Kate Eastman

BS Hospitality Business, Class of 2011

"I've learned so much, and I want to be able to give that back."

Two days after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, Kate Eastman ‘11 started as a general manager in training for Global Vision Hotels in Fall River, Mass.

“I didn’t get it by wishing and hoping. I put myself to the test, and I passed,” Kate says.

Four years earlier, the vocational high school graduate had arrived on campus with a plan: work hard, participate in extracurricular activities and prepare for a career in the hospitality industry.

She didn’t anticipate the setback that could have derailed her.

“My father passed away my junior year, and I took four days off,” she says. “I was the first person in my family to go to college, and I was not going to let that knock me down. I did it for my father.”

In classes, Kate discovered that the world was a bigger and more inviting place than she had imagined.

Food classes with faculty Chef Susan Torrey, hotel management with Dr. Ravi Pandit, and special events with Dr. Kimberly Monk were eye-openers.

“Between the classes and the professors and the program, one of the greatest things I learned is there’s a much higher ceiling in life, job-wise, happiness-wise, life-wise,” Kate says. “There’s so much more, and they steer you in that direction.”

Looking forward, Kate says she wants to build her career and prepare for her next goal: teaching at a vocational high school like the one she attended.

“I’ve learned so much, and I want to be able to give that back to somebody else,” she says.