Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

Interview on Mentoring with Dr. Breiter

by Karen Quill, CMP, Divisional Vice President of PSAV | Dec 10, 2013

Dr. Breiter is a Professor in the Tourism, Events and Attractions Department with the Rosen College and holds the endowed position in Convention and Conference Management. Her teaching focus is conventions and trade shows.  She spearheaded the introduction of the first Bachelor of Science in Event Management in the United States.  There are now more than 1,200 students enrolled in this degree program.

Karen Quill, CMP

Interview with Dr. Breiter

What inspires you as a mentor and educator?

-        All the many people that I interact with in the event industry. There are so many people who care about what they do. They are excited an passionate about our industry and are always willing to share their knowledge with our students.


How does a mentor make an impact?

-        As a mentor, you need to establish a good personal rapport with the individual you are mentoring. You need to be selective about who you agree to mentor. It should not be someone who is just looking to “climb the ladder”, but instead, someone who truly has a desire to learn. In addition, the mentor should also expect to learn something. It’s a 2-way relationship. Think about this, at this point my students know more about social media than I do. I learn from them every day. In addition, you should have agreed upon ground rules. Things that you discuss in advance as an expectation for the relationship.


Is PCMA an important part of your mentorship with students?

-        Yes! PCMA does a great job with student support. They have a great mentorship program, fantastic scholarships and great programming for students attending the PCMA Annual event.

They are definitely part of my mentoring program. PCMA makes a huge impact when a student applies themselves in this regard and participates.


What advice would you give a mentor, looking to make a positive impact?

-        Make sure you find the right person to mentor. You really should have a connection with this individual so you can talk openly and honestly and develop a personal rapport that leads to a successful mentoring relationship.


What qualities do you find in most of your successful students?

-        These are individuals who are hungry to learn more. They are the first to step up and volunteer for things. This is the person everyone says “call Leslie, she’ll jump in and get this thing done”. They are full of excitement, enthusiasm and gratitude to learn from someone with more experience.

To learn more about Dr. Deborah Breiter, visit http://hospitality.ucf.edu/person/deborah-breiter.

Southeast Chapter