March has been a really busy month for me. I just finished with the HTM Career Fair in February and moved on to the next events, spring break and the Black Tie Dinner. For spring break, it was a mix of fun and professional work. I spent the first few days in Indianapolis being a judge for Business Professionals of America. This was a competition that I did in high school, so I enjoy giving back to it. The other part of my spring break was spent in Chicago with some of my friends from back home. We stayed downtown at one of the hotels and just relaxed for the break by enjoying some of Chicago’s nicest attractions such as Navy Pier, Sears Tower, etc. The week went by really fast, but it was nice to have just a little time off.
Once back at school, it was time to get ready for Black Tie Dinner, which is an event put together by a group of HTM students. They spent the whole fall semester and the first part of the spring semester planning this event. I signed up to be a part of the wine service team, so my main responsibility was to learn about the five different wines we were serving. The day of the event, we had to turn the North Ballroom in the Purdue Memorial Union into a fire and ice themed ballroom. We continued to practice and make the pre-dinner cocktails. I was chosen to be one of the servers that served pre-dinner cocktails, so I had to walk around with drinks on a tray and serve them to our guests. Being able to serve the drinks gave me the opportunity to mingle with the guests and introduce myself to them. Needless to say, it was great networking event. After the pre-dinner cocktails, we were all assigned a specific table that we would be in charge of serving the wine to. I was chosen to serve White Lodging Services, which is a hotel management company based out of the Midwest. After the dinner it was time to break down the event and start cleaning up. I enjoyed the event so much that I will be running for the board next year and help plan the event. I am taking a Wine Sommelier class to better my knowledge about wine so that I can make a contribution to the team.
Now, my main goal is to get ready for the end of school and get my internship finalized for the summer. In my next blog, I will talk about my plans for the summer and how I prepared for finals. Until next time!
— Michael Nalezny, Junior, Hospitality and Tourism Management