Beth Lukens is a graduate of USF Sarasota-Manatee from the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership. Lukens currently works for Marriott International in Tampa.
Why is USFSM important to you personally?
It gave me a great educational foundation to build a career on. I loved the small classes. Having grown up in Sarasota, it was interesting to be able to experience the business side of tourism and what makes the destination so successful.
What parts of the university are you involved in/hope to get involved in?
I go to football games and coached at the USF main campus for a year. I would love to have the opportunity to be more involved (speaking with students, attending events, etc).
How important was your education in preparing you for your business success?
I never thought I would be the person who followed a career path so closely aligned with my education, yet here I am. Having the book based knowledge of hospitality has definitely given me a leg up in the business world. I have a strong foundation in all areas of the industry, which has often come in handy in both business situations an simply for personal enrichment. Whereas this industry used to have a lot of people with no degree at all, now more and more people are getting hospitality specific degrees so it pays to have the degree.
What made you choose USFSM for your college education?
I was an Art Major at Florida State and came home on Spring Break knowing I needed a change. Coincidentally USF was just launching its first ever hospitality class that summer. I had always loved the restaurant business so I made the switch. I never even considered another school.
If you had to sell someone on USFSM, what would be the one sentence you would say?
USFSM provides students the opportunity to learn in a small, engaging environment while being engulfed in a community that offers endless resources for success in a career in tourism.