Sarah Weisbuch is a graduating student in the MS in Travel and Tourism Management at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. During her time at NYU, Sarah had the opportunity to study abroad and has served as President of the Hospitality, Tourism, and Events Society (HTES). In this post, Sarah gives us some insight into some of her favorite parts of her NYU experience.
What has your favorite experience at NYU been?
Studying abroad in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with Dr. K! We conducted market research on North American perceptions of both destinations, and Tisch Center alumni Soraya al-Olama and Natia Kvachadze set us up with amazing experiences in both destinations. The most memorable moment in my graduate experience was Dr. K giving a lecture on strategic branding while riding a camel through the desert!
Looking back on your time at NYU, what are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my time as president of the Hospitality, Tourism, and Events Society (HTES) from 2020 to 2021. We expanded the club to include ten board members and about fifteen committee members - so we had a busy team of 25 students collaborating on events, initiatives, and communications! This was in the early stages of the pandemic, so I’m proud of the way that we came together and created a sense of community despite having to meet remotely. It was an incredible group of students who taught me so much about support and collaboration during a challenging time. We also organized a Social Innovation Conference, which was a major highlight.
What was your favorite class, and why?
I don’t know if I can choose a favorite class, but Professor Gaffney’s Tourism in Puerto Rico course was especially impactful for me. This course took place during spring 2020 - so instead of conducting field work as planned, we ended up following events in Puerto Rico as the pandemic unfolded. The shutdown of public school cafeterias on the island precipitated a widespread food crisis among families, so I collaborated with another student on ways that the tourism industry could intercede. We ultimately developed a strategy that leveraged the island’s tourism infrastructure to address the food crisis. Prof. Gaffney and Prof. Ron Castro coached us through the process of fine-tuning the strategy and then pitching it to the CEO of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. The experience reinforced my interest in social impact and creative problem solving.
What is something you wish you would’ve known when you started at NYU?
I wish I had known about all the ways to get involved in student life at the Tisch Center! You can participate in research and seminars at the Travel and Tourism Research Collaboratory, develop as an entrepreneur at the HI Hub, organize panels and discussions related to our industries in HTES, etc. There’s a niche for everyone. It's a great way to meet other students, and the opportunities for networking and professional development payoff are amazing. Time flies by in grad school, so it’s worth it to get involved early on.
What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to find a position in monitoring & evaluation, sustainable destination management, or community-based tourism development. I’m excited to see what the future holds!