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Alumni Spotlight:

Alexa Morgan, Class of 2014

 


“PCCC provided me with the foundation I needed
to succeed in the real world, both business world
and just life in general. From the professors
to the classes offered, there is an endless
supply of resources to gain experience from. “


 
A.S. Business Administration, 2014
Passaic County Community College

 
B.S. Hospitality and Tourism Management, 2016
University of Massachusetts, Amherst,
Isenberg School of Management

 
Hospitality Management Honor Society;
National Society of Leadership and Success

 

 

She Planned the Path to Fulfilling Her Dreams

Posted October 30, 2017

 

When Alexa Morgan (’14) received her bachelor’s degree in May 2016 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass), she not only graduated from her dream school, she also already had a job lined up in her dream field.

“My biggest success of going to UMass was graduating with my bachelor's degree and walking out of that school with an amazing job offer in New York City,” said Alexa who earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the UMass Isenberg School of Management.

A member of Eta Sigma Delta, the International Hospitality Management Honor Society, and The National Society of Leadership and Success, Alexa is now the production manager with Convene, a Manhattan corporate event planning firm.

It’s no surprise that this successful event planner also strategically mapped out her way to both the college and the career of her dreams, backing up those dreams with realistic planning, hard work, and initiative.

Ever since Alexa coordinated her junior and senior proms at West Milford High School she knew she had found her calling. “When I saw everyone having a good time and feeling uplifted, it was worth all the effort,” she said.

Researching her chosen field, Alexa targeted University of Massachusetts as her college of choice. “UMass is one of the leading hospitality schools,” she explained,” and I knew if I was going down this career path, I had better learn from the best there is.”

Yet, while her high school friends were making plans to go away to four-year colleges, Alexa didn’t feel ready to leave home and plunge into life at a big university. Plus, she was paying for her education and had to consider costs, so she decided to start college at PCCC.

“Attending PCCC was the best decision I ever made,” says Alexa. “Where else would you get such a wonderful education for just a portion of the price you would starting out at any four-year university?”

At PCCC, Alexa joined the Phi Theta Kappa honor society where she served as president, made the All-State Academic Team, and graduated with high honors and her Associate in Science Degree in Business Administration.

When it came time to transfer, Alexa was now ready. “PCCC gave me my foundation,” she said. “I felt well prepared, and my academic experience at UMass was wonderful.”

In her junior year at UMass, Alexa was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success, a nationwide honor society. “I was really looking to join something like this after my experience with Phi Theta Kappa at PCCC,” she said. “It was a great way to meet other students who had passion for being a leader and pushed themselves to excel academically.”

Alexa gained professional experience through three paid internships she received at UMass. Working as an event planner for Perona Farms in New Jersey “was one of the best experiences ever and just reassured me that this is the field I want to be in,” she said.

Her two marketing internships were with a sustainability company that focused on wind turbines and solar blocks.
“That was not necessarily the field I wanted to be in, “said Alexa, “however making yourself diverse is something that companies look for when hiring candidates.”

Determined to land a job before graduating, Alexa said the search process “really gave me a taste of what I was made of.”  She reached out to her professors, to people on Linked-In, and to multiple contacts beyond those. “I put myself out there in a way I had never even thought I could,” said Alexa.

“Going out of my comfort zone ultimately led to my biggest success,” she added. “As it turns out, the Human Resources Manager for the company I got a job with was actually a UMass alumna, and it all ended up working out.”

In her job at Convene, Alexa interacts with clients from start to finish of each project. “The best part of my job is leaving after an event and the client is beyond words happy and the event was a roaring success,” she said. “The challenging part is the long hours and commute from New Jersey, but doing what you love to do makes it all worth it!”