A Job Before Graduation

A Job Before Graduation


Commencement Story:  Shelsie St. Cloud, UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Class of 2016

She graduated with honors from high school, top of her class and yet here she was flunking out of college.

“I was heart-broken. Getting kicked out of school was not who I was,” said Shelsie St. Cloud. “So, I decided that I am not going to let this define me. I’m going to get back up again.”

St. Cloud started college at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2012 where she was going to pursue a degree in computer science. Growing up she thought she’d be a teacher, then an engineer, then a nurse or perhaps a pharmacist. Needless to say, St. Cloud’s ideas of who she wanted to be when she grew up changed several times, and computer science was to be another idea that would not come to fruition. After leaving UCF, St. Cloud, took classes back in her hometown of Palm Bay, Florida, then once back in Orlando, enrolled at Valencia College, a UCF Direct Connect partner. Then UCF academic adviser Vanessa Cogswell, Assistant Director, Academic Services, Director, Peer Outreach Mentoring Program (POMP) stepped in and encouraged St. Cloud to put her focus on UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

“I have taken a completely different path than all the professions I thought I would go into. I’m in the people business now. Hospitality,” said St. Cloud.

Graduating this December, St. Cloud already has a job in her chosen field with Freeman Convention Management, one of the leading brand providers. She coordinates all of the Southeast regional campaigns.

“I hope that I can be a light to every individual that I encounter. That because of my story someone else will not give up,” hopes St. Cloud. “ It’s hard to think where I would see myself in five years, the last four years have been challenging, but life isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. It’s all about taking it one day at a time, living life with purpose on purpose.”

(December 16, 2016)