This year, Nicole began her studies in Hospitality at NYU (New York University).
Halcyon was a huge part of my life and always will be. I miss my teachers and many other staff members that played a big role during my time at Halcyon. The Wellbeing staff, the University and Careers Counsellor, the MYP/DP coordinators, mentors, and the senior leadership team all made such an impact and were always willing to help.Nicole Schwartz, Halcyon alumna
Since graduating from Halcyon, I have moved to New York City and started my degree at the School of Professional Studies at NYU, BS in Hotel and Tourism Management. I’ve met many people, I’m really enjoying the internationalism and diversity here, and have gotten involved with many of the university’s extracurriculars. I am the Events Chair on the SPS Undergraduate Student Council, I am part of the Hospitality Business Society, and am also the Events Chair for the Dancers Choreographers Alliance.
My Halcyon education has prepared me to be proactive, balance academics with other interests, and to constantly approach things with a questioning attitude. The International Baccalaureate provided me with the skills and knowledge to write extended research papers/essays before getting to higher education, vital time management skills, critical thinking skills, self-discipline, and independence. Most importantly, Halcyon instilled in me the confidence to take risks, the ability to work successfully in a team (through many of our residential trips), the importance of building good relationships with those who teach you (including your peers), and the notion that you are able to do things you never thought you could.
Yes, I am. Mostly those in my graduating class, but I am looking forward to hopefully attending the alumni reunion and getting to know what others have been up to since graduating!
Throughout my life, I’ve had the opportunity to travel with my family during the summer and school breaks. Everywhere we went, I would be amazed at the many elements of hospitality that I observed; how the hotel staff were so attentive to detail, the way the restaurant experience would occur, the perfection of the sheets, the interaction with every staff member. As I grew up and started to learn more about the hospitality industry, I began to dream more and more of a career in hospitality. I love working with others, the ability to innovate, the work environment, the ability to travel, and never having one day be the same as the one before. I had experience working in a restaurant and wanted to continue to learn more not only about restaurants, but about hotels, events, tourism, the travel industry, etc. I learned that there are tons of amazing hospitality programs around the world, and applied to as many as I could.
My course is focused on the hospitality industry, but NYU has a core liberal arts curriculum that is required so that each student graduates with a holistic and wide range of knowledge. This was of particular interest to me. I have 600 hours of internship experience to complete by graduation, as well as the fulfilment of a concentration in one aspect of the hospitality industry of my choosing. Many of my classes are smaller, so I have much more of a personal relationship with my professors, but I also have the option to take courses in bigger schools which are a part of NYU as well, such as the College of Arts and Sciences. My favourite thing so far is that I get to experience a small school in a big university, so it’s like getting the best of both worlds. I feel a big sense of community, as I did at Halcyon, while also feeling like the possibilities are endless. I also plan to pursue a minor in French and study abroad next year. My experience at university so far has been everything I had hoped it to be, and more. There are so many opportunities presented to me, both professionally regarding my career, and unrelated to academics, such as clubs, associations, and study abroad programs. I am able to meet people from all across the globe and who all have so many different interests. I am constantly learning from everyone and everything around me. I am so thankful for everyone who helped me to be able to achieve this and all of the hard work in the IB and at Halcyon has definitely paid off.
Halcyon was a huge part of my life and always will be. I miss my teachers and many other staff members that played a big role during my time at Halcyon. The Wellbeing staff, the University and Careers Counsellor, the MYP/DP coordinators, mentors, and the senior leadership team all made such an impact and were always willing to help. No matter the idea for a new club, a new school tradition, or suggestions to improve our learning, they were always there to listen and do their best to incorporate or change something. Everyone is so committed to the community and those who make up the community is definitely something I miss. The dedication of the teachers and their willingness to always go an extra step to ensure we understood the content was also another big highlight. They cared about our learning as much as we did and always challenged us to push ourselves if they knew we could.
As of now, I know that I plan to finish my degree at NYU and gain as much experience as I can in the hospitality industry before graduating. I am unsure of what I will pursue after completing my undergraduate degree, but like many other areas of study, there are numerous opportunities for post-graduate education in my field. This is something that intrigues me for sure but that I hope to focus on more when the time comes. I hope to spend time travelling while working in different hospitality settings in Europe, North America, and wherever else I end up! I am so thankful for everything that Halcyon has given me, and I look forward to visiting as often as I am able.