Office of Student Life

Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program

TravelCenters of America Leadership Challenge

March 7, 2019 by Maya Outlaw

Every semester Fellows have the opportunity to partner and consult with various organizations and use their unique perspectives to help problem solve and achieve organizational goals. ‘20 Fellow, Rebekah Howson states, “It is incredibly rewarding to see all your hard work over the semester pay-off and actually have an impact in the real world.”

This semester, the class of BLF ‘20 cohort is working with TravelCenters of America (TA) for their last leadership challenge of the year. TA is the largest publicly traded operator/franchisor of full service travel centers in the United States. With a 50-year history and $6.6B in annual revenue, TA provides full service offerings that include diesel and gasoline fuel, truck maintenance and repair, full service and fast food restaurants, large convenience stores, car and truck parking and other services dedicated to serving professional truck drivers and highway motorists. Wanting to reduce turnover rate, TA is looking for innovative ways to attract and hire candidates to quickly fill positions and retain current employees.

Our Fellows are working in groups of four to five to identify the needs of the department, projected cost and return on investment, ease of implementation, as well as technological needs and limitations.

Here’s what Fellow Tommy Bowles had to say about the experience: “This is the first challenge that is really pushing my academic knowledge. I am a student of Public Policy, Management, and Leadership, so working with a Fortune 500 company is definitely out of my comfort zone. However, this challenge is helping me to focus on my strengths. Rather than try to do a crash course on business administration and human resources, I am digging into my knowledge of the public sector (where many of the same problems TA experiences are minimized) to gain insight into best practices for the company. I am excited to see how all of our diverse backgrounds present themselves in what appears to be our toughest challenge yet.”