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Washington State University
Carson College of Business Dividend Article

From WSU Everett to Switzerland
& Back Again

By Ann Goos
Melanie Johnson in Zermatt, Switzerland

“I never dreamed that I could have the choice of attending Washington State University in Everett and then seize the opportunity to go to Switzerland and study for a semester through the esteemed Cèsar Ritz Colleges Switzerland’s bachelor of international business in hotel and tourism management,” exclaimed student Melanie Johnson in a voice brimming with enthusiasm.

Yet that is exactly the educational experience Johnson had the chance to enjoy starting in January of this year. Johnson, a hospitality business management student at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett, took full advantage of the longest-standing collaborative partnership between the Swiss-located Brig campus and WSU’s Carson College of Business.

Diverse students and culture build global perspective

“It was amazing,” says Johnson, now back in Everett. “I was a member of a cohort of students from all over the world. We had the chance to have a unique, global experience to learn together at one of the premiere hospitality business management programs in Europe. I grew so much from learning with a diverse group of students and in a country known for its service to the global community.”

Johnson has proven that she is a student who knows how to take advantage of educational experiences, both at home and abroad. Johnson is a native of Kent, Washington, and graduated with her associate of arts degree in business from Bellevue College. She was excited to learn about WSU’s hospitality business management program being offered at the newly launched WSU North Puget Sound at Everett campus; WSU NPSE is co-located with other Everett University Center institutions on the Everett Community College campus.

Melanie and Mark Beattie
Melanie Johnson and Mark Beattie, clinical assistant professor, School of Hospitality Business Management.

WSU NPSE campus offers community college convenience, university quality

Classes at WSU NPSE started in August 2014. Melanie was accepted as a junior and immediately took to the curriculum and educational opportunities.

“I wanted to stay working and living on the west side of the state, and I knew I wanted to major in hospitality at WSU’s well-respected Carson College of Business. WSU NPSE was a perfect choice for me.” says Johnson. “When Mark Beattie, our faculty advisor and professor who teaches our hospitality business management electives and upper division hospitality courses, shared that I might be a good candidate to attend the Cèsar Ritz Colleges in Brig, I jumped at the chance to have this experience.”

Beattie is a seasoned hospitality professional, with 30 years of experience in both the commercial and non-commercial segments.

“I am pleased that students like Melanie can now not only earn their WSU hospitality business management degrees in Everett, they can experience the same educational advantages as students on other WSU campuses.”

Real-world, international experience translates to job-ready

Johnson reports that this first school year at both WSU NPSE and at Cèsar Ritz Colleges in Brig has been a success. “I have had the chance to have real-world experiences in assessing business practices of a leading hospitality provider here in Snohomish County and compare and contrast best practices from all over the globe, “ says Johnson. “I also learned I can take risks and succeed.”

Indeed, Johnson is now even more determined to reach her academic goals and then move on to hopefully serve in one the world’s leading destination hoteliers.

“When I graduate in 2016, I will be prepared and ‘job-ready, day-one’ to pursue my dream career,” says Johnson. “I am incredibly grateful to WSU for providing me the chance to earn a degree that also helped me grow as a person and young professional.”