Missouri State University
Lauren Ashleigh Schoelen

Lauren Ashleigh Schoelen

Fast-paced challenging environment the perfect place for her

Everyday is different for Lauren Ashleigh Schoelen, a hospitality leadership major.

“That’s what I was built for,” she says.

Today she might coordinate a conference.

Tomorrow, her day might be devoted to helping clients plan a banquet, completed with a plated multi-course dinner.

As the Assistant Banquet Manager for the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, she works on a variety of events, coordinating the center's 11 venue rooms.

Thriving in a challenging environment

She started as a child development major, another field where everyday is different. But, it just wasn’t for her.

“I soon realized while I love working with children, my passion was working with adults.”

She started to sense that hadn’t chosen the best path for herself.

“I changed my major after being three credits shy of an (associate's degree) in child development. At this time, I knew I wanted to work with adults more than children and attended a wedding where I fell in love with the event process.

"I began researching what it took to become an event planner. Shortly after, I started classes at OTC and got my associate's degree in hospitality management.”

She changed her major to hospitality leadership. She graduated in 2017 with her associate's degree, and transferred to Missouri State in 2018.

“(Taking online classes) gave me the flexibility to excel and advance in the workforce.”

Online support

Along the way, she started taking more online classes. The flexibility of her coursework allowed her to take on greater responsibility at her job.

One class particularly shaped her love of hospitality. It was the Food and Beverage Management course taught by Abbe Elhers.

“She taught a section over sustainability. I learned so much about sustainable practices both in the hospitality industry and in my personal life.”

The class impacted the way she thinks about her footprint, both personally and professionally. Lauren still exercises the principles she learned in class.

Looking ahead

The future looks bright for Lauren. When she graduates in spring 2019, she’ll continue working at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center.

She’ll look back on her time at MSU as well worth it.

“A combination of my industry experiences, professors and classmates really made me feel as if I had selected the perfect path for my passion.”