Maria’s PhD work investigates the impact early work experiences have on shaping youth development. Her research utilises foundational principles from service management, developmental and positive psychology to improve understanding about the attitudes and behaviours of young service workers. Maria completed her Masters in International Hotel and Tourism Management at UQ in 2013, earning Dean’s List commendations in every semester. She is also a Qualified Management Accountant as certified by CPA Australia. Maria has a strong operational background in the hotel industry, having worked in a number of premium hotel brands and through consulting for a number of Queensland-based companies. She is passionate about education, and is very involved in a range of academic activities, including teaching, student coaching and research support.