The latest placement statistics are in, and they look good for graduates of The School of Hospitality Business. 93% of the graduates from Fall ’15 and Spring ’16 who reported say they found employment or continued their education. The majority of those employed indicated that internships (curriculum requirement) and/or career fairs helped them find jobs. The School hosts an annual Career Expo each year. Last November at Career Expo XXXVII, students participated in 824 interviews with hospitality companies from around the world who sent recruiters to East Lansing.
But there’s more behind those spectacular placement numbers. The Hospitality Association, a student-led organization, oversees and helps fund three major School events each year (including Career Expo) as well as nine industry-related clubs. And it’s no secret that students who participate in HA and the clubs that are associated with the segment of the industry that interests them are ahead of the game. They meet and are mentored by alumni in the industry, professionals in the national organizations associated with the clubs, and industry leaders at conferences and professional development programs.
“HA, as well as each event and club in The School, has an executive board with broad responsibilities and expectations,” says HA CEO Alex Trompke (BA ’18), fresh off a summer internship in a rotational management position with White Lodging. “Throughout the year, these students are immersed in the kinds of details and decisions that we’ll face in the industry.” Recruiters look for these student leaders.
There is also the motivation of upholding a long and treasured tradition. HA itself is nearly as old as The School, which in 2017 celebrates its 90th anniversary. HA Director of Marketing Sydney Brodeur (BA ’17) says the entire executive board is aware of the accomplishments of past HA boards and club leaders. “We are inspired by them and we have big plans for this year.”
In fact, this year’s HA Executive Board has already hit the ground running. They were on campus before classes started, preparing for the MSU student organization open house, and for The School’s own HA Open House, where students met the leaders of all the events and clubs to decide the best fit for their interests and abilities. And in only a couple of weeks, HA will host hundreds of School alumni for Homecoming Weekend (October 14-15), including the kick off for The School’s Spartan Sponsors Mentor Program where students and alumni with the same career interests are paired for the entire year. During Homecoming, the HA Executive Board will report on their current initiatives at the meeting of The School’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. And of course students and alumni will march together in the Homecoming parade in which they have won an award – either Best Float or Best Spartan Spirit – in 11 of the past 13 years. Talk about upholding a tradition!
“We have so much to look forward to this year,” says HA COO Didi Bibi (BA ’17). “Our E-board is a team in every sense of the word, and we’re eager to work together on behalf of all students in The School.”