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Nicole Scott, B.A. in Global Sustainable Tourism, 2023

by Monica Smith

Nov 08, 2022, 11:00 AM.

One student’s love for the environment and hospitality leads her to a program that combines both for a future career in sustainability.
Nicole Scott
Nicole Scott

After a particular assignment, Nicole Scott began seeing her purchasing power a little differently regarding sustainability. A grocery visit would never be the same again, the FIU student in the fully online Bachelor of Arts in Global Sustainable Tourism, says. 

Scott, who is from Pennsylvania, knew she wanted to transfer to FIU because of the reputation the university has for its hospitality and tourism programs. Aside from that, she loves the outdoors, so she moved to Florida to take advantage of what the state has to offer, knowing that one day, she may have a career in sustainability—possibly working in the state—because of the university’s many connections and the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management direct partnerships. In the following, Scott discusses her program and what she’s learned so far. 

What is your degree area of study and when do you graduate? 

I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Global Sustainable Tourism, and I will graduate in 2023.

Where do you work now? What do you do? 

I work at Oleta River Park where I am a kayak tour guide. I take groups out around Biscayne Bay and tell them about the animals and plants in the area. I want a job in sustainable tourism in the future. 

How does your degree help you in your work? 

The B.A. in Global Sustainable Tourism has given me a lot more information on conservation. One of our labs was based in South Florida and looked at how the bay is contaminated. Everything I’m learning aligns with my job. I learned a lot about plants and animals and invasive species and the ecosystem. 

What has been your favorite class and why? 

I took a class last semester that featured a cultural heritage assignment, and I was able to pick my mom or dad’s side and the region they are from, which is Italy. I did a PowerPoint presentation on touristy things from the sustainability aspect. I had to research the companies that manage sustainability there. 

This project revealed things I had no idea about. The island where my grandma grew up is the island of Ischia and it is filled with art and culture. I studied the sustainability practices around the island. This assignment made a profound impact on me. I was able to see that for this island, sustainability is a way of life. The port is constantly sending boats out and bringing them in—there’s a ferry. And there’s just so much history. The island promotes a lot of walking and biking because it is so small.  

What immediately applicable skills have you learned? 

I could immediately apply things I learned in my environmental sciences classes. In one assignment, I had to do a home sustainability audit. I went to a grocery store, and I researched the impact of all those products I normally buy and found a more sustainable alternative for each of those products. It was eye opening and affected my life right away. 

Why did you decide to study this area and choose this program? 

I came to FIU from Pennsylvania specifically for this program. I had taken a sustainability course and was interested in the subject. I have always been passionate about the environment. I was in a hospitality management program, but I always wanted to earn a degree in science and this one had the hospitality side with it, it was a perfect fit for me, so I moved to Miami. 

What is one thing you’ve learned that you didn’t expect? 

One thing that is clear is Florida is craving sustainability more than back home in Pennsylvania with water and tourism. When you live so close to water, there is a level of responsibility that you have. From the environmental aspect, we must be as clean as possible.  

Would you recommend this program to other students? 

I would recommend this program to other students. I think that it’s just a brand-new industry but it’s a growing industry. Customers will pay more money for sustainable programs. In the future people will, hopefully, only start going to companies that are sustainable.

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