Adam Tawfik is already enjoying a successful career in human resources as an HR coordinator for Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his bachelor’s degree. When Polk State College announced its new concentration within its Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management Program for students interested in Human Resources Management, it was a no-brainer for Tawfik to enroll.
He is a proud Public Service Scholar who received a scholarship to Polk State when he was a student at Discovery High School. When he learned about the scholarship opportunity in his junior math class, it was a good fit for him because “I’ve always valued staying home and close to my family,” said the Kissimmee native who is the first in his family to attend college in the U.S. His mother is from Morocco and his father is from Egypt.
“Polk State has allowed me to do this while pursuing full-time employment and getting experience in the workforce while working on my education,” he added. “This has been instrumental to my story.”
Tawfik graduated from high school in 2020 with some college credits already under his belt through dual enrollment at Polk State. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic left his future a bit uncertain, he said, but Tawfik remained committed to maintaining his Public Service Scholar status with the College.
“COVID did derail some things that year, but I knew I wanted to stay at Polk State. To have my college completely paid for is a tremendous help to me. Words can’t really describe how that has helped me,” Tawfik said. “On top of that, I’ve been able to stay at home and save on expenses. Both the scholarship and being able to go to school locally have really helped me to get ahead.”
He also started working at Chick-fil-A, where he says he developed his interest in helping others.
“I found my heart for service there and enjoyed the ability to connect with guests internally and externally,” he explained.
“The courses are really hands-on and taught by professionals who cater our assignments and projects to what we find ourselves doing in the workplace.”
Now he gets to do that in his career with Omni Orlando Resort, a Four Diamond-rated resort that offers 15 acres of premier recreation. Omni Hotels & Resorts spans 50 properties across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Tawfik joined the resort in May 2021 as a recreation attendant and worked his way up through an internship in the resort’s human resources department. In December 2021, he graduated with his Polk State Associate in Arts degree Magnum Cum Laude.
“The internship coincided perfectly as I was admitted into Polk State’s first class for its Human Resources Management concentration in the BAS Program,” he explained. “The courses are really hands-on and taught by professionals who cater our assignments and projects to what we find ourselves doing in the workplace.”
One of his projects focused on starting the Human Resources Student Club at Polk State, which is now sponsored by the Mid-Florida Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). The club serves approximately 30 students and is growing, with Tawfik serving as president.
Meanwhile, he impressed his managers and colleagues at Omni Resort so much so that his internship turned into a full-time position. He assumed the role of Human Resources Coordinator in December 2022.
Tawfik expressed appreciation for Polk State, his instructors, and his peers for helping him get to this milestone in his career, including Matina Wagner, Polk State’s Coordinator for Internships and Experiential Learning, and Advisor of the Human Resources Club. He also thanked Omni Orlando’s HR Director Mabel Rodriguez and Assistant HR Director Kathleen Perez.
“For me, coming to Polk State has always been about the flexibility it affords me. A big part of my success has been the ability to balance my classes while getting experience in the workforce.”
“For me, coming to Polk State has always been about the flexibility it affords me,” he said. “A big part of my success has been the ability to balance my classes while getting experience in the workforce.”
As he nears the completion of his bachelor’s degree in December 2023, Tawfik reflects on how Polk State has helped make this possible.
“The instructors and the way the courses are set up allow us as both students and working professionals to maintain balance,” he added. “Whether you are a single parent, someone working 40 hours a week, or whatever it may be, you are able to get the education and experience you need.”