Michael Lever | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Michael Lever

Michael Lever

Research Area: 
Tourism and Hospitality
Summary: 

My research explores the image of destinations, trying to make sense of why people have the perceptions that they do, and how those images can be better understood by destination marketers to create better travel experiences for us all. 

Program(s)

Services Management, PhD

How my Research will Improve Life...

People rarely stay in one place for very long. What shapes their desire to travel and visit foreign places is an incredibly nuanced topic, and is confounded by the contemporary ways in which travelers navigate this planet. My research explores the image of destinations, trying to make sense of why people have the perceptions that they do, and how those images can be better understood by destination marketers to create better travel experiences for us all. 

 

Why I Chose Guelph… 

I chose the University of Guelph for its unique program related to my interests in tourism and destination image. My preference for University of Guelph goes a few years back, when I first met and interacted with several faculty from the school. I was immediately impressed with the quality of research conducted there. 

 

About My Advisor… 

My advisor and I meet at least once per week, and are continuously sharing ideas back and forth regarding my research interests and direction. She is integral to my success in this program and makes up just one of several committee advisors who have ensured from day one that I am on the right track through the program. 

 

About the City of Guelph… 

As someone who moved from Toronto, the first thing I noticed coming to Guelph was the ability to park without paying at the grocery store! I love the many green outdoor spaces across campus, and I enjoy the ability to get to campus quickly. There is a wonderful feeling that comes with being in a small town versus a fast moving city. 

 

Being a Graduate Student at Guelph… 

To me, being a graduate student at Guelph means being able to brag about many unique things. Things like being in a program that focuses directly on my research interests while having teaching assistant opportunities to help with tuition fees. Or having green spaces that let me relax and contemplate my next assignment's topic, with so many food options on and around campus when I need to refuel. 

 

My Future Plans… 

After graduation, I will continue to work in the field of academia in the role of a university professor. I will utilize my research interests and background in tourism and consumer behaviour to help educate students within these broad fields of interest. The University of Guelph has been instrumental in reaching that goal; my interests were fostered, but never fully developed, until I began studying here. I have quite some time before I graduate from this program, and am confident that in that time my understanding and knowledge will have expanded exponentially from where I am, thanks entirely to the program and the faculty in my department. 

Other Thoughts… 

If you are considering graduate studies, I suggest that you take your research interests and see who on campus is pursuing something that align with them. Given the wide range of topics and fields of study here, I would not be surprised to see at least one other individual or faculty member engaged in some research that closely mirrors the interests of the student. 

 

About the Campus… 

The campus feels open and friendly, making walking between classes a simple task. The people also make campus so unique. Staff, Faculty and Students… the people here are incredibly approachable, kind, and helpful. 

 

About Financial Support… 

I am grateful for earning several notable scholarships upon my offer of admission to Guelph, which have helped me immensely.