The Student Voice: Meet Maxwell Diamond ’24

By: kdr57
professional portrait of maxwell diamond

Maxwell Diamond ’24 is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in hotel administration at the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration. He is also planning on minoring in real estate.

“It’s a state of mind,” says Diamond on the Cornell University principle of doing the greatest good. “Always thinking about how your actions may affect others and what you can do to be a positive force in someone else’s life. Whether that be through simple actions or words, setting a positive tone is a part of doing the greatest good. As we all go out into the workforce, making sure the decisions we make are practical, beneficial ones that help ourselves and our surrounding communities.”

Learn more about Diamond in this Student Voice Q&A.

Tell us about your life before Cornell.

Hospitality and service, whether I knew it or not, have always been a part of my life leading up to Cornell. I’ve always had this drive to give back to others, whether that be helping fellow students in school or donating my time and abilities to communities around the world.

I had the amazing opportunity to travel to countries such as South Africa and Vietnam to work with local non-profit organizations and interact with the local communities. These specific experiences instilled in me a passion for service and the ability to connect with others.

Along with this, my interest in business made hospitality the perfect industry for me. My passions, experiences, and drive for positively impacting others led me to the Nolan School at Cornell.

Is there something you’re particularly excited to learn and experience this year?

I am excited to experience this year as a Hotelie–to sit next to my friends in class, collaborate, and interact with each other in person. Participating in clubs in person will also allow for more creativity and freedom.

In terms of learning, I am also excited about my finance class, because it is something I have never formally learned before, and I want to see if it is a topic I will enjoy. It has always been something I have said that I want to possibly do as a career, and this class will determine if this is the right path for me!

The purposeful diversity of classes that you take at the Nolan School as a first- and second-year student has been one of my favorite aspects of the school. You really study such a plethora of topics that help you become a well-educated business student.

What meaningful experiences are you engaging in outside the classroom?

I have been lucky enough to be a part of a few great organizations on campus. Being an assistant function manager in the Culinary Department for Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) 96 was such an amazing experience. We created meal box ideas on Zoom, developed these ideas in the culinary labs in Statler Hall, and were able to send them off to be made by our wonderful guests—this experience really allowed me to be creative and learn from others.

As a school ambassador, I have been able to help assist prospective and incoming Hotelies with anything they may need. Making the first impression on new students is very important for me because it was our ambassadors that solidified my love for SHA when I visited campus in high school.

Outside of school, I really enjoy trying all the different types of restaurants that Ithaca has to offer as well as being with all my friends and fellow Hotelies!

Describe your favorite moment or memory at Cornell so far.

My favorite memory at Cornell so far has to be Slope Day 2021. Even though it was virtual and not the same as it usually is, it was a great time to be with the friends I had made during my first year at Cornell. It was also towards the end of my first year so it was truly just a great time to be with friends before we departed for our summer plans.

If you had one area you’d like to grow this year, what would it be?

Trusting my own abilities. Sometimes when school and other responsibilities get stressful, it is easy to doubt yourself and compare your ability to others. Being able to recognize this and remember that I am here for a reason is important to my success.

Everyone is on their own journey and just because yours doesn’t look exactly the same as others, does not mean it is any less valuable. Remembering that I can do whatever may be challenging for me and that any mistake is just room for growth will help me succeed as a student and leader.