Students from the Cheyney University’s Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management (HRTM) Program participated in the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) Northeast Regional Conference on February 16th through the 18th at Virginia State University in Petersburg Virginia.
The Cheyney team was comprised of 2 HRTM majors (and seniors): Ashunti Banks and Anya’e Benford, along with faculty members Professor Herbert Black (Co-Advisor) and Krystal Peters (Co-Advisor & HRTM Program Coordinator).
The highly engaging, three-day event, centered around the theme, “Entrepreneurship Fundamentals and Effective Money Management,” and featured more than 100 attendees from hospitality programs throughout the region, including Virginia State University (conference hosts), Bethune Cookman University, Cornell University, Morgan State University and North Carolina Central University, to name a few.
“Outside of the learning and networking opportunities, this was a very beneficial experience for me, I was offered a job upon graduation” said Anya’e Benford.
Ashunti Banks, who was also offered a position with Disney, said “I think this conference is something that all hospitality students should attend. You get to interact with people in rooms you aspire to get a seat in upon graduation.”
Both ladies were offered a promising job opportunity with Disney, with whom they completed their internship in the Spring 2022 semester, as well as Accor Hotels. They also participated in job interviews with various other companies and are awaiting call backs for follow-up interviews.
The conference also provided students the opportunity to network with industry professionals and hospitality peers, while partaking in informative workshops that focused on bridging the gap between the classroom and boardroom. Students also learned how to prepare for industry success and career options in today’s highly competitive, and lucrative hospitality field.
In addition to interactive workshops, students participated in Industry Information Sessions, where this year’s corporate partners (Encore Global, Kimpton Hotels and Resorts, Accor Hotels, Compass Group, Disney Worldwide, Hilton Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels Corporation) presented company overviews and fielded audience questions about their organizations and available internships, management trainees, and direct placement opportunities.
Accommodations for this year’s NSMH NE Regional Conference were supported by funding from the HBCU Hospitality Management Consortium, while travel and other costs were funded by Cheyney University and the HRTM program.