Education Spotlight: Kansas State Hospitality Capstone Event Planning Students Meet with Industry Professionals
By Olivia Orman
A group of 28 students from Kansas State University traveled to St. Louis from November 1st through the 4th to meet with hospitality leaders as a part of a class project. Before meeting with Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch staff and taking a tour, the group attended a presentation by MM&E. Joe Clote, MM&E Group Publisher, introduced MM&E columnist and skilled meeting planner, Rob Schaefer before his presentation began. Schaefer—a longtime member of the Professional Event Management Society– presented on how event planners effectively use their senses to coordinate successful business events.
MM&E asked student leader, Amber Wilhelm, what the greatest takeaway for her and the group was. Wilhelm responded “It is far too hard to identify one sole session or encounter that the students of the class would label as the “most valuable part” of our trip to St. Louis. Individually, each opportunity brought an important concept that we will use to advance and develop us within the industry moving forward. This trip has undoubtedly signified the importance of being a lifelong learner!” The collaboration between the students and event planners in St. Louis has left a lasting impact on the Hospitality Capstone Event Planning class at Kansas State University.
The exposure, the group received during this trip provided them valuable knowledge that will further prepare them as they enter the hospitality and event
planning industry. This trip could not have been made possible without Jennifer Byrnes, Director of Sales & Marketing Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch and her staff providing the informative tour and Q&A session; Katie Devany Director of Organizational Studies and Instructor of Hospitality Management Organizational Studies with Saint Louis University for her role in connecting students to local resources; and the group’s leader David Lehman, Associate Director with Kansas State University College of Business Administration for organizing and managing the trip.