(November 7, 2011, East Lansing, Michigan) The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University hosted the 33rd CAREER EXPO on November 1 – 2, with 59 hospitality business companies, over 130 recruiters, and over 700 students participating.
The School, an industry-specific School within the Broad College of Business, is known for its close relationship with the hospitality industry. Companies from every segment – restaurants, hotels, private clubs, hotel development and management, suppliers, real estate, resorts, and foodservice management – come each year to the annual day-long professional development programs and evening career fair in the Big Ten Rooms at Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. The second day includes company interviews at Spartan Stadium.
In fact, the recruiters do more than seek well-educated and experienced students as interns and permanent associates. Many of the recruiters actually serve as panelists and presenters in the wide variety of professional development programs presented throughout the day for Hospitality Business students.
Despite the economy, company participation exceeded last year. The entire event was expertly led by Student and Industry Resource Center Director Authella Collins Hawks and a student executive board, whose very capable executive director was Jessica Wiggins (BA ‘12). Several recruiters commented on the professionalism of the students, and the attention paid to every detail. “I look forward to this event every year,” said Alan Tuttle, manager, university relations and talent acquisition for Marriott International, Inc. “The students are well-prepared and ready for their careers. It is a pleasure to work with them.”
A special feature of CAREER EXPO each year is the honoring of The School’s Industry Partner of the Year. This year’s honoree was Marriott International, Inc. Marriott’s vice president of Global Learning Deployment, Steve Bauman, served as keynote speaker. Introducing him, Director and Professor in The School Dr. Ron Cichy (BA ’72, MBA ’77) noted the long and rewarding relationship between Marriott and The School. “Established in the same year – 1927 – Marriott and our School share values and vision in collaborating to prepare our students,” he said.
Dr. Cichy acknowledged the many ways that Marriott has partnered with The School. Recruiters participate in CAREER EXPO each year and speak in School classes; Marriott has endowed two separate scholarships to aid struggling students; and numerous School alumni are leading Marriott executives who have “given back” to their alma mater in a number of volunteer leadership roles.
And this Fall, he explained, when The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Culinary Business Lab celebrated its grand opening, “we are mindful of the Marriott family confidence in our School and their generosity to us.” The Foundation provided $2 million – nearly half – of the funding necessary for the revitalization project.
After addressing the students, Steve Bauman was joined by Alan Tuttle, as well as Alumnus Jeff Serocke (BA ’82), area director of human resources; Pam Birch, human resources director of the Dearborn Inn; and Kristie Cannon, regional sales director. Steve was named an Honorary Faculty Member, and Marriott International the 2011 Industry Partner of the Year.
“This is a huge event in the life of our School,” says Ms. Hawks. “It is a source of pride for us that so many companies seek our students, speak so highly of them – and hire them!”