“I started working when I was 13 and I’ve had a lot of different jobs,” Ellis explained. “I instantly knew hotel management was want I wanted to pursue. I changed my focus and my goal was to get in to Grand Valley. The university’s hospitality and tourism management program has an excellent reputation.”
Ellis started classes at Grand Valley in the fall of 2007 and at the same time applied for a scholarship through the Hispanic College Fund. A month in to classes, Ellis was notified she had been awarded a $7,000 scholarship and had also been chosen as one of the 30 Hispanic College Fund Scholars from around the country to participate in the Hispanic Young Professionals program in Washington, D.C. The four-day program offered career-focused workshops on networking, financial planning, goal setting and business etiquette. Ellis was also partnered with a mentor to guide her along her career path.
“I would like to run my own hotel one day,” Ellis said. “I know that sounds ambitious, but I’m working hard in my classes and Grand Valley’s HTM program will provide me with the skills and knowledge necessary for me to succeed.”