Alicia Arnold - 2014/2015
The Lois Searles ‘Unpaid Internship’ Scholarship Award was established to assist students who are pursuing an unpaid internship to gain experience in the hospitality and tourism industries. This award will assist a student who may not otherwise have the opportunity to accept an unpaid internship position in the field of Hospitality & Tourism Management.
Recipients for this scholarship shall have been accepted for or currently enrolled at Grand Valley State University. They must be an undergraduate student and enrolled as a full time student, have a declared major in Hospitality and Tourism Management, enrolled in internship course (HTM 290,390 or 490), shall be making satisfactory academic progress according to the norms established by the University, and must demonstrate financial need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
"I was the recipient of the Lois Searles ‘Unpaid Internship’ award my senior year at Grand Valley. As a Hospitality and Tourism Management student with an emphasis in Meeting and Event Management, I completed one of my internships with the Fund Development department at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids. During this internship, I helped coordinate the foundation’s 50th anniversary gala. I gained a perspective on the non-profit industry and hands on experience that has benefitted my career path thus far. Receiving the Lois Searles ‘Unpaid Internship’ award enabled me to accept another unpaid internship my final semester at the Ballroom@CityFlats. Without this scholarship I would not have had the chance to gain more event experience, as I would have had to pick up more shifts at my paid part-time jobs. All of this has brought me where I am today. After graduating in December 2014, I accepted a professional internship with The Walt Disney Company. I currently coordinate internal events throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks. I am grateful for the opportunities the Lois Searles ‘Unpaid Internship’ award has given me towards pursuing my dream career."