My Journey to JWU: Ariana Adolph '28

What are the odds of tapping into Johnson & Wales University’s alumni network before you’ve even taken your first class here?

That’s what happened to Ariana Adolph ’28. As she attended JWU’s Accepted Students Day, the budding Hospitality Management major happened to mention to Professor Piyavan Sukalakamala that she was interested in securing a job in a hotel for the summer.

“Without hesitation, 'Dr. P' immediately reached for her phone and called her former student who happens to be a general manager at a local hotel,” reports Ariana. “Thanks to her dedication to my success, I was connected with Midas Hospitality, where I am currently employed full-time as a front desk agent.”

photo of Ariana Adolph '28 posing while outdoors
Ariana Adolph '28 is already gaining experience in the hospitality industry thanks to connections from a JWU professor and alum.

“Working at Midas Hospitality has been an invaluable experience not only because it allows me to have real world experience, but also because it goes to show the JWU employees’ unwavering commitment to our career readiness,” Ariana continues. “Through her guidance and mentorship, I knew JWU was a place where all my career goals will come true.”

Now that her summer job is underway, let’s learn a bit about Ariana before she arrives on our Charlotte Campus this fall.

What is your hometown?

“I have always lived near the Charlotte area," Ariana says. "For the first 10 years of my life, I lived in a small, charming North Carolina town called Belmont, which was rich with Southern hospitality and warmth. At the start of fifth grade, my family and I moved just 20 minutes down the road to Lake Wylie, South Carolina. Growing up in this dynamic blend of communities has instilled within me an appreciation for the unique character and friendliness that define the South."

"Whether exploring the picturesque streets of Belmont or enjoying the scenic beauty of Lake Wylie, I’ve always felt a strong sense of belonging to this region. The genuine hospitality of the people here has shaped my values and outlook on life, fostering a sense of kindness, generosity and inclusivity within me.”

Tell us how you first heard of JWU.

“I first heard of JWU through the enthusiastic recommendations of both peers and teachers who spoke highly of its exceptional hospitality program. JWU’s renowned reputation in this field sparked my interest and led me to explore the university further."

a photo taken from behind of a young woman holding a JWU banner
Ariana was attracted to Johnson & Wales University's reputation for hospitality excellence.

"I chose to study in Charlotte as it is a hospitality hotspot. I look forward to studying what I love in a city known for its welcoming atmosphere and vibrant culture. Additionally, I’m excited to explore the myriad of opportunities that surround me daily, offering hands-on experience that will enrich my education and help shape my future career. I also can't wait to explore the many restaurants within the city with friends and the countless activities and experiences that offer the opportunity to create a memorable college experience.”

What are some of your hobbies?

“My hobbies revolve around socializing and exploring new experiences. I enjoy going out with friends, whether it's discovering new places in our area or simply hanging out together. Watching a movie or TV show is a relaxing pastime for me, especially when watching my favorites: 'Gilmore Girls,' 'Pretty Little Liars' and 'Modern Family.' I enjoy shopping and finding the best outfits for every occasion.

a photo taken from behind of a woman enjoying Utah scenic views
Ariana Adolph '28 loves exploring new places on her travels.

I'm always open to trying a new restaurant as I love trying new cuisines and exploring the atmosphere. I love taking photos whether it's for Instagram or simply to capture my everyday life and memorable moments. I also enjoy skateboarding as it's very relaxing to listen to music and feel the wind in my hair.”

What drew you to hospitality management?

“Sparked by childhood travels accompanying my father on business trips, my enthusiasm for the hospitality and tourism industry was kindled early on. Witnessing the seamless management of accommodations and meticulous event orchestration during these experiences left an indelible mark on my impressionable mind. The ability of hospitality professionals to transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary memories sparked a curiosity that evolved into a deep-seated passion, compelling me to further explore the intricate world of hospitality. My favorite trip I took with my father was when his company took us to Utah/Wyoming. I loved the cozy atmosphere and the welcoming nature of each hotel or lodge I entered!”

Do you have a dream job or goal in mind for after JWU?

“My dream job after graduating JWU is to work at a ski lodge resort as the general manager, where I can oversee events and the amenities they offer. Further, my overarching goal is to implement sustainable practices that minimize environmental impact and promote social responsibility. Through innovative strategies such as reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste, sourcing locally and incorporating the natural environment into the design of the hotel, I hope to create a model for sustainable hospitality and tourism that not only benefits the environment but also enhances the guest experience and supports local communities."

a photo taken of snowmobilers on a mountain trail
Ariana supplied this photo she'd taken of snowmobilers on the trail. She would love to manage a ski lodge resort someday.

"I hope to inspire others within the industry, ultimately leading to a more responsible approach to travel worldwide.”

What were your first impressions of JWU?

“At the JWU Open House, my first impressions were overwhelmingly positive. I entered the sophisticated yet welcoming atmosphere and instantly felt at home. The hands-on approach to learning was evident from the moment I stepped onto campus, and the impressive panel reinforced my belief that JWU was the perfect place for me to explore my passion for hospitality.”

Who has helped you in your college journey?

"Throughout my college journey, I have been incredibly fortunate to have the support of my parents and the amazing staff at JWU, including my admissions counselor, Mr. Jeff Stout. Their encouragement and guidance have made navigating the difficult transition to college life feel much more manageable and as painless as possible."

What are you most looking forward to experiencing at JWU?

"I am most looking forward to experiencing Johnson & Wales University’s hands-on approach to learning, where I can fully immerse myself in experiences that will prepare me for my future career. Beyond academics, I'm excited to make new friends and create lasting memories with my fellow students."

a photo of Ariana Adolph '28 posing while in a forest setting
Ariana is looking forward to experiencing new things with her Wildcat classmates.

"I'm looking forward to joining clubs, participating in campus events (especially Wales and Tails), and attending sports games with school pride."

JWU looks forward to seeing Ariana on our Charlotte Campus beginning Fall 2024!


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