By: Teresa Hellman, CMP
Please welcome The University of Arkansas as an official PCMA Student Chapter. This is the second school year for the chapter, and they already have over 30 student members. Hospitality Instructor Dede Hamm, MS, CHE, CMP, said that the students who attended the Hospitality Career Exploration event in November 2017 had their eyes opened to the many ways they could potentially use their degrees in the hospitality, and, as a result, the enthusiasm for the chapter increased substantially.
Dede has been a PCMA member off and on for 20 years, so she certainly understands the importance of engaging with the hospitality industry associations, and we are honored to have had her select PCMA as the chapter she wanted her students engaged with.
Several university students attended the PCMA Fayetteville Education Luncheon April 4 at the Chancellor Hotel. The event was hosted by the Jodie English with the Eureka Springs Hotel and the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs. Thank you again, Jodie, for hosting these students. The entire event was fantastic, and the educational portion was fun. The students had a chance to experience the networking and educational opportunities available through the Heartland chapter.
Later that day, Dede arranged for Amy Bates with Bates Events and I to speak at the Student Chapter meeting held on campus. Bianca Ramirez, the Student Chapter president, opened the meeting and introduced me. I was there to speak about the opportunities that come from being involved with PCMA. I focused on the education available not only at the chapter level, but via Convene Magazine as well as attending the annual meetings. I mentioned that we have scholarships, and they should keep an eye out for the applications each year.
Amy did an outstanding job in speaking with them about how she started her business, Bates Events, and how one neighborhood get-together that she organized led to her meeting some very important people in the community. One of those people asked Amy to duplicate that same sort of event for their Fortune 500 company. Amy continued, telling the students how one successful event job led to the next, and, before long, she had a full-on business. Then she invited the students to come and work for her: “Come see what we do,” she said. “We work hard, and we have fun doing it!” What a wonderful resource she is to the chapter! Thank you, Amy Bates, for being a wonderful example to these students.
And speaking of the 2017 PCMA Hospitality Career Exploration Event, how about this for success story?
K-State Student attendees Mariel Roberts and Eliseo Arreola were both hired on a project basis shortly after the event to assist with the National Soccer Coaches Association Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Talk about being at the right place at the right time! Mariel was hired to work in the VIP lounge area on a short-term contract, due to the fact that she was still in college.
Eliseo Arreola was hired to be a general “go-to” guy for Geoff VanDeusen, the Director of Operations and Events. A super bonus that Geoff had not anticipated when he hired Eliseo was Eliseo’s ability to speak a second language. When a Spanish-speaking soccer coach did not notify the operations team that he needed a translator until minutes before he was to go on stage, Eliseo was able to translate for him! Because of his hard work and willingness to do what was asked of him; when a position opened in member relations, Geoff was able to offer Eliseo a permanent position. What a great place to learn the organization from the ground up! Congrats Eliseo and Mariel. Thanks for making it so easy to showcase what can come from our chapter connecting college-educated hospitality students with industry professionals in their state!
BTW, Mariel graduates in May and wants to move to Hawaii. Anyone have any contacts for her? I can put you in touch with her if you do!