Keystone alumni often say they began laying the foundation for successful careers during their time on campus.
That’s especially true for 1991 graduate Tom See, who started planning his future the very first day he came to Keystone.
Today, Tom is president of U.S. Concert Venues for entertainment giant Live Nation, responsible for the operation of the company’s 50 amphitheaters around the country and the nearly 30,000 people who work at them. While his career in the hospitality and entertainment industry has been long and successful, the North Plainfield, N.J., native remembers the exact moment he knew it would be his life’s calling.
Tom’s Life Calling
“My first day at Keystone, I was assigned to live in Tewksbury Hall. One of my fellow classmates in the room next to mine began telling me about his experiences as an intern at Disney World in Florida,” Tom recalls. “It sounded really interesting and I quickly realized it would be something I would like to pursue. That moment was really a turning point in my life.”
Tom was accepted to the Disney internship program at the end of his freshmen year and returned to Disney again the following summer after receiving his associate degree in business from what was then Keystone Junior College. He enrolled as a marketing major at Eastern Illinois University and continued to work at Disney during the summer months.
The fact that Keystone was a small school in a really nice, small-town environment helped me a lot. My classes were great and I had professors I could relate to. It really helped me focus and got me ready for the rest of my life.
Life After College
After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Tom was hired full time by Disney to an entry level sales and marketing position but quickly rose through the ranks after being promoted four times in his first two years with the company, eventually being assigned to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
He left Disney for an executive position with a firm specializing in the travel industry and then returned to lead a new start-up, Adventures by Disney, which offers family vacation packages to destinations around the world. From there he spent nine years at Universal Studios Hollywood before joining Live Nation in 2016.
“I’ve always found it so satisfying to work in the hospitality and travel business,” Tom said. “People work so hard during their daily lives, and when they go on vacation, or in the case of Live Nation, to a concert or event at one of our venues, they want their experience to be really special. They want to have great memories they can share with their friends and families. I really enjoy working with a team of people committed to making that happen each and every time and constantly asking ourselves what we can do even better.”
Tom’s education at Keystone prepared him for success in the years that would follow.
“I certainly wasn’t the best high school student by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that Keystone was a small school in a really nice, small-town environment helped me a lot. My classes were great and I had professors I could relate to. It really helped me focus and got me ready for the rest of my life.