Ensuring that hospitality students’ needs are understood and addressed and providing these students with “industry immersive opportunities” are significant aspects of the Student Membership Committee’s mission. What does this mean to the committee members?
Jim LaBadie, CASE, National Account Executive, Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, explained how the committee accomplishes their goals. “The schools within our chapter's region are assigned so that each committee member acts as liaison for 1-3 schools. As an example of this, since I live in western Michigan, I serve as the liaison for Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University and Michigan State University. My activities include classroom lectures to various classes at each school, speaking to the student chapter meetings on a variety of subjects and helping them coordinate special educational events. In addition, I serve on the Advisory Board for the Hospitality School/School of Business at Ferris State. A timely example...GVSU is conducting their annual GVSU Hospitality Conference this week at DeVos Convention Center in Grand Rapids. I will present two subjects at the breakouts.”
Quarterly educational meetings and activities might include on-campus visits and events; networking programs either on campus or at regional facilities closer to our campuses outside of Chicago; and can address topics that offer personal growth and/or professional development needed by the students as support for their educational programs. Student Membership works with the Program Committee to ensure understanding of student needs, and coordinates with the committee to bring programs to the campuses. Programs and activities are important opportunities for students to meet and engage with professionals already in the industry.
Student Membership helps the GMC to work with and understand the needs of students who attend college outside of the Chicago area and help the chapter understand that the needs of student at remote campuses are significantly different than those who reside in or near Chicago.
Committee members also coordinate the Student Membership Committee’s scholarship program.