Posted on December 13, 2018
Thanks to the Visit Baltimore Education & Training Foundation, I was able to enroll in George Washington University’s Sustainable Tourism Destination Management Certificate Program.
I began my search for a destination management program in the summer of 2018 . I had decided it was time to take the initiative to further educate myself on how the tourism industry works in order to discover ways in which my background can be the most useful and further my career. With a background in business, I began looking specifically into destination management programs hoping that it would help me gain a better understanding of the in’s and outs of this industry as well as equip me with the basic knowledge and understanding of different paths that can be pursued in tourism.
The Sustainable Tourism Destination Management Certificate Program at GW is a two-part program. To-date, I have completed one half of the courses: Destination investment & finance, Destination policy & planning, and Product development. The latter was my favorite course in part because I was able to create a tourism product for the market of my choice as my final project. Naturally, I chose Baltimore!
I can honestly say the program has already exceeded my expectations. I was able to learn from educators who had varying tourism backgrounds as well as learn from my classmates from all over the world, each of whom is doing very different jobs in the tourism field. My ah-ha moment during this semester was when I realized that I had the least amount of hospitality industry experience in comparison to my classmates, but when it came to the work that we shared they all seemed to be impressed with what I was able to produce. It was truly something to be proud of, and also something to remind me that I do have knowledge to bring the table.
Of course, what this course offered me which was most valuable, was the connection I wanted to make between business and tourism. I knew it was there and I was glad to finally be able to identify it. I truly hope to use what I have learned already - and what I will learn from completing this certificate this coming Spring 2019 – in my current workplace. I also hope that the educational value I gain through this program will help me better position myself for the future, ensuring I have the knowledge and insight needed to take on any new opportunity that may come my way!
-Danielle Rose, MBA