Texas Tech University

Restaurant, Hotel & Institutional Management Major Perseveres Through Hardships as a First-Generation Student

Mallory Collins

February 22, 2022

RHIM Student

Bruce Allen finds his passion in the Restaurant, Hotel & Institutional Management program

Bruce Allen is currently a Restaurant, Hotel & Institutional Management (RHIM) major, planning to graduate in the spring of 2023. He started the program with very little knowledge about the industry, but his inspiration for the field came from his dad.

“Since I was ten, my dad has been working in the hotel industry as an engineer fixing things around the hotel,” Allen said. “He has inspired me to make the hotel field my focus for what I want to do in life.”

Growing up, Allen faced many hardships as a young child. His family struggled financially, and at one point, they were homeless, sleeping at the hotel where his dad worked. Luckily, Allen was able to get a great high school education at Dallas Lutheran School. 

“When I attended Dallas Lutheran my senior year I didn't know if I was going to end up in college or end up just working,” Allen said. “So, I didn't pursue the college route until the end of my first semester, senior year. I then found out that Tech offered a great program for first-generation students.”

Allen is a first-generation student and this motivated him to get a degree in hopes for a promising future and the ability to give his family a better life. His drive and perseverance got him through the tough times, and he was able to find a program that interested him.

“The College of Human Sciences stood out to me because I saw that it had the RHIM program,” Allen said. “The culture and overall environment that the college surrounds its students with is great. No matter who you are and what you do, you will always find your people here.”

In the RHIM program, students can learn in a hands-on environment and gain experience through experiential learning opportunities. These opportunities include industry-related work experience, event management, and classes at Skyviews Restaurant. 

“I have seen a lot of different businesses and kitchens since I've been at Texas Tech,” Allen said. “There are a lot of different aspects of the industry that I didn't even know about before I had started my career at Texas Tech.”

Here at the College of Human Sciences (COHS), the focus is on relationships. A part of that is represented through our faculty members and how they educate and mentor students. 

“One of the faculty members that has impacted me the most is Dr. Charlie Adams,” Allen said. “To this day, I still go by his office and sit and have conversations with him about the next step in life. He has mentored me throughout my career in the RHIM program and has made sure that I step foot into the world with a great mindset and a tremendous amount of knowledge.” 

Charlie Adams, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Hospitality and Retail Management. Adams has guided Allen to success through mentoring him and providing him with a welcoming and encouraging learning environment. 

Allen has found the RHIM program helpful to his future goals and ambitions. He hopes to find a general management position after graduation and work his way up eventually. 

“I want to go ahead and get my feet wet in a general manager spot of some kind, in the hospitality field,” Allen said. “Experience is always a good thing, no matter where the experience is.”

Through perseverance and hard work, Allen has found himself in a great position for a bright future. 

“Life doesn't come easy, and nothing is just going to be handed to you,” Allen said. “So, make a change and do something different so that you can make a change and pave your own way!”