Hospitality and Tourism Management Career Fairs

The first full month of school is complete and this semester is going by extremely fast.  September is actually the busy month for most of the students on campus to find either jobs if they are graduating in December, or looking for internships in the summer.  The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management holds two career fairs every school year, and the first one is held in September.  I am on the board for our fair, and my position is the Director of Recruiter Relations.  In my position, I am responsible for contacting different companies in the industry to bring them to the fair.  The unique thing about this organization is that it is completely run by students.  There are five teams that plan the catering, publicity, student relations, recruiter relations, and decorations for the fair.  The board is selected usually a month after the fall fair ends.  This is a great opportunity for students to get involved in the school, and it kind of gives a hands on experience since it involves planning a large event.  For the fair this year, we had Bruce White, CEO of White Lodging Services, as our guest speaker.  He was just named the second richest man in Indiana, and his company is the second largest hotel management company in the country.  Needless to say, he was a high-profile speaker for our event.  He gave a speech in Loeb playhouse the day of the fair and engaged in industry related matters with the students.  He is an inspiration in our industry, and he gave a lot of good advice to the students.  The fair itself hosted 48 companies ranging from large hotels names like Marriott and Hilton, to restaurants like Darden (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, etc.).  For the most part, there was a lot of positive feedback from the students because the mix of companies was very different from in the past.  We had an increase in casinos, convention centers, and tourism companies this year.  This year also had one of the largest interviewing schedules, which is great for the students because a lot of companies are hiring now.  Overall, the fair was great.  It is nice to see the hard work of the board pay off, and hopefully next year, the new board is able to carry on the success of our fair.

— Michael Nalezny, Hospitality & Tourism Management

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