Twenty members of the student chapter of Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) in The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, the top-ranked hospitality business school, traveled to Chicago from Jan. 11-14 to participate in the national PCMA Convening Leaders Convention.
According to the PCMA chapter’s director of events Monica Blaze (BA ’16), the students were able to network with professionals in the convention management and event planning field, attend several educational sessions, and make important career- and internship-related contacts.
The students traveled to Chicago with scholarship assistance from The School, which places a premium on giving student leaders the opportunity to attend industry conferences and professional development programs and to network with alumni.
For the second year in a row, the PCMA chapter at MSU was named one of the top two PCMA chapters in the nation. It is also the third time in four years that the MSU chapter has been recognized as the top student chapter within PCMA. As a result, the national PCMA provided Chapter President Lisa Malinowski with travel, accommodation and registration funds. In addition, Director of Membership Carlie Smith (BA ’15) was awarded one of only two prestigious PCMA Chairman’s Convening Leaders Scholarships, which included travel, accommodation and registration funds as well as a $2,500 stipend.
Sessions at the convention focused on event technology and intelligence, operational strategy, meeting and experience design, and globalization.
“I personally enjoyed a session presented by Helen Marriage, founder of Artichoke Events, based in England,” says Monica. “The company plans city-wide events inspired by artists and the ideas of free and public art.”
The student chapter members had the opportunity to meet with recent School graduates and former leaders in the PCMA chapter Jessica Munoz (BA ’14), Alexandra Risher (BA ’14), and Katie Volante (BA ’14). Each woman is finding success in this field of the hospitality industry. Munoz is currently a banquet manager for White Lodging Services, Risher is an event designer at Infinity Management Group, LLC, and Volante is the special project coordinator in associate provost’s office for undergraduate education at Michigan State University.
“The members of this outstanding chapter, which include students from other majors such as Marketing, continue to set the standard for professionalism and enthusiasm among our students,” said Dr. Jeff Beck, chapter advisor, PCMA. “We are confident that they will be leaders in this field in the coming years.”
Photo: PCMA E-board at Chicago’s visitor booth (left to right) Christine Corsi, Hannah Lewandowski, Christine Wilson, Sarah Anderson, Lisa Malinowski, Monica Blaze, and Carlie Smith.
For more information on The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, visit www.hospitalitybusiness.broad.msu.edu