Hospitality student Spencer Fee has had a running start toward his future career as an event coordinator in more ways than one. As a child growing up in Freeland, Washington, he was naturally drawn to orderliness and liked to be in charge of organizing his family’s schedules. These qualities led to leadership roles in high school and volunteer organizations. He enrolled in his school’s Running Start program to earn college credits and was working at the Inn at Langley when he realized event organizing could be an amazing job.
One of Fee’s most influential mentors was a former teacher who became an event coordinator with Odigo Group, a vendor that contracts with Microsoft.
“I had an informational interview with Cydney to learn more about her career as a project manager and event coordinator” says Fee. “After that interview, I was galvanized toward event organization. I lobbied her firm for an internship position.”
Fee secured the internship and within three months earned a paid position. By age 19, he held a high level of responsibility within the firm and enrolled in the hospitality program at WSU Everett as a junior.
The WSU Everett experience
“I chose WSU because it was one of the few schools that offered a hospitality business management degree. Choosing the Everett campus allowed me to stay close to event coordination opportunities as well as being a part of something new and great,” says Fee. “Since many, if not most, hospitality internship positions in Washington are in the Puget Sound area, the WSU Everett campus is likely to become an outstanding outgrowth of the SHBM program in its own right, and I would love to help facilitate that evolution.”
Fee is one of the most involved students in the WSU Everett SHBM program, working to make a positive impact on students, staff, and communities. He cofounded and is the vice president of the Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Iota—WSU Everett’s first business club. He is also an SHBM ambassador and a senator for Everett’s ASWSU, representing his fellow business students in the Associated Students of WSU legislature.
PCMA scholarship support reduces debt, increases industry opportunities
In spring 2018, Fee received a $3,500 PCMA Education Foundation Legacy Society scholarship, an award recognizing students who are in their final year of undergraduate education, committed to becoming an event organizer post-graduation, and have a minimum 3.5 GPA.
“Receiving this scholarship is an honor and will ultimately help cement my position in the event coordination and project management industry,” says Fee. “I applied for this scholarship because my family has a modest and variable income, and I needed assistance to meet the coming financial challenges.”
In addition to tuition assistance, the PCMA scholarship comes with several other benefits such as a three-year membership after graduation, training opportunities, access to industry networks, and more.
“The PCMA Scholarship, combined with the Carson College SHBM Dwight & Beverly Call Scholarship and the Everett Scholars award, enables me to continue my education and pursue my passion for events and project management with a decreased burden of debt. I hope to one day do the same for someone interested in starting in the industry,” says Fee. His goal is to work for Microsoft in corporate events or perhaps become a strategic marketer for a company like Microsoft or Alaska Airlines.
To learn more about how you can support a hospitality business management student, contact Nancy Swanger, director of the School of Hospitality Business Management, at email@example.com, or 509-335-2443 or Jeff Pilcher, director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-335-8906.