5 Questions with Visit Raleigh Administration Manager Hailey Post
Hailey Post graduated from the College of Natural Resources in 2021 with a master’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism management. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sustainable tourism and hospitality from University of North Carolina Greensboro.
Post now works as an administration manager at the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, which manages Visit Raleigh, Raleigh’s destination tourism information center. We recently reached out to Post to learn more about her current position and her path to the tourism industry. Check out the Q&A below.
What is a typical day in your job like?
One of the great things about my job is that every day is a new adventure. I’m thrilled to have an office right in the heart of Downtown Raleigh, but once I get there, each day is something a little new. My day can consist of everything from planning staff engagement activities to creating economic impact reports for our community partners. I stay busy, but I always take the time to go get a good lunch from one of our local restaurants downtown.
What inspired you to study your major?
I’ve worked in the hospitality and tourism industry since I was 19, starting with an internship with Walt Disney World, where I experienced all facets of hospitality on a massive scale. That journey helped me uncover my passion for people and the impact they have on the places they travel. In my time working in tourism, I witnessed the industry’s immense impact on communities, helping them thrive and grow.
But like everything in our modern world, we have to think critically and sustainably, and it was my passion for improving tourism management that brought me to my area of study. My focus at NC State was on sustainable tourism, and while there, I explored how we can sustain and improve community engagement strategies within the tourism industry. The parks, recreation and tourism management graduate program allowed me to explore that concept in depth.
What impact are you making through your position?
Part of my role with Visit Raleigh is through economic impact calculations, which provide valuable information for venues on how their events directly impact our Wake County community. This is a great service to our attractions and venues in Wake County, but it also provides objective analysis to advocate for tourism by quantifying tourism’s impact. It helps us keep impactful events here, bring in even more for the future, make evidence-based decisions and showcase the importance of our industry.
How did the college prepare you for your current position?
I’m deeply grateful to the confidence I built and the connections I made through my time in the parks, recreation and tourism management program. Building my network with talented researchers and professionals made a profound impact on my life and career. I have to give a shout out to my graduate advisor Whitney Knollenberg, whose outstanding work in sustainable tourism management drew me to the graduate program. She was a superb mentor who pushed me to stretch my skills far beyond where I imagined possible which allowed me to feel immediately confident in my career. NC State is so fortunate to have her.
What advice do you have for current students?
Explore the world, your interests, your challenges. Allow yourself some time for peace and delight in what brings you joy. If you have the opportunity, go into the world with curiosity and don’t be afraid to expand your comfort bubble.
Also, get outside! Enjoy the green space around campus and beyond (I recommend Dix Park or Umstead).