When she was only 16 years old, Laura Marie Grosch built a successful online business dedicated to helping families make the most of their adventures in Walt Disney World.
Still devoted to Disney, Grosch (BSM '05) might have elected to earn the "mouster's" or "ducktorate" degrees offered by Uncle Walt's corporate namesake. But because she considers her future career in the hospitality and travel industry serious business, she's pursuing much more rigorous training, starting this fall in the MBA program at Harvard Business School.
Grosch, who graduated from the Scheller College of Business with highest honors, is one of only a select few to be admitted to Harvard's program right out of school. "I definitely feel honored," says the 22-year-old Alpharetta resident. "My education at Tech has laid a strong foundation for my future."
Aspiring to someday run the Walt Disney Company's theme-park division, Grosch credits her undergraduate education with helping build her online business (www.guide2wdw.com). Her website, which has attracted more than a million unique visitors and numerous advertisers, features in-depth information on the Walt Disney World experience, including helpful hints and reviews of hotels and restaurants in the Orlando area.
"My business has grown so much since I started at Tech," says Grosch, who learned a lot about e-commerce during 10 weeks spent with other Tech students in the Oxford Study Abroad program in England.
After visiting Walt Disney World every year of her childhood, Grosch still travels there at least twice annually to keep up with the latest attractions and hospitality industry in Orlando, Fla. President of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority during her senior year, she plans to keep expanding her online business throughout her studies at Harvard.
During her first building tour at Harvard, Grosch knew better when a student there told her, "I bet you don't have anything as nice as this at Georgia Tech." She says the Scheller College of Business's new high-tech home is perhaps the most impressive learning environment she's ever seen. "I think this building is incredible," she says, noting that the promise of its construction influenced her decision to come to Tech.