Equipped to Lead and Succeed

Hospitality Students Show the Industry What They’ve Got

by Inge Lamboo

 

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The students in the USF School of Management’s Hospitality Management program joined leading hospitality industry professionals at the historic Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco in mid-April for the Student Industry Exchange event (SIXe). This annual event is an opportunity for students to mingle with industry professionals, enter a resume contest and hear this year’s keynote speaker Andrew Chau talk about personal branding. High-end Bay Area hospitality companies also look for USF’s top graduates to join their team.

SIXe takes months for the Hospitality Management students to organize. This year’s organizational team was led by Christa Green, Marian Janes, Janet Lee, Marian Luk, Easton Mayordomo and Danielle Ronoa.

Mayordomo feels the event was a huge success. “I saw a lot of great relationships form between students and hospitality company representatives,” he said. “I spoke to the company reps afterwards and they all agreed that there were a large number of rising stars in the crowd.”

Thomas Klein, Regional VP and General Manager of he Fairmont Hotel and Chair of USF’s Hospitality Management Advisory Board, echoed that sentiment.

“These students are the future leaders of the hospitality industry,” Klein said. “If we can open their minds and open some doors for them, we should. It’s valuable for them to see what the business is really like on the inside. USF students have such a high level of energy, focus and ambition. I want to make sure we never lose the sense of what true hospitality is, so the Fairmont will continue to open its doors for events like these.”

Attendees broke into small groups for the Elevator Pitch portion of the day, where leading hospitality industry representatives had ten minutes to pitch their companies, followed by a Q&A session and the resume contest.

The resume contest featured one winner from the graduating senior class and one underclassman winner. The winning underclassman was Alexa De La Torre. The winning graduating senior was Rebecca Kinney, who won a $300 cash prize, sponsored by the San Francisco Giants. Honorable Mention in the underclassman category went to Easton Mayordomo.

“The judges’ feedback on my resume was great,”Mayordomo said. “I feel really blessed to have won the underclassman contest last year, and to be honorable mention this year.”

All of the hard work that goes into SIXe pays off. USF Hospitality Management program alumna Alexandra Johnson made valuable connections with San Francisco Bay Club at the event last year and is now working as their Hospitality Operations Manager.

The intimacy and boutique nature of USF’s program makes it unique,” Johnson said. “USF’s talent is truly moving California’s hospitality force forward. Fifteen percent of last year’s graduating class is currently working at the Bay Club, and we’d like to keep that tradition going.”