Emery’s journey as a double major
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette prides itself on being a welcoming and home-like environment for students. During a campus tour, Emery Prokasy felt this, which inspired her to attend UL Lafayette.
“The first time I stepped foot on campus for a tour, I felt at home, and I knew this was where I wanted to go to college,” she said. “Everyone I came into contact with was welcoming and made me feel important like I was already a part of the culture. UL Lafayette is also one of the few schools in the state to offer a hospitality management program.”
She chose to major in hospitality management because she was fascinated by hotels, restaurants, and tourism. Emery knew she wanted to be involved and learn how to obtain a career in hospitality management.
Her interest in double majoring came from staff encouragement.
“I did not decide to double major when I first came to UL Lafayette. I was going to minor in marketing, but my hospitality professor and advisor Mrs. Bowles encouraged me to double major. I was interested in marketing because I learned there is a lot more about the industry than most people think. Learning how to communicate, sell, and advertise is useful for my career path in hospitality,” she said.
Emery finds joy in all her hospitality management and marketing classes, but her favorite courses were event planning taught by Dr. Ignatius, and facilities management led by Professor Dubois.
“These were challenging classes but overall gave me a whole new perspective into the hospitality industry. Before taking the class, I had no idea how much you have to consider while planning an event and managing a building. It was so much fun being able to take field trips to get hands-on experience and a first-hand look into all that goes into managing a building and planning an event.”
Her favorite marketing course was marketing communications taught by Professor Bergeron.
“This class also opened my eyes to all the strategies that go into marketing that go unnoticed. We were given the opportunity to work with a real business that was struggling with successfully taking off. As a class we studied and researched the steps to create an integrated marketing communication plan for the business to boost their awareness locally and boost their business success.”
Emery was able to study abroad in Costa Rica which changed her perspective on life in a positive way.
"Through studying hospitality management, I was able to study abroad in Costa Rica. The experience of earning college credit in a foreign country has opened my eyes to a new culture, has helped strengthen my international business skills, and has made me memories for a lifetime. Being able to learn outside of the classroom by immersing yourself in a new environment is a way I strengthened my college experience and view of the world!"
Involvement on campus
Emery is a member of an array of organizations including her sorority Phi Mu where she served as the Academic Excellence cabinet chairwoman. She is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Ragin Hospitality Association, and Director of Fundraising for Dance Marathon.
“Through being involved and holding positions I have made so many valuable connections and learned so many great things that I will use in my future career.”
When asked about what she enjoys most about studying at UL Lafayette Emery said, “I love how everyone around you supports you no matter what and always pushes for you to be your best. Being surrounded by people with the same goals and ambitions makes it easy to prepare for my future.”
Emery is currently an intern for Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission.
“By having the experience of working with Lafayette Conventions and Visitors Commission, I have learned how much of an impact the hospitality industry has on Lafayette, and I want to continue to grow that impact on the city in my future career.”
Emery’s plans after UL Lafayette
Emery’s long-term goal is to pursue an event planning career in the hospitality industry.
“I want to find my dream career and never feel like I am going to work because I love my job. I want to bring more awareness to the hospitality industry because many people do not realize this industry has so many parts that involve regular people every day,” she said.
She has a passion to put the customer first.
"I want to provide an easy, fun, and enjoyable experience that guests can escape to. I want to treat people right and leave a good taste of the hospitality industry with them.”