The mission of the Hospitality Association (HA) is to create and refine hospitality business leaders by providing forums for academic growth, industry experience, leadership roles and career-enhancing opportunities and by encouraging social interaction and the development of student unity within The School of Hospitality Business.
Today it is comprised of nine clubs, each giving students the chance to learn more about the industry, examine their career choices, develop their leadership skills, and make good friends and important contacts. HA also helps to plan and produce three School events each year.
For over three decades, CAREER EXPO has been the premier hospitality business career fair and professional development event on campus each fall, with nearly 80 of the nation’s leading hospitality companies recruiting approximately 800 students who attend the two-day event. Day one begins with professional development workshops on a variety of topics conducted by industry leaders, and then The School’s Industry Partner of the Year is named. The evening’s career fair, featuring more than 200 recruiters, provides industry professionals and students with networking opportunities, while formal interviews held the second day help students to secure internships and permanent positions.
The annual Destination Auction is a premier fundraising event for the Hospitality Association and the Alumni Association, featuring spectacular individual items and packages donated by alumni and other industry friends in live auction and silent auctions. This popular event draws hundreds of community members, alumni, students and faculty, and helps to fund a number of programs in The School as well as local charities. With a different theme each year, Destination Auction is an exciting, colorful event, organized and led by students in partnership with School alumni.
The premier annual event in The School is Les Gourmets. Founded as a student organization in 1951, students in Les Gourmets produced their first dinner in 1955. Starting as a simple buffet and dinner dance, the event has since evolved into a formal, world-class reception and dinner showcasing the talents of hundreds of student volunteers and all they have learned from their professors and work experiences. With the guidance of faculty members and guest chefs, the students work in all areas – management, sales, marketing, purchasing, finance, culinary management, bartending and serving – creating a night to remember each spring for hundreds of guests.
The Hospitality Association is the parent organization for nine clubs and three student-run events within The School of Hospitality Business. Think of the Hospitality Association as an umbrella and all the clubs and events as everything under the umbrella. The Hospitality Association is led by eight executive board members elected each year by you. They support each one of the clubs and events that you might be a part of. The Hospitality Association Chief Executive Officer represents the student body on various committees within The School, the Broad College and the university. The Hospitality Association holds bi-weekly meetings with the board of directors (presidents of the clubs and events that the Hospitality Association supports). Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings and can find out more information by e-mailing anyone on the Hospitality Association Executive Board.
If you are reading this now, you most likely are already a member of the Hospitality Association. I know, take a minute, let the excitement set in … breathe and let us explain. With most organizations, you pay a fee and then you are “officially” a member. With the Hospitality Association, your membership is covered by funds raised by Destination Auction each year. This means that, if your major is hospitality business or if you are involved with one of our organizations, you are “officially” a member.
The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is go to the SIRC office and request to be added to the Hospitality Business Student LISTSERV. Next, you should explore the clubs and events under the Hospitality Association, as seen below on this page. The Hospitality Association also holds an open house each fall that brings together all the clubs and events in one room, where you can learn much more about every organization.
The clubs of the Hospitality Association include:
Each club schedules speakers, tours, demonstrations, and other educational and social events catering to the diversified interests of the various club memberships.
The Hospitality Association is more than just its constituent clubs. HA also provides marketing and financial support to the various clubs and events and hosts activities throughout the year. For example, HA helps with or hosts:
The Hospitality Association also helps and encourages students to attend the annual trade shows in New York City and Chicago, giving them opportunities to learn and grow.
One of the HA’s beliefs is “By doing good, you will do well.” For more than a decade, the HA clubs and events have made cash donations to Give Kids the World, Make-a-Wish Foundation, MSU Safe Place, Paws with a Cause, MSU Habitat for Humanity, MSUFCU Institute for Arts & Creativity at the Wharton Center, the Junior League of Lansing and Capital Area Humane Society, to name a few. We believe that giving back not only helps others, but it also gives us the opportunity to learn service to others.
Every hospitality business student at Michigan State University is automatically a member of the Hospitality Association.