In January, Joel and Rachel reached out the 2019 Shila Bowron Speaker, Ms. Jennifer Gowers, who is highly involved in the MPI-Georgia Chapter. Ms. Gowers contacted the leadership board of MPI-Georgia and invited all UA-MPI members to attend their industry networking event in Atlanta, on February 18th. To welcome UA students and faculty to attend this event, the leadership board of MPI-Georgia graciously offered to waive the registration fee. However, UA-MPI had very limited funds to offset the cost for the trip to Atlanta. Joel and Rachel reached out to UA-MPI advisor, Dr. Shatina Chen for advice.
Since this event was about professional career development, Dr. Chen and these two officers wrote a proposal to UA Career Center Director, Ms. Melinda King, and asked the Career Center for funding. Two weeks later, Ms. King responded and fully supported our Hospitality Students. The Career Center granted $1,000 for the trip. Later, Dr. Kimberly Severt, Director of the Hospitality Management Program, reached out to Amy Parton, Director of Development for CHES, about possible funding to cover the remaining cost for the trip. Through their efforts, the trip was completely funded.
Attending this industry networking event elevated hospitality management students' career development tremendously. Our students at the networking event were granted an opportunity, through experiential learning, to work with event management professionals on proper event etiquette. Furthermore, students acquired an opportunity to present themselves as available for both summer internships and as career-ready graduates. After the event, some professionals have reached out Ms. Gowers and showed their interests in hiring our students!
Along with faculty members, Drs. Severt and Chen, students, McKenzie Moses, Taylor Wilkins, Kendra Gillberg, Raegan Thornton,
Sam Emory, Joel Germann, Rachel KLeman, Mollie WEinstein, Kaitlin Wiltshire, Delaney Thompson and Nicole Tuller attended the event.