Hospitality & Tourism Management Career Day Serves an Accelerating Job Market

March 20, 2013

Isenberg's Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM) held its 39th Annual Career Day in the Campus Center Auditorium on March 6th. Over 60 companies participated in the day-long career fair.


The HTM Career Day is the largest student-run hospitality job fair in the Northeast.  This year's recruitment reflects an improving job market for hospitality and tourism majors. Traveler spending and hotel profitability in the U.S. are expected to rise in 2013, according to the just-released TripBarometer by TripAdvisor, a biannual trend study of more than 35,000 travelers and accommodations from around the world.


Sixty-three companies registered for the career fair and over 400 students participated. That reflected an improved economy in light of attendance at the event in previous years: 53 firms in 2012 and 30 firms in 2008. Fifteen companies were first-time recruiters and over 120 individual recruiters interviewed and introduced students to their companies and open positions. The leading recruiters were hotel companies--26 representing major hotel firms (e.g., Marriott, Hyatt, Kimpton and Sofitel) and major independents ( e.g., The Breakers, Wequassett Resort and Chatham Bars Inn). Recruiters also represented hospitality, food and beverage, entertainment, and tourism companies.


A dedicated student group planned, publicized and ran the career fair. "To plan the event, we met as a committee every week since September. In addition to the event itself, we hosted 5 workshops and an etiquette dinner to help prepare our HTM students," observed Student Committee Chair Diana Tekin. "The career fair was exciting because it's the most companies we've had in at least 10 years," noted student organizer Rebecca Wyskiel. "It's rewarding to prepare the students and work as a team to create a great recruiting environment for both the students and recruiters."


"We are looking for future leaders who have a passion for excellence, the right attitude and want to succeed in a diverse world of hospitality," emphasized Balendra Nagesvaran, luxury hotel group Sofitel's New York-Boston Area General Manager. "We've found that University of Massachusetts hospitality students are well prepared to meet these challenges and adapt to the ever-changing world of business."


Mary Ostman of Jason Alexander's--one of 15 first-time recruiters at the event and a new upscale restaurant firm from Nashville--remarked, "We were so impressed with the students' outgoing personalities, hospitality, polished resumes and appearance, and blown away with how organized and detailed the career fair was. We are already looking forward to next year to recruit more UMass students."   


View more HTM Career Day Photos.