We all remember the feeling of being a freshman, the new man on campus. My first day at Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College brought me straight back to my first day as a college freshman at the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga. Though it has been a few years since my freshman year, Marketing College did not disappoint! While I was sent there for business, by the end of the week it felt more like a vacation with life long friends than a week long plummet into the tourism industry.
Per usual, that first morning got off to a later start than I had intended, which resulted in me hustling across the Dahlonega town square to try and make it to class on time, a feeling that I know all too well. I even had to stop and ask for directions, typical freshman. Once I finally reached my destination I took part in the age old dance of, “Where do I sit?” Luckily, my colleague Joey Strawn was attending as a first year along with me so the seating situation was resolved in a snap. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about being with a group of 92 strangers from 8-5 pm that week, but as soon as our first speaker, the delightful Judy Randall, began that Monday morning I could tell this was no ordinary “college experience.”
Almost immediately, there was a sense of camaraderie between my new classmates and I. We started off with introductions that quickly got personal and had everybody laughing, a great way to start a long week. The time we spent together in class was just the beginning as Southeast Tourism Society sure knows how to bring people together. Throughout the week we were treated to family style dinners, a tubing adventure down the Chestatee River, a BBQ at the beautiful Hardman cottage, and free time in between to explore all Dahlonega had to offer.
In the midst of all the fun we were having, we were privileged to hear from some of the tourism industry’s finest leaders and professionals on a variety of topics. The week was truly educational for me as a marketing professional because it gave me a whole other viewpoint on the travel industry that I previously had known little about. The most interesting aspect to me was that all 92 students were there as separate entities for a common purpose: to educate themselves on how to better serve the tourism industry in the Southeast as a whole.
Though the week was a long one, it’s safe to say that we all thoroughly enjoyed our time in and out of the classroom. By Friday it felt as though I had crammed an entire year of college into just 5 days and I’m now equipped to take my part in educating others about the importance of the tourism industry.
I would like to say thank you to Southeast Tourism Society for all that you have and will continue to do.
To all of my Marketing College classmates,
We started out the week as strangers but ended as friends, colleagues, and (future) Travel Marketing Professionals.
Here’s to the next 3 years with the Marketing College class of 2013!Share Article