The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Helping students define their career path in hospitality management

The Hospitality Management Organization at St. John’s University received an award as the Best Academic Organization of the year at the end of the Spring 2010 semester.

Senior and current president of the organization, Christopher Langer, has rebuilt the group from scratch, hoping to give guidance to students involved in the major as well as other students interested in hospitality management. From November 15 through 17, the Hospitality Management Organization will have a bake sale in Marillac and D’Angelo to raise funds for upcoming events.

When Langer and a classmate joined the organization in the spring of 2010, there were only two active members – the president and the treasurer. Under their guidance, Langer and his friend began talking to students on campus, passing out flyers, speaking in classes and revamping the organization’s Facebook page to gain further support. Less than a semester later, the organization has over 45 members, some who are not even involved in the major.

“We’re very proud of it,” said Langer. “We wanted to see what we could do next.”

The goals of the organization consist of offering advice to hospitality management majors and furthering their knowledge and involvement in the field. Hospitality management has many different categories from hotel to restaurant management, to travel, tourism, entertainment and resort businesses. With so many options to choose from, students can feel a bit overwhelmed when defining their career path.

“A lot of students in the major take very broad classes and don’t know what they can do towards their major. The idea is to get people from different facets of management and help give some guidance,” said Langer.

In December, the organization plans to host a “Hospitality Hiring” event to help students not only learn more about the industry, but also help them find part-time and full-time jobs while they are in school. The organization hears from numerous companies and businesses especially in the local area, and helps students find jobs. They hear from businesses about job openings, accept resumes from members, and talk about what is available in hospitality management during group meetings. Currently, the organization is working with LaGuardia airport’s Delta terminal which offers hospitality management jobs as restaurant workers and staff.

“Hospitality is very labor intensive. They need people all the time,” said Langer.  “The people involved in this club are very busy, working night jobs and going to school full-time. I work two jobs and I’m not the only one.”

Although most students involved in the organization are Hospitality Management majors, the group does not require this major to be part of the club. Hospitality Management Organization has members who are education, business, advertising, and even psychology majors who are interested in the hospitality field. Langer agrees that even other degrees such as advertising and psychology have a lot to offer in hospitality management.

“Even with a degree like psychology, you can do a lot with management. Psychology is about talking to people. I can’t emphasize about how many times working as a cook for five years I would always talk to people, sometimes as a therapist or a coach, so it is useful,” said Langer.

The organization enjoys the diverse amount of majors involved in the organization. Students come together, share their various talents, delegating what they are good at and work towards that goal.

As for finding jobs as a hospitality major or just working in general, Langer offers two bits of advice – network and sell your good points to companies.

“Get out there and talk to people,” said Langer. “Don’t be afraid to wear a suit and tie and talk to an executive. That’s how I got my job and that’s how I will in the future.”

While a well developed resume always helps, knowing your strengths and emphasizing it in the interview is also important in order to land the job.

“Sell yourself when you’re at the interview. Look the part, act the part, and you’ve got to get out there and talk to people,” said Langer.

From 15 to 17, the Hospitality Management Organization will have a bake sale during lunch and dinner hours in Marillac cafeteria and D’Angelo’s first floor. The homemade pretzels will be made by Chef Joe and others with culinary degrees.


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