For students in the Plattsburgh State hotel, restaurant and tourism management program, the Hospitality Management club can provide skills necessary for success.
“The hotel, restaurant, and tourism management program at SUNY Plattsburgh combines theory with hands-on experience in food service, lodging, tourism, international hospitality, marketing leadership, management and accounting,” according to plattsburgh.edu.
The club gives students of the major an opportunity to interact, provide helpful advice and information, get hands on experience and encourage each other’s success.
PSUC senior Morgan Haimes said she understands how important it is to have a support system within your major.
Haimes said that as a transfer student, she didn’t know much about what the campus had to offer students in her program.
After hearing that each major has its own club, Haimes sat in on an introductory class to learn about the Hospitality Management club.
“I went to the class, and they persuaded me to join,” she said.
President of the club, PSUC senior Brenden Husted, was one of the people to persuade her.
Husted is passionate about his major and takes his role as president seriously. He learned about the club at the beginning of his freshman year when his focus was primarily academics.
“I wasn’t very involved at first. I was just trying to make it in college,” he said. “But by sophomore year, I was a pretty active member.”
At the end of his sophomore year, Husted decided to run for a position on the executive board.
“There really wasn’t anyone running for the position, so I decided to step up,” Husted said.
Husted will end his second year as president when he graduates in May.
Being in the club has helped him to become a better public speaker.
“When I took public speaking, I wasn’t very involved with the club,” he said. “Then having to speak at meeting every week, I’ve gotten a lot better at communication with people.”
Haimes joined the club as a junior during her first year at PSUC. A year later, she has a position on the executive board alongside Husted.
Husted oversees the weekly meeting that take place Fridays at 3 p.m. in Sibley Hall.
Having the responsibility of leading a group of peers could pose as a challenge for some people, and Husted takes an optimistic approach.
Husted assesses the attitudes of the group by getting members involved through conversation.
“It’s more than talking,” he said. “I use little activities to keep the mood up.”
During meetings, Husted is quick to notice when members are distracted and uses his voice to draw them back to the discussion.
“I like to be loud and obnoxious,” he said. “I tell it how it is.”
The group talks about different aspects of the major, professors, textbooks, assignments and internships. Being in the same major makes it easy for member to give each other advice. They can give feedback on professors, give study tips for certain classes and pass down flash cards or other homemade study guides.
As the club’s secretary, Haimes usually spends her time during meetings recording minutes and giving reminders to other members about upcoming event. Haimes supplies minutes to members who didn’t attend the meeting and she also contributes to group discussions when she feels as though something is missing, such as details that other members have overlooked.
At a typical meeting, there are 15 to 20 students. To some people, that number may seem small.
“If I fill up the classroom, I’m happy,” Husted said. “We aren’t focused around underclassmen, but freshmen and sophomores are the ones that usually show up.”
Husted said he thinks the club becomes less of a priority for some members as they progress into the second half of their college years.
Similar to Haimes, senior Jill Gotay learned about the club through Husted.
Gotay joined the club to become more involved with her major and attend events that helped her learn to work with others as a team.
She said she thinks being in the club will be beneficial when it’s time to start the job search.
“Your future employers will see that not only were you involved on campus, but you were in a club aimed toward you major,” she said. “That shows that you had an interest in developing more knowledge about it.”
Members of the Hospitality Management club go on a variety of trips throughout the year. From apple picking to hotel conventions, the club calendar is never empty.
Husted said the club’s biggest event is the annual trip to the Hotel Experience Convention at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City.
“Going to trips such as this helps us get a better understanding of what supplies are in a hotel and what goes on behind the scene,” Gotay said.
“We see everything, from the faucets to the floor tile,” Haimes said. “There are vendors from all over the world, it’s a great networking experience.”
The club has a variety of fundraisers throughout the year. On Oct. 5, they hosted a “Dough Raiser” at Uno‘s Pizzeria and Grill in Plattsburgh.
“For however many people go to the restaurant during our fundraiser, we get a portion of the sales,” Husted said.
The benefits to being in the club are different for each member.
“Being in the club is really an amazing experience,” Husted said.
Husted takes pride in being president and thinks having this club on your resume will look good to future employers.
Haimes favorite part of being in the club is the sense of family and all of support she gets from other members.
“We’re all in the same major. We’re all looking for the same job in the end,” she said. “We’re all in this together.”
Email Madison Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org