SHA and ILR students network with the movers and shakers in hospitality

April 12, 2016

Students, faculty, and industry attendees at the HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo

Students, faculty, and industry attendees at the HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo

Every year, Professors David Sherwyn and Richard Hurd select a group of students from their co-taught Labor Relations in the Hospitality Industry class (HADM 4810/ILRLR 4060) to attend the HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo, now in its tenth year. This year, the annual three-day conference was held in Scottsdale, Arizona from March 14-16. The conference is a valuable experience for students as it attracts about 400 attendees representing a variety of hospitality industry segments including hotels, resorts, restaurants, casinos, and cruise lines. This year, seven students from the class were selected to attend the conference. The student group included both graduate and undergraduate students: Cassie Blazejeski, ILR ’18; Allyson Farley, ILR ’16; Shu Miao, ILR ’16; Alexa Perrucci ’18; Matthew Villanueva ’17; Taylor Woodward, ILR ’18; and Lia Yanis, ILR ’16.

The HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo attracts about 400 attendees representing a variety of hospitality industry segments.

Matt Villanueva, a School of Hotel Administration (SHA) junior with a background in operations, expressed that “The education offered in each session was extremely valuable. Eventually as a future manager, I will need to be acutely aware of the scope and concerns of human resources, from recruiting amidst a competitive workforce, all the way to the legal issues facing employers today.”

In addition to conference access, students also had the exclusive opportunity to attend Cornell University-hosted events. Students were invited to network at the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations (CIHLER)-hosted reception and dinner on Tuesday night. At both events, students were able to network with speakers from the conference and with CIHLER advisory and executive board members.

Sherwyn expressed that “The conference is an exciting learning experience for students. Taking the students out of the classroom and bringing them to a venue where they can apply theory to practice is a staple of the School of Hotel Administration. Bruce Tracey, Rick Hurd, Michael Warech, the rest of the LRP team, and I strive each year to make this conference content heavy—the students get to see that the concepts we teach in class truly affect day-to-day business life. Every year the students who experienced the conference tend to listen to Rick and me a little more after they return to class.”

"Taking the students out of the classroom and bringing them to a venue where they can apply theory to practice is a staple of the School of Hotel Administration."

The School of Hotel Administration’s reputation for excellence was evident at the conference—the school’s faculty provided a combination of academic expertise and real-world, experiential-learning opportunities. According to Alexa Perrucci, “The conference exceeded my expectations! Overall, this event was by far my favorite experience that I received through Cornell so far. I had an incredible time the entire trip and truly valued the experience.” Allyson Farley also had high praise for the conference and exclaimed, “The experience was awesome. I can’t recommend it enough.”

The School of Hotel Administration, the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations, and the ILR School are proud to continue investing in the future by sponsoring student attendance at events like the HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo. Next year’s conference is scheduled for March 27-29 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Students at the HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo

Left to right: Shu Mia, ILR ’16; Matt Villanueva ’17; Lia Yanis, ILR ’16; Allyson Farley, ILR ’16; Taylor Woodward, ILR ’18; Alexa Perrucci ’18; and Cassie Blazejeski, ILR ’18

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