Stacey Sloan

Major: Event Management
Class: Freshman
Timeframe: Spring Break 2022
Program: Introduction to the Bahamas
Destination: Bahamas

Overall Experience

My experience in the Bahamas was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not only did I get the chance to explore the beautiful environment, but I also learned so much about the culture and met many new people. The activities we did were interactive, fun, and memorable. The island life is something that I didn't understand at first, but now I wish that I could go back every year.

Learning experience

The most valuable learning experience I encountered in the Bahamas was at the Ocean Club Resort. We went there to tour the property and learn about destination weddings and other events that can be thrown there. Our tour guide was so friendly, gave us so much information about the events there, and answered all of our questions. At the end of the tour, she encouraged us to make connections because that is how she ended up working her dream job. The whole experience taught me that guest service is super important, and if you work hard, and dream big, you can accomplish anything.

Memorable experience

The most memorable experience that I have is from the Dolphin Encounter. We had the chance to swim with and hug a dolphin, meet a sea lion, swim with sharks, and swim with stingrays. The chance to learn about the animals and spend time with them was super fun, and I will cherish the pictures and memories forever.

What did you not expect?

Something that I was very surprised by was the service at Ocean Club. When we walked in, we were immediately greeted with snacks and beverages. We were shown into the lounge area and had a chance to relax. We had just come from another long tour, and I was expecting to go through the resort, listen to the facts, ask some questions, and then leave exhausted. I was pleasantly surprised by the service. This encounter has made me think more about how essential guest service is in the event industry. We are creating experiences for guests, which is exactly what the Ocean Club did for us. I will focus on providing the best guest service at all events that I am working on.

What advice would you give?

My advice is to just do it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and will completely change your view on events. You will gain much insight into the industry that cannot be found on the Iowa State campus. You will make great friends, eat delicious food, gain great knowledge, and have memories that last for a lifetime.

How has this experience impacted your life?

This experience has impacted both my educational and personal life in different ways. Educationally I had the chance to hear from and talk to countless industry professionals. Touring resorts, conference centers, and historical sites gave me insight into what it looks like to plan, create, and implement events in a tourist destination. Personally, I was greatly impacted by the people who live in the Bahamas. They were so friendly and they welcomed us throughout the entire program. My perspective was changed, and I am motivated to be joyful and thankful for all the opportunities I have here. The Bahamas greatly impacted my whole life.

How did you learn about this experience?

I learned about this opportunity during my freshman mentor class when John Kramer presented the opportunity at the start of class.

International Connections