Zachary Southward had worked in hotels for years and enjoyed it.

Zack Southward

After years in the hospitality industry, Zack Southward has added versatility and depth to his career with certification and an associate degree through CMC Aspen’s hospitality program.

“I worked in hotels and was good at customer service,” he said. “I figured that I would make a career out of it.”

So when Colorado Mountain College Aspen began offering the college’s hospitality program, Southward signed up. He graduated in May with a certificate in occupational proficiency in hospitality operations and an Associate of Applied Science in resort management.

Southward said being able to take college-level courses in the Roaring Fork Valley was convenient.

“With both physical and online classes, it was easy to fit an education into my schedule,” he said.

‘Wonderful opportunities’

Learning and practicing study skills translated to life management skills as well.

“My experience at CMC has helped with my time management,” he said. “I took mostly online classes that relied on me to complete and turn in the work on time.”

Southward not only appreciated having relevant learning opportunities close to home, he also enjoyed the elective classes offered at the CMC Aspen campus.

Some of those classes presented wonderful opportunities to practice skills outside the hospitality industry, he said. “Orienteering, leadership and ceramics provided great opportunities to learn new skills and participate in fun classes. Plus, I have met many people who have become friends that I continue to keep in touch with.”