Scrapbooks, exhibits and banners all representing New Mexico State University won the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality club numerous awards at their national conference this semester.
NSMH, part of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, is a professional organization for hospitality students around the United States. Their aim is to address multiculturalism and help develop career paths for their members. NMSU’s club consists of 24 members and provides students with a way to get firsthand experience planning, executing and working with customers while still in school.
At the national conference in Jacksonville, Florida, students won the membership drive award, based on their increasing numbers for this year; individual highest GPA award, given to Jacqueline Cook and Andrew Seidlitz; and best scrapbook award. The students were awarded second place for best banner.
“We went in with confidence in ourselves,” said Miguel Vigil, a senior in HRTM and president of NSMH. “With the high hopes we had, it was exciting to actually win multiple awards.”
The scrapbook and banner awards were judged by criteria including the activities the club made throughout the year, creativity, inclusion of the theme, presentation and design, promotion of their chapter and inclusion of examples of events the club has put on throughout the year.
Along with competing, one of the main components of the national competition is networking. Each year, companies like MGM, Hilton and Marriott attend and students are able to meet and engage with company recruiters and other NSMH students from around the country.
“Networking is definitely the best part,” said Anna Holmes, an HRTM senior. “At the 2016 conference I was able to meet with the recruiter from Marriott and ended up spending the summer interning for them in San Antonio. Now I have a job in Dallas and will start right after graduation.”
Aside from the awards ceremony, the students were able to attend a career fair, gala night and multiple sessions throughout the conference.
The club also puts on many events throughout the year for the school of HRTM and the community. “We’ve been trying to stay involved with the community,” Vigil said. “We do monthly happy hours, volunteer with different events in Las Cruces and another main event is hospitality week”
Hospitality week is held annually in April and includes events everyday such as Lunch on the Lawn, where students have games and free food, and meet the industry, for students to meet a panel of professionals in management, connect with other professional clubs on campus and end with a happy hour with alumni from HRTM.
“One thing we’d like people to know is that we are here,” said Starvanna Cottrell, a junior HRTM major. “We want to serve the community and we want more students to be involved.”
For more information on NSMH and their events, visit http://web.nmsu.edu/~nsmh/
Author: Taylor Vancel – NMSU