Erin Green, 2013 alumni, is on the path to a very successful career. This is what she had to say about her current position and her MS-ST program experiences:
“I have just completed my first six months working as an associate at McCabe World Travel in McLean, Virginia, just out of the Washington DC metro area. We are a full service travel agency that specializes in both international and domestic travel. As a member of t he Virtuoso luxury travel consortium, we have preferred relationships with hotels, tour operators, and cruise lines around the world and are able to offer exclusive benefits and amenities, as well as unique travel experiences to our clients. It has been both interesting and exciting to see that sustainability takes an important role in much of the luxury hotel market. Nearly every representative for the various hotels or tour operators that come to speak to us mentions the efforts their property makes in sourcing locally, whether it be food, decor for the hotel, or hiring local community members, and the environmental initiatives their property features. The travel industry clearly understands the importance of sustainability in tourism and I am very pleased to be starting out at a time when an issue so important to me is in focus. My degree in Sustainable Tourism brings me to the table with a very unique perspective which has already provided me with exciting opportunities in my role at McCabe and I look forward to seeing how it will open more doors in the future!“
East Carolina University offers the nation's first interdisciplinary Master of Science in Sustainable Tourism (MS-ST) degree.
Sustaining environments, businesses, and social and cultural identities requires an interdisciplinary approach and perspective. The MS-ST program draws upon emerging sustainability sciences ranging from the physical to the social to address complex sustainable tourism issues. Science and education are critical partners in the sustainable, long-term management of tourism, and this program provides the foundation for this new approach to sustainable management.
The program is anchored on four core sustainability and tourism courses—an introductory course, a science course, a business course, and a planning and policy course. In addition, students will choose from a set of electives and can opt for independent study or internship experience. Both thesis and non-thesis options are offered.
Electives for the program are drawn from disciplines across campus, utilizing the expertise of faculty at ECU. Electives are chosen to fit the career aspirations of the student and reflect the "triple bottom line" of sustainable tourism—economic, environmental, and sociocultural viability. Courses from the management, social, and biological sciences are taken to provide a broader understanding of the complexities of tourism and the challenge of sustainability.
These courses provide students the opportunity to study sustainability within a research-intensive tradition balanced with innovative planning, development, and management solutions for the growing challenges that face the future of sustainability and tourism.We have had good luck placing our students after graduation.We have students working in state tourism agencies, hotels/resorts managers (including sustainability coordinators), even NASCAR® and those who have started their own businesses. Many students have also gone on to pursue a Ph.D. in top programs across the country.There are internship opportunities in the summer along with other networking events. Students will have a support group that will do their best to help them find a job or a doctoral program after graduation.