My name is Canisha Pope, and I am a student in the Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) program offered by the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG).
My journey to USG was a very interesting one. I heard about USG from my previous advisor at Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) and later connected with my first academic advisor from USG, Ruth K. Lee from UMES’ HTM program. Before coming to USG, I actually had no intention of returning to school since I had just finished my associate’s degree. But, after giving it a lot more thought and researching the program, I decided to apply for the HTM program through UMES at USG in April 2018, and was accepted that summer. I was once again back on my journey through school, this time to complete my bachelor’s degree!
I selected my school and program at USG because of the affordability and flexibility — the classes fit my busy schedule since I was working full-time throughout my academic journey. Since coming to USG, I joined and am now president of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. I also served on USG’s Student Council in 2020, becoming one of the first members to represent UMES in over 10 years. Before COVID, I was also honored to be a part of Campus Kitchens, a community service organization through which UMES prepares meals for local families in need, as part of the program’s curriculum.
My anticipated graduation date is December 2021, so I am right at the finish line! Currently, I am transitioning into a Sales Coordinator position at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Alexandria, Virginia. Upon graduation, I plan to continue as a Sales Coordinator for at least two more years, then work toward an Event Manager role within Marriott. I would also like to begin my own event and wedding planning business called “The CP Experience.”
And finally, later down the line, I would like to start a foundation or some sort of community outreach organization for kids and young adults who are interested in the hospitality industry. The concept would be centered around helping them pay for school and teaching them about the different areas of the hospitality industry.