Worldwide Passion: Collins College Alum Crosses Borders to Achieve American Dream

Worldwide Passion: Collins College Alum Crosses Borders to Achieve American Dream

Mateusz Pasierbek found career inspiration in his mom, a flight attendant, and his travels around the world at a young age.

The Collins College of Hospitality Management alumnus and Poland native immigrated to Orange County in 2012, and adjusted to his new home in a few months, quickly making friends and learning the language.

His love of travel and ease with being in a mix of different cultures, a characteristic of his favorite destination — Singapore — also sparked his interest in the hotel luxury market.

“I grew up traveling to different places and exploring diverse cultures, meeting fascinating people, and spending a lot of time in various hotels,” Pasierbek (’19, hospitality management) said. “I’m very open-minded – that’s the key factor in hospitality, you have to be very open-minded and willing to relocate to wherever the job is. It makes you a much better candidate than others in the industry.”

Pasierbek transferred from Cypress College to Cal Poly Pomona to elevate his skills and network with industry leaders. The Collins College of Hospitality Management is the fourth largest hospitality management college in the country, with 86 percent job placement for students. Graduates work in various fields of hospitality, including management of sports and recreation, destination, events and conventions, hotel and resort operations and restaurants.

“Cal Poly Pomona gave me the best experience with networking in the professional industry, collaborating with people and connecting with professors, who were really amazing,” Pasierbek said. “They encouraged students to go out of their comfort zones to do better not just for themselves but also caring about each other – it’s not just about the individual.”

Pasierbek was accepted into Marriott’s Voyage global leadership development program after graduating.  He will spend a year as a manager-in-training in the food and beverage department at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne in Miami. He will receive hands-on and virtual training and be immersed in hotel operations through departmental rotations. Pasierbek will also meet with general managers and directors, along with having his mentor. After completing the program, he will have the opportunity to apply for a permanent position within Marriott International worldwide.

“I started at Marriot International, and I loved the culture and growth opportunities within the company,” Pasierbek said. “In luxury hotels, I like the personalization and attention to detail that is provided to guests.”

He credits his success to the five years of experience he spent working at hotels in various capacities and the numerous scholarships he received at Cal Poly Pomona, which allowed him to travel to conferences and connect with industry professionals.

“Thanks to the encouragement from my professors and the scholarships I’ve received, I was able to make lifetime connections that gave me the opportunity to explore different jobs in California and the United States,” Pasierbek said. “I would not be able to be in this program without Collins College and its great opportunities in the industry. You are able to grow and be anywhere in the world, so I’m very thankful.”

Visit for more information on how to support students like Pasierbek at The Collins College.

This article first appeared in PolyCentric on Nov. 26.