Alumni Spotlight: Abbey Parlier

Abbey Parlier is attending the University of Tennessee Knoxville for her undergraduate degree while at the same time working as a Front Desk Agent for Crowne Plaza Downtown Knoxville. She is a graduate of Mary Persons High School (2015) in Forsyth, GA. During her high school years she participated in many 21CL programs and served on the 21CL Youth Advisory Board. She says that 21st Century Leaders taught her to be a more creative, hands-on and fearless leader! Read more about 21st Century Leaders’ Alumna Abbey Parlier…

Paint a picture of what you are doing:

I am currently a student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. I am studying Communications with a minor in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. I also work in guest services as a Front Desk Agent at the Crowne Plaza Downtown Knoxville. I am involved in the Communications Club and Baptist Collegiate Ministries on campus at UTK also.

How did participating in 21CL transform you and lead you to where you are now?

21st Century Leaders helped me decide that I wanted to pursue a job somewhere in the business industry. Over my time in college, that has evolved into wanting to be on the corporate side of the hotel and lodging industry. 21CL taught me to take the opportunities given to me, so that I can grow into a professional.

And how did 21CL prepare you for your next steps? Going into college and taking on leadership roles, heading into a new era of professionalism, etc. What skills/tools/perspectives have helped you along the way?

21CL taught me how to network with people around me. I feel as though my networking abilities have thrived ever since my time in 21CL. The job I currently have at the Crowne Plaza and my former job at the Hyatt Place Knoxville were opportunities I got because of me talking with guest speakers that we had in class. It also taught me a lot about how to balance my work life, school life, and personal life. I have been more willing to join clubs on campus and put myself out there as a student and professional because of 21CL.

Which programs did you participate in, and when? What skills did you gain or improve through those programs?

I participated in many 21CL programs during my high school years:

  • Summer 2014- Summer Youth Leadership Institute, Emory University
  • School Year 2013-2014- Youth Advisory Board
  • February 2014- Goizueta Youth Leadership Summit
  • October 2013- Fall Rally Day
  • August 2013- Back 2 School Kickoff
  • Summer 2013- Leadership Unplugged at Georgia Tech and CNN (now Turner Voices Youth Media Institute)
  • February 2013- Goizueta Youth Leadership Summit
  • October 2012- Fall Rally Day
  • Summer 2012- G5 @ Goizueta Business School, Emory University

What was a memorable or ‘aha’ moment in 21CL? (Particular program, meeting a professional and diverse peers, speaking in public for the first time, etc.?)

My most memorable moment from my time in 21CL was when I did G5 at Emory. It was my first 21CL experience. I met so many people who became great friends. It was also the camp that changed my outlook on my future. I became very involved with Future Business Leaders of America because of that camp. It shaped the course of my professional career aspirations and made me realize that I could excel in the business industry.

Did 21CL assist you in developing a leadership style that makes you an effective leader? if so how? And have you recently learned something else about leadership? Please share!

I would say 21CL taught me to be a more creative, hands-on, and fearless leader. I learned to put myself and ideas out there and take chances. One of the things I have learned about leadership in the hotel/lodging industry is leadership and management by walking around. It is imperative when you work in guest relations to have good communication and understand what the different departments of a hotel do and how they work. It is important that a leader stays in communication with the other departments of the hotel to make sure we are functioning smoothly.