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Florida State University


"When reading the course requirements for the Hospitality major, I was blown away by classes like Food, Wine and Culture; Hospitality Law; and Event Management," says senior Ebony Cobb. She knew, being raised in the "hospitality hub of Orlando, Florida," the major would fit her perfectly.

"Hospitality is a business major with a little more flair! The Dedman School of Hospitality has done wonders to prepare me, enabling me to travel, meet exciting people, and learn each and everyday."

During spring break of her sophomore year, Ebony visited Jamaica through Beyond Border's Cultural Exchange Program, which taught her "a great deal" about herself and the Jamaican culture. The highlight, however, was her trip to Europe—to Leysin, Switzerland. Through Florida State's International Programs, Hospitality and Business majors spend five weeks studying, traveling, and observing industry operations first-hand. "We had four days each week to travel. I was able to visit seven countries and London! We learned how the different European wineries made, bottled, and sold their wine. I fell in love with the Indian food in Germany, and will never forget the Spanish bars that served sangria and tapas (bite-size appetizers)."  

Living on campus has also enhanced her education. "Residence halls promote friendships, student leaders, healthy living, and learning," she says, "and they are a safety net for conflict resolution and crisis management." From the first, she found "so much favor with residence halls" that she decided to become a resident assistant (RA) and has continued for three years. Last October, for developing a program that encouraged students to vote, she was recognized as RA of the Month by the National Residence Hall Honorary. Again in January, the Honorary awarded her for her "outstanding work as a third year RA."

As president of FSU's chapter of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH), Ebony has "worked to make the industry aware of the benefits that a diverse workplace, including corporate and upper-level management, can provide a business." She has attended conferences in New Orleans and Pittsburgh, which have helped her "to build relationships with Hospitality professionals, to network with students from around the nation, and to address professional development."

Part of the NSMH is STRENGTH (Students Taking Responsibility in Engineering New Growth in Hospitality), "an outreach initiative that encourages high school students to consider a career in Hospitality and that serves as a link from the Dedman School to our community." As a volunteer, Ebony has helped "interested students develop self-confidence, and communication and professional skills."

To slake her interest in Hospitality Law, Ebony may go on to Law School. "Since we live in a highly litigious society, it would be beneficial to study the legal issues that can affect businesses. And, I believe, it would be vastly rewarding."

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