Going back to school while juggling a full-time job and a family is a huge decision. But it’s a decision that Milagros Sequera Huss, former pro tennis player and United States Tennis Association (USTA) coordinator, felt confident in making after she talked to staff from the Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management Degree Program at SDSU Global Campus.
She joined a community of passionate hospitality and tourism professionals who supported her throughout the program — and beyond. Through her hard work and with the help of her classmates and her mentor, Milagros was able to acquire a leadership position as a Program/Product Manager.
We wanted to find out more about Milagros and her experience with the HTM program at SDSU:
Can you tell me about your professional background before you started the HTM program?
Before enrolling in the HTM program, I was working with the USTA as a coordinator for the Pro Circuit Department. Previously to that, I was a professional tennis player for over 10 years.
What made you want to pursue your Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management Degree?
I was debating on whether or not I wanted to pursue my master’s degree. When the USTA brought up the opportunity for the employees to attend this program, I was one of the first ones interested. I lived in San Diego for eight years, and I was familiar with the school.
What made you choose SDSU?
I was familiar with the school and liked the area. Also, I was able to talk to the faculty, and right away, I was sold!
Can you tell me what that conversation was like? How did you get in contact with them? Was there a single “A-Ha!” moment that stood out to you?
All USTA staff received an email outlining the HTM program. I was part of that email thread, and I reached out to Candy and Jeff — I was very interested and continued to communicate with Candy via email.
I was in a unique spot as I have two young kids and have a full time job, I was hesitant to join the program for that reason. However, Candy put me in contact with a mentor that had a similar situation and the mentor was able to give me a great outlook for the program. I had to take a leap of faith — that was my aha moment.
What was your experience with your classmates like? Did you feel like you were part of a community?
The experience with my classmate was great. We stay in touch to this day. I am part of a community; I felt supported throughout the program and continue to have great relationships with the faculty and mentors.
Did the two on-campus weeks help you with the program?
Yes, it was great. It helped me put faces to names and was motivating to see others being driven and eager to learn and improve.
What was your experience with your mentor like?
I had phenomenal mentors, and I am still in contact with them. They were very supportive and pushed me to get better and better.
The vast majority of the HTM program takes place online. What was your experience with virtual learning like?
It was good. It took a lot of time management from my side and focused my priorities, which was essential to be able to handle all the responsibilities of my life.
What’s been the most valuable lesson(s) you’ve taken away from the program?
Cash is king, and know your numbers!
What’s your current position?
My current position is Adult Tournaments Manager. I am a program/product manager.
How do you use those lessons in your current job?
It keeps me in line when making decisions for my program.
What would you say to a student who’s considering applying for the program, but might not be 100% convinced yet?
Invest in your future. This is a great program that you feel part of a community with a lot of support through the faculty, staff, and mentorship program. Great way to learn more about being a leader and push yourself to the next level. Go for it!
Interested in Earning Your Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management Degree?
From our expert instructors to our robust network of successful alumni, when you join the Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management Program, you’re joining an academic community of professionals who are committed to improving their industry. You’ll learn how to adapt to industry changes, make data-driven decisions, and stand out as a leader to your fellow employees and your clients.
Learn more at neverstoplearning.net/htm.