. and other parts of the world and interviewing for various positions in hotel sector. Besides hotels, I have become interested in entrepreneurship as well. I am working with family members and friends to see possibility in opening a restaurant in the U.S.

What advice would you have for students thinking about majoring in hospitality management?

Definitely try hospitality management if you are interested! It is one of the fastest growing industry with great career opportunities and you will be amazed how much you could learn from this hospitality management program. 


Another piece of advice I would give is that your major does not have to be your lifetime career. Often than not, your major opens up a whole new world of possibilities that you can further explore. Even when you are determined about going into hospitality, there are a wide variety of industries and sectors that you would be a great fit for. It is more advisable to focus on the learning process rather than the destination.

One last question. How can students get the most out of their experience in the hospitality management program?

I would strongly suggest students building skills both inside and outside of classroom. Hospitality Management is much more practical than most other majors, and it requires genuine passion and commitment. Getting involved with Hospitality Management Association and Big Dish was the most rewarding experience I have had in this program. These initiatives can build extensive personal network and provide you with enormous resources and opportunities. I would absolutely suggest students taking active roles in HMA and Big Dish.