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Katie Thomas
Hometown: 
Toledo, OH
Program: 
BS, Hospitality Managment
“The HM program has inspired me to take chances, not be afraid of failure, and to really go after what I want.”

What drew you to the field of hospitality management?

In high school I discovered a passion for event planning, researching restaurants, and leading a group of people. I immediately began looking into majors where I could make work not feel like work. I wanted to serve those around me by giving them an unforgettable experience.

What made you fall in love with Ohio State?

I fell in love with Ohio State after learning about the diversity throughout the entire campus and how dedicated students are to bridging the gap between differences. Also, the passion found within Ohio State students, fans, and alumni is unmatched no matter where you go. I never realized I could have such deeply rooted love for an oval of walking space, a football team, and a poisonous nut.

How have the connections you have made in the hospitality management program helped you?

I have landed each of my three required internships through connections made during different hospitality events as well as non-required internships. The connections have also led to potential job opportunities in Chicago, an unlimited knowledge resource, and real world experiences. It's not many students who can say they have the opportunity to attend a cooking class each week.

How would you describe other students in the program?

One of the first thing I realized about this major is that almost every student has a job while in school, some even full time. Each student carries a sense of passion for the industry which is why most take on such a large role outside of the required course load. The students are dedicated to their studies, ready to jump right into new experiences, and very inquisitive during class lectures.

You have volunteered on the Big Dish Planning Committee multiple years. How has volunteering for the program’s largest event shaped your experience in EHE?

There is absolutely no way I would have been able to even get involved without putting myself out there. I have learned to take risks, as the biggest ones tend to give you the biggest rewards. The planning committee has allowed me to meet several people within EHE as well as gain experience to further my knowledge within the industry; the pieces learned throughout the planning process cannot be taught in the classroom.

Tell me how the hospitality management program has inspired you.

Like stated above, the HM program has inspired me to take chances, not be afraid of failure, and to really go after what I want. Most of my friends are business majors who don't understand the types of classes I'm taking, why I can't attend Fischer career fairs, or how it's really not feasible to land a job a year in advance. I have grown to love the HM program and have been inspired to share it with those around me to increase the general knowledge of hospitality - it's more than just working as a restaurant server. I have had to work much harder outside of the classroom to prove myself, but I've learned copious amounts along the way.

Any tips for incoming students to get the most out of the program?

Don't be afraid to get involved early and speak to professionals at networking events - it's how I landed each internship

Now that you’re getting ready to graduate, how has your education in hospitality management prepared you for your next step?

An HM education has prepared me with professional skills, networking tips, and how to spark up a conversation with anyone. I've learned endless amounts about consumer sciences, associate interaction, and how to market myself as the best candidate. My education has connected me with some of the best in the business, both in Columbus and out, so I have the opportunity to make connections and try new things wherever I may go.