Summer '22 grad Maryclaire Strassburger on passion for hospitality

Maryclaire Strassburger, a summer '22 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Administration, talks about her love of the hospitality industry and her experience at LU ahead of Saturday’s commencement ceremony.

Q: Can you tell the audience about your background?
A: Born and raised in Beaumont, I went to St. Anne and Kelly High School. I am an only child and have loved cooking for my family since I could reach the countertop. I was raised to love food and always be open to trying new things, whether its food or a new experience. I have worked as an assistant event coordinator since I was in high school, so my major was just obvious for me. I love the hospitality industry and anything having to do with events. I can’t wait for my future and all the amazing things that come with it.

Q: What is your major?
A: I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Administration.

Q: What interested you in your major?
A: I have always known that I wanted to do something in the hospitality industry, whether it is hotel, culinary or events. This major exposed me to new event ideas and the business behind the events.

Q: What attracted you to Lamar University?
A: One, it has the major I was interested in, but it’s also located in Beaumont. My mom graduated from Lamar in ’94 from the same department and I knew I would have a great experience as well.

Q: What was your first day at Lamar University like?
A: My first day at LU made me feel like so young. Everyone was so much older and knew more than me even though we were all the same age in class. I was intimidated by my professors and nervous for the work. I took public speaking, art appreciation, sociology and chefs essentials. I hit the ground running and told myself I was not playing around, and here I am graduating!

Q: What are some of the organizations you’ve been involved in?
A: I have been president of Alpha Sigma Beta for three years. We are a hospitality and culinary organization that caters for other student organizations on campus. However, COVID-19 slowed us down; our first year we were very active on campus. I was also in the Dance Marathon group to raise money for the children’s miracle network. Maryclaire Strassburger

Q: What has been your proudest or favorite moment during your time at LU?
A: I am most proud of the times I was listed on the President’s List and becoming a teaching assistant in the culinary lab. My time as the T.A. in the culinary lab exposed me to new ideas and new topics I would like to learn more about. This experience taught me patience and what it takes to teach a skill. I loved it. Not to mention, Chef Duit was the best to work with and has so much knowledge to give to students. I know the students will miss him after retirement.

Q: What have been your biggest challenges?
A: Working, going to school, participating in school functions and having a social life were the hardest things to juggle. From my experience, trying to keep a calendar and planner and writing absolutely everything down will help in being more organized.

Q: How do you think it will feel to graduate?
A: I am so excited to graduate and be a part of the professional world. However, not having homework or a paper to write on the weekend will be very nice.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I will continue working at the Laurels, full time, coordinating, planning and decorating any event. We host weddings, meetings, dinner parties or anything in between.

Q: How do you think your degree will expand your professional opportunities?
A: I think my degree will help me and set me apart from others in the industry. Being schooled in the subject will certainly give me extra information along with having the experience as well. Joining different marketing groups like SETXYPO will help me get my name out there and expose me to different fields.

Q: How will Lamar University contribute to your future success?
A: I have had the pleasure of meeting so many professionals in our community through Lamar University, so having those contacts after college will benefit me in the professional world. I can’t wait to update my department on all of my future accomplishments.