Where are you from and what brought you to Baltimore?
I grew up in Jamaica. I was born in St. Andrew and raised in the sunshine city of Portmore, St. Catherine. I first fell in love with Baltimore when I first made my debut in Maryland in 2009. I firmly believe Baltimore is a city filled with historic gold, from the history behind Fort McHenry to Federal Hill. I moved to Baltimore three years ago, when I was offered a full scholarship to attend Morgan State University to pursue my Master's in Business Administration (MBA). I don’t plan on ever leaving Baltimore. It’s a city on the rise, filled with endless opportunities.
You have an undergraduate degree in aviation sciences and recently completed an MBA—what made you choose these areas of study?
Attaining these accolades was not easy, however, it was definitely worth it. Ever since I was a child, I always had the burning desire to fly a plane. I remember being a little girl at the local airport and watching the bottoms of planes as they lifted into the sky and being hooked. I haven’t flown a plane, yet—flight classes are very expensive. But, I’ve been learning everything I can from the ground about flying planes, and ended up studying airway management and operations. One of my dreams is to own my own aviation management company within the next decade, so I can fly planes whenever I want. I’m proud to have completed my MBA this spring, especially because I gave birth to my daughter in the middle of my program. Tanayah was born in October, and I graduated in May. I know my MBA will make me a little bit more prepared to be a force in the business world. I’m hoping this apprenticeship will also give me a competitive edge.
Why are you interested in a career in the tourism industry?
Tourism is a huge part of the Jamaican economy, but I was always so focused on the sciences when I lived there. I left when I was 16, but instilled in me is a love for travelling to new places, discovering various cultures and historic artifacts, meeting new people from different backgrounds, and hearing stories of the type of environments in which they were brought up. The tourism industry in Jamaica is really big in Montego Bay and the areas surrounded by sea. You see people going crazy over Jamaican people, the vibes, the culture, the food. When people hear you’re from Jamaica, they get excited because you’re from somewhere they want to go. I think Baltimore is somewhere people will want to go, too. We have welcoming people, a beautiful harbor, historic places and interesting neighborhoods.
Talk about the structure of your apprenticeship, starting with what you'll be doing at Visit Baltimore, and then where you’ll be at your other placements.
My apprenticeship is a 600-hour program, more like an accelerated rotational program, where I will have the opportunity to experience working in various departments of Visit Baltimore for 300 hours, before working at the Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall-Washington Airport for 150 hours, and completing my apprenticeship with 150 hours at one of Baltimore’s top hotels. I will be on rotation at Visit Baltimore in various departments, including Public Affairs, Sales and Services, Marketing, Operations and others. After the program is completed I will be guaranteed a position with a great organization, where in which I will be able to showcase the skills I have honed during the tenure of my apprenticeship.
What are three of your favorite places to go/ or things to do in Baltimore?
A few places I enjoy going to are Montebello Lake and the Inner Harbor, and I like getting the Jamaican jerk hot dog at Stuggy’s in Fell’s Point. I used to go there when I was pregnant. A couple of things I enjoy doing in Baltimore are golfing at courses like Pine Ridge Golf Course, taking nature walks in Roland Park, and exploring the city’s historic landmarks, like the World Trade Center, which I was interested to learn was dedicated to Maryland victims that lost their lives during the September 11 terrorist attacks. The B&O Railroad Museum was also an amazing experience for me. I went there a few years ago and remember being fascinated by how trains could be picked up by simple mechanics.
Anything else about yourself you'd liked to share?
I am 23 years old and the mother to a beautiful, bouncing 10-month-old baby girl, Tanayah Samira Hall, and I am married to the greatest man on earth, my husband Richard Hall. Without these two I would not have the courage to accomplish all that I have today. Family and God are my major pillars that support my life.