Graduate Improved Opportunities for Advancement with National Degrees


Chris McClanahan has known he wanted a career in the hospitality industry since he began working as a houseman, restocking housekeeping closets at a hotel, when he was just 16 years old. He held various roles at different hotels but he couldn’t go higher than assistant manager or front desk supervisor. He felt like his career stalled and he was losing sight of his goal of becoming a general manager. In order to improve his opportunities of advancement in the industry, he decided to enhance his job skills with an education.

Chris enrolled in the tourism and hospitality diploma program at the $$Roanoke Valley Campus in 1999 and went on to earn an associate’s degree and then a bachelor’s in business administration-management. He liked the depth of National’s hospitality program and says it built on the knowledge he had already gained in the industry. “Whoever put the program together knew what they were doing because you had everything from housekeeping management all the way to hotel accounting,” Chris says.

Chris’s education helped him reach his goal of becoming a general manager. He is managing a Comfort Suites hotel and oversees housekeeping, kitchen, sales, maintenance, and the front desk, among many other managerial duties. He said his favorite part of his job is managing all these diverse areas of hospitality. “Chris has made a rapid climb to general manager with this very reputable hotel chain,” said National Center for Hospitality and Tourism Director Dorothy Herndon. “We are pleased that his degrees are from National and that he has achieved success.”

Chris McClanahan (pictured) was promoted to general manager of a major hotel chain after earning his bachelor’s degree.

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