Not surprisingly, Jacqlyn Oswald is drawn to the hospitality industry because of a love of travel. “This industry allows the opportunity to explore the world and broaden cultural understanding,” she said. “It also gives me the chance to build close relationships and share exciting moments with a passionate group of people.”
The DePaul University senior will graduate in June with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Hospitality Leadership. She has concentrated in meetings and events and specialized in revenue management.
Her first internship was in the human resource department at PUBLIC Hotel. After completing the internship, she worked as a Guest Service Agent and was later promoted to Front Desk Agent. Most recently, she was the Education and Meeting Services Intern at the American College of Prosthodontists.
Asked if anything about the industry has surprised her so far, Jacqlyn replied that she “quickly realized the different segments are interconnected. I was surprised to see how the entire industry works together as a team to accomplish a common goal.”
“As graduation nears, I grow more excited for what lies ahead. The education and experiences I have received from DePaul have prepared me to enter the industry. I hope to apply all that I have learned and serve as an asset to the hospitality community. Along the way, I want to continue my involvement with PCMA and serve as a mentor to students.” Although she is still exploring the industry, she envisions herself as “dedicated to my work and striving to make a positive impact.”
Although the DePaul PCMA chapter is still very new, Jacqlyn noted that opportunities for members have included “tours of RedFrog, Kehoe Designs, Hyatt McCormick Place and Strictly Sale Tradeshow. We also attend luncheons with industry professionals, as well as Convening Leaders and local meetings. Throughout the year we participate in fundraising events and volunteer within DePaul and the School of Hospitality. We are very lucky to have Chicago as home and are extremely grateful for the support from the industry.”
Jacqlyn counts herself as lucky to have formed relationships with many PCMA professionals who are always willing to offer guidance. Greg McCormack with The Expo Group has been an unofficial mentor. “He has worked closely with the DePaul Chapter and is an excellent role model for young professionals.”
Although Jacqlyn joined PCMA on a whim to get more involved on campus, she rates it as one of the best decisions she has made during her college career. “Being immersed in the organization has been one of the best ways to increase my knowledge of the industry. From attending GMC events and Convening Leaders, I have learned about industry trends, different career paths and job searching skills. The most valuable lessons, however, have come through the network I've established through these events.”
She urges other students to “get involved. Student clubs, internships, work and study abroad trips are all so beneficial. The experiences you have in college will be just as valuable as your education. Also, don't be afraid to take a leadership position. Even if it seems intimidating at first, the lessons learned, challenges embraced and friendships formed make it one of the most rewarding experiences.”
“Don’t Settle” is Jacqlyn’s motto. “In my grandma's last moments, she held my hand and said those exact words. They have stuck with me. Life is short. Give 100% to everything and go out and enjoy the world!”