The Biz by Bentley University

How Study Abroad Helps Adriana Minasian ’24 Plan an Eventful Hospitality Career

Adriana Minasian ’24 knew at an early age that a career in hospitality and events would take center stage in her life. She grew up working for her mother’s events company and has used her time at Bentley to develop additional knowledge and skills, including a major in Management with a concentration in Marketing, and a role on the Campus Activities Board planning popular campus events. She also completed a job at Kraft Sports + Entertainment and an internship at Fenway Sports Management before heading to one of the world’s top hospitality schools, Hotel Institute Montreux, in Switzerland, for a semester of study abroad.  

“My study abroad adviser in the Cronin Office of International Education worked closely with me on logistics making sure my credits would transfer and reading over my syllabus for each course,” Minasian says. “I took five classes and they all counted toward either my major or general business requirements. The school had a combination of business and hospitality, so it really aligned perfectly with Bentley.” 

Eight-hour days in class were more formal than American colleges, with students required to wear business attire, but Minasian grew to appreciate it. Being around students who shared her career goal, she says, was also inspiring.  

“I was the only student from the United States at this school, so it was amazing to see where other students came from: Greece, Italy, Sweden,” says Minasian, whose father immigrated to the U.S. from Armenia. “It also changed my whole perspective: I gained a different approach to hospitality — an appreciation for the cultural differences in events and an understanding of how people look at things differently. It was very eye-opening, and something that I’ll always remember and incorporate into my life every day.” 

Minasian spent weekends immersing herself in the area, located in the French-speaking western region of the country. Her favorite place? Montreux, a small Swiss town known for its annual Christmas market and spring jazz festival. “The Christmas festival was magical, I felt like it was out of a movie with the illuminated chalets and vendors stretched along Lake Geneva,” she says. “There were so many visitors from nearby countries who came.” 

The beauty of the Swiss landscape in the “fairy tale” towns, she says, “took my breath away.” Even though Minasian used the train system to visit her friends and family in Paris, Copenhagen and Florence, she preferred to explore within Switzerland. “I really wanted to take in all the Swiss culture, especially because each side — German, Italian and French — are so different.  

The experience studying abroad at a school focused on hospitality, Minasian says, solidified her plans to make a career in the industry. After graduating in May, she will begin a full-time role in corporate event planning.