Student Voices: Meet Zak Bedrosian ’22

By: Stephen D'Angelo
Zak Bedrosian

Zak Bedrosian ’22, from Westchester, NY, is working towards a B.S. in Hotel Administration in hopes of using his education to become an entrepreneur. As a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board, he is leveraging his passion towards hospitality to advise Dean Kate Walsh on different ways to enhance SHA’s student body.

Why did you decide to pursue a degree at SHA?

I chose Cornell SHA because of the collaborative and hands-on curriculum that it offers. I value that the Hotel School allows students to build a strong network of friends through our classes. With the group projects we are assigned to, it allows the students to collaborate and learn to work in a team. I also enjoy learning business through the lens of hospitality since the hospitality industry is in every form of business.

What career goals will it help you achieve?

This will help me be a strong leader in my field because I can work well in a group setting. I also will have a background of problem-solving issues in the business world since many of our projects are based on analyzing an issue and finding solutions.

What aspects of SHA’s program do you most value?

I extremely value the community that SHA builds for all students. The way the curriculum is structured allows for all of the students to build a strong connection with one another. Not only does this help when studying and completing assignments, but it expands the amount of networking opportunities we have. By the school creating a tight-knit community, we all support one another and help each other when needed.

Is there a faculty or staff member that has gone above and beyond to help you?

Heather Kolakowski has gone above in beyond during virtual school. I was in her course HADM 4315: Nonprofit Social Enterprise and Food Justice in Spring 2020. When we moved online, she did an excellent job in delivering the class learning materials, while also helping us as much as possible with her assignments. Despite the global pandemic, she made virtual learning simple and fun.

What’s one thing you’ve learned so far from your SHA experience?

I have learned to always go to your professors when you need help, regardless of the topic. Since all professors, and lecturers, at SHA have such unique backgrounds, they can help students a tremendous amount. They are not only helpful with academics, but with career advice. At SHA, we truly have the most skilled and successful industry practitioners as our professors, which helps students grow in unique ways.

What have you most enjoyed about being an SHA student so far?

I have really enjoyed the alumni network that SHA has provided all students with. Having the ability to easily speak to leaders in a variety of different industries allows students to learn more about what careers they have interest in. Learning from industry leaders provide students with the opportunity to learn about different aspects of business, in ways they sometimes have never thought of.

What words of wisdom do you have for future/current SHA students?

Never give up on your dreams.
Follow through with the goals you set for yourself.
Never be afraid to be curious.
Be constantly eager to learn something new.
Always put yourself in uncomfortable situations that will help you grow.
Challenge yourself.
Stay positive.

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