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RCCC alumnus to intern with Disney World and MGM Hotels Las Vegas

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Timothy Wilson came to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College after earning his GED, intending to receive a diploma in order to get a job right away. As he began to achieve success, he saw that he had more options than he initially realized. He decided to take his goals a step further and pursue a degree.

Wilson is now a student at East Carolina University, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, and is interning with MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas. This fall, Wilson will head to the most magical place on earth to intern at Disney World.

While Wilson is flourishing now, his road to success wasn’t easy.

“Honestly, I never thought I would be here, speaking in front of all of you. In fact, when I first arrived at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, I really did not resemble the person I am today,” said Wilson as he addressed the graduates at the Rowan-Cabarrus 2015 graduation ceremony.

According to Wilson, he had never been able to maintain a job after dropping out of high school at the end of his senior year. He had fallen into a self-destructive lifestyle and had surgery for a cystic disease in his lower back. He felt completely broken, and though he was still a young man, he felt that he was at a dead end.

“But then things started to change. One positive experience built upon another. And momentum was built. This amazing college offered me an opportunity to change my life. I had something that had been lost for so many years. I had direction in my life, not to mention the tools to succeed,” said Wilson.

Wilson became involved with campus life and went on to win numerous awards at Rowan-Cabarrus.

“It wasn’t until he was hired as a peer tutor for the Male Minority Mentoring Program, M.I.S.T.E.R., and became involved in the college’s student government that he saw just how much potential he truly had,” said Natasha Lipscomb, director of student life and leadership development at Rowan-Cabarrus. “Tim became a member of multiple honor and leadership societies and served as vice president of the Student Government Association while continuing to tutor his fellow students in advanced mathematics and English courses.”

Wilson received the 2014 Academic Excellence Award that recognizes academic achievement, leadership and community service. He was also awarded the North Carolina Community College System’s Daryl Mitchell Award for the Central Division of colleges. The award is given to a student who demonstrates trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

“Since transferring to East Carolina, I have successfully maintained the momentum I gained at Rowan-Cabarrus. The number one goal I set for myself once I made it to ECU was to obtain an internship with a prominent company in the hospitality industry. I am thankful that I was chosen for not one, but two of these internships. While interning with Disney is a dream come true, I am also very proud of the internship with MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas,” said Wilson.

When he found out he had been chosen for the MGM Resorts internship, he learned that a corporate recruitment manager had personally chosen him to be accepted. She explained to him why she wanted him in particular and what had set him apart.

“Honestly, every accomplishment she mentioned was from my experience with at Rowan-Cabarrus. Sure, this past year at ECU has been important. But when it came to this rather prestigious internship, it was what happened to me at Rowan-Cabarrus that mattered. I want to emphasize that one more time. A recruitment manager for what is, hands down, the largest hotel company on the face of the planet, saw what had occurred at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and decided that I was what she wanted to be a part of the MGM Resorts team,” said Wilson.

For Wilson, Rowan-Cabarrus was not just a stepping stone; it was pivotal point in his life. He credits the college, along with the faculty and staff, for helping him get where he is today.

“I had the opportunity to meet some amazing, lifelong friends and interact with faculty and staff that had a profound impact on me. While I had numerous awards and accomplishments while here, there is no doubt that the best thing that happened to me was that I regained my self-esteem and developed an unwavering self-confidence,” said Wilson. “I am proud to call myself a Rowan-Cabarrus Community College alumnus.”

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