Merissa Marco


"When Professor Hatin first told me about the internship at JUST Water, I was a little reluctant to apply. I hadn’t heard about the company, so I looked into it. When I found out about them, I thought, ‘This is something I can get behind.’ This is a product I would actually purchase.

I just finished my 120-hour internship, and for a lot of the hours, I was working independently. I conducted demographic research and focus groups to figure out a target market for the company’s proposed welcome center. They’re getting ahead of things here in case people want to come visit by planning a visitors’ center. I had to figure out things they can do to improve the experience.

Now I’m a big Just Water fan. I like the fact that the work I was doing with the company was real. My internship wasn’t about busy work. Now I’m my own little brand ambassador for them.

When I was 19, I went to Becker College. The tuition was more than $30,000 a year. I left, got married and had kids. I’ve been working at The Great Escape for six years, and I thought I should be doing something that relates to tourism. I decided to major in Hospit ality and Tourism.

I’m 34, and it’s been a really different world coming to college as an adult.

With two boys at home, school was a little rough at times. Scheduling can be difficult. My husband is a SUNY Adirondack alumnus, so he has been good about it.

I never really had good grades in high school, but now I’m Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa HonorSociety.”

Merissa Marco
Hospitality & Tourism Management, Class of 2016