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Graduation to Vocation: Traveling the World to Educate

Student studying abroad
Photo courtesy of Cashie Naylor

Cashie Naylor is graduating with an undergraduate degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (PRTM). After graduation, she will work with the EF High School Exchange Year in New York City.

How has the College of Natural Resources impacted you and prepared you for your future?

The College of Natural Resources has impacted me in so many ways. It has given me boundless opportunities to pursue my interests and the resources to make it happen. Through the skills I have gained in being a CNR Ambassador, Recruitment Intern, and other involvements in the college, I feel well prepared for my career. The faculty and staff have been so supportive of my career interests and have been intentional in getting to know me on a professional and personal level. This college has taught me so much about working collaboratively, pursuing your passions, and innovative thought.

What’s your favorite memory or class from your time at the College of Natural Resources? Why?

My favorite memory of my time in CNR is my study abroad experiences. I first studied abroad on a faculty-led trip to France studying sport, tourism, and cross-cultural management. The study abroad trip to France led me to going on a semester-long study abroad in Ireland. It also completely changed what I wanted to pursue as my career and helped me find my passion in educational tourism. The faculty-led study abroad trip was so hands-on and allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of culture and tourism. It was an incredibly fun trip that also challenged the way I thought in classes and internships after the study abroad trip.

Tell us about a faculty member who influenced you.

Whitney Knollenberg is the professor who truly sparked my passion for sustainable tourism. From the second I entered her class she has taught and mentored with such care and enthusiasm. It is through her class that I began to understand how tourism changes lives and knew that that is the field I want to be a part of. She has continuously been a mentor for me even long after finishing her class and has always been there when I need advice or help with connecting with professionals in the field.

What is unique about your work?

I am pursuing a career in educational tourism. This work is unique because it is a very niche area of tourism that focuses primarily on traveling for the purpose of education. I am specifically interested in the benefits students receive from educational travel and how educational travel can increase relationships between cultures.

What advice would you give students entering your major or field?

Find what you are passionate about and what you are skilled at. Whenever you see those two things intersect, that’s what your career should be.