On Saturday, April 7, forty Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) students from Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, and Ferris State University gathered to network and learn from each other.

Throughout the day, eight members of the National PCMA Chapter spoke to the students relative to career paths, industry news, and personal success stories.

Claire Murray (BA ’20) shared, “I loved the variety of speakers and the student to professional ratio. In the breakout rooms it gave us the opportunity to have personable conversation with a small group of students and professionals, making the whole day really helpful.”

The speakers included MSU alumna Sarah Anderson (BA ‘16), PSAV and Jessica Munoz (BA ‘14), ACCESS Chicago, as well as current PCMA members Jim LaBadie (Visit Houston), Bill Martin (Experient), Bob Donovan (American Hospitals Association), David Buckenberger (Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau), Hilke Ahrens (Choose Chicago), and Tom Corcoran (Corcoran Exhibitions, Inc.).

In addition, Hayley Pegram (BA ‘19) added, “It was an amazing opportunity to hear from professionals who work in different sides of the hospitality industry than we typically get to learn about in class. Hilke Ahrens and I discussed how stressful the industry can be and how it is important to be extremely organized as well as be able to work in high stress situations because clients create unrealistic deadlines.”

Hilke additionally identified that it is important to, “Just be yourself. Don’t change for a job, you must stay true to yourself.”

The event was a great networking and educational opportunity for PCMA students across Michigan and especially for those at Michigan State University.

MSU PCMA students graciously thank and appreciate both the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development and the University Club of MSU for providing the event space. 

studentsPlease visit the Greater Midwest Chapter website for more information.

(Top, L-R) Claire Murray (BA ‘20), Britton Forker (BA Advertising ‘18), Jim LaBadie (Visit Houston), Ryleigh Kuhn (BA ‘20), Jillian Seguin (BA ‘20), Hayley Pegram (BA ‘19), Bill Martin (Experient), Brooke Desormeaux (BA ‘21), Ariana Schweymaier (BA ‘21), Morgin Samuels (BA ‘21), (Front, L-R) Elizabeth Rupinski (BA ‘20), Sarah Michelson (BA’ 20), Anne Swartz (BA ‘20), Erika Witte (BA ‘18).