HTM Spotlight Student: Cassie Flener

Cassie Flener

"Get involved!" That is the advice to HTM students from Cassie Flener, HTM's Outstanding Senior for 2018 and first Spotlight Student. Cassie has certainly walked the talk. She has served as the president of the HTM Career Fair Board, president of the Earhart Residence Hall Club, an HHS student ambassador, and the Hotel Sales amd Marketing Association just name a few of her activites!

While deeply involved in HTM, Cassie was also awarded the prestigious Statler Foundation Scholarship for Excellence in 2017-18. This scholarship is awarded to students preparing for a career in the hospitality and lodging industry. E.M. Statler, the "Father of the American Hotel," established his foundation to support training for "more proficient workers" to benefit the "hotel industry as a whole." Starting as a bellboy at age 13, E.M. built one of the first hotel chains with properties in Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, New York and Los Angeles, to name a few. A true innovator, E.M. was the first to build a hotel with a bathroom in every room.

Cassie was asked to share some information about herself, her time at Purdue and what the Statler Foundation Scholarship means to her.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to Pudue's HTM?

I am a Senior from Newburgh, Indiana. I come from a large family and am the oldest of five children. Financially, it made sense to go to a college in my hometown, but I felt that I needed to explore other schools and options. With my decision to attend Purdue, I took a leap of faith in a school 13 times the size and 4 hours from my hometown. When I started college I had no idea what career path I wanted to pursue, but I knew Purdue had a prestigious name that would open many doors for me. I was originally an Exploratory Studies student until my Sophomore year when I CODO'd into HTM, which was the best decision I have made since choosing Purdue.

What are some of your favorite Purdue memories? 

Purdue has provided me with many fantastic memories and treasured moments. One particular memory that I would like to share took place my freshman year. Walleyball was a pastime that I frequently played with the friends I had made in the residence hall, and it was such as amazing way to build memories. There were a few games that ended in broken glasses and ball marks on various parts of the body, but these are moments my friends and I will forever treasure.

One of my favorite HTM moments was walking through thFlener 2e kitchen doors of the Union, with both hands laden with gorgeously plated food, and seeing a beautifully decorated ballroom filled with well-dressed people. Serving at the Black Tie Dinner was such a unique experience that I never knew was possible until I was in the HTM program. A final memory that I will share is my first internship at Purdue. For an entire summer, I worked on a cruise line, but this is not as glamourous as one might think. It was long days and hard work, but I made friends from all over the country. Even though I worked 709 hours in 8 weeks, I am thankful for this experience as it prepared me for the long days that I will have in the hospitality industry, post-graduation. As my time at Purdue is coming to a close, I am forever grateful for all of the friendships and memories I have made, and the amazing experiences and organizations in which I have been able to participate.

What tips would you give students to get the best results from their time in HTM?

Get involved. Get involved. Get involved. Be in at least one extracurricular activity, whether that is an HTM Club, in the Residence Halls, with HHS, or another organization on campus, just plug yourself in somewhere. These organizations will teach you about leadership, responsiblity, time managment, and will create countless networking opportunities for you. It also looks great on your resume, because companies see that you contributed to Purdue in some way, and have the key skills they are looking for in employees. The only reason I have been able to do so well in college is because I have involved myself in over 15 different organizations during my four years at Purdue.

What advice do you give to people looking for scholarships?

Check the HTM Announcements that are sent every Tuesday. There are many scholarships that HTM, HHS, and Purdue have to offer. If you cannot find scholarships, ask your advisor or professors, they will more than likely know of the current scholarship opportunities available.

What does the Statler Foundation Scholarship of Excellence mean to you?

The Statler Foundation Scholarship of Excellence means that all of the hard work that I have been putting into my college career is paying off. I am being recognized as one of the top 12 students in the country for my dedication to hospitality, which is truly an honor!

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