Alumni Spotlight: Luke O'Boyle '93
Chief Operating Officer
Chevy Chase Club
My Widener Experience
why did you decide to pursue a undergraduate degree in hospitality management at widener?
During high school, I worked at a Hilton Hotel and then later at a local fine dining restaurant. The personal engagement and dynamic nature at both inspired me to want to learn more about the hospitality profession.
My parents initially resisted, suggesting that a business degree might be a "safer path to take." However, they both soon recognized that the value of my learning skills specific to the hospitality industry coupled with the sound business foundation that Widener's program provided made it the ideal environment.
what clubs or organizations were you involved in that made a memorable impression?
I became involved with the student chapter of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA). It provided additional education and professional networking for students interested in private, city and country clubs.
I loved the willingness of club managers, some of who were Widener alums, to share their experiences and mentor those of us just starting out. I also had the pleasure of competing on the men's basketball team where I learned valuable life lessons about hard work, perseverance, coaching, and teamwork.
My Professional Experience
what advice would you give a prospective student considering your major?
Go for it. The broad range of classes, the practical experience requirement, and the opportunity to work closely with faculty and fellow students make for a wonderful college experience. Hospitality management is not just about working for a hotel, restaurant, or country club, but rather it's about serving others.
Students successful in the hospitality management program often find that their personality, their passion, their work ethic, and the lessons they have learned at Widener qualify them for professional positions across a number of fields.
how has widener prepared you for life after college?
My classes at Widener taught me relevant, practical information while helping me to develop the skills necessary to be an effective leader. These skills included teaching me about responsibility and accountability, building my self-confidence, enhancing my effectiveness in a team environment, and the importance of critical thinking. Through the Widener cooperative education class, I was able to apply the principles I was learning in the classroom into practical experience.
Through the student chapter of CMAA, I was able to learn about post-graduate opportunities within this segment of the hospitality industry. This combined with the willingness of Widener alums to mentor current students enabled me to secure a position well suited to my interests and skills at graduation.