Jennifer Pham is a student in MSU’s School of Hospitality Business. She recently received the prestigious Statler Foundation Scholarship of Excellence.
I have always dreamt of being an independent business owner in the food and beverage industry. Through past work experiences, I gained enough insight to say confidently that hospitality is where I want to spend my career. This passion is what brought me to MSU, a university with one of the top hospitality business schools in the country.
Initially, I was overjoyed to be accepted to the school of hospitality business and to start on the pathway to achieving my dream, but I realized that I needed to find additional support to reach my goals. So, I began researching scholarships that may be available and I was steered toward the Statler Foundation. I saw this as a chance to share my dream, with hopes that people at the foundation would believe in me and want to support me.
After months of anticipation, I am delighted to share that I was selected as one of the 2019 recipients of the Statler Foundation’s Scholarship of Excellence. It is such an honor to have my hard work recognized by the foundation and to be able to represent my school as the eighth consecutive Spartan to receive this scholarship.
Through this honor, I was given the opportunity to travel to Buffalo, New York, speak in front of the foundation and formally accept the award. It was a wonderful experience to be able to represent myself, my dream and MSU in a positive light. For that, I am incredibly proud.
This scholarship means everything to me in the pursuit of my degree. I don’t always like to admit that paying for my education has been a constant struggle. I have held numerous jobs on campus as an undergraduate learning assistant and was planning to find a research assistant position. It was becoming difficult to balance the needs of these jobs while also maintaining my grade point average and focusing on what really brought me here. The Statler Foundation scholarship has relieved this struggle for me.
As I approach my final semesters at Michigan State, I will be increasing my course load by taking 18 credits each semester. Because of the support I’m receiving from the Statler Foundation, I am able to put my entire focus on my course work and graduate a full semester early, helping me take one step closer to achieving my dream.