Hospitality Management Students Attend CMAA World Conference

Posted on 3/11/2019 2:46:54 PM

CMAA World Conference 2019On February 23–28, 2019, four students from out Department of Hospitality Management were given the opportunity to attend the Club Managers Association of America World Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. This event is this the largest gathering of private club managers and other business professionals annually and is the most valuable event for this organization.

CMAA’s mission is to provide unique educational programs that help reflect the latest trends in the private club industry. The student and professional members benefit from the opportunities available at the World Conference, and are offered many hands-on topics that can be used in their careers.  

The four students who attended this event were Melissa Colbaugh, Carly Huff, Bailey Taylor, and Lauren Zola, all members of the Hospitality Department’s CMAA Student Chapter. These four students were able to learn more about the private club industry and network with the club professionals. They were also able to attend educational sessions to help them in the professional world.

“In attending the student networking events, I learned that stepping out of your comfort zone and taking chances are the key to succeeding in the hospitality industry. I received great advice from different managers from clubs around the world, which I will use to my advantage going forward in the industry,” Huff commented on her experiences.  

Private clubs are very different from every other industry because it gives students a chance to know all of the members and people served on a more personal level and serve their needs better. This event was helpful for these students who were seeking more information on this side of the industry.

“The CMAA World Conference was a learning experience for me,” said Taylor. “I did not know much about the industry beforehand, and I now have better knowledge on clubs and I was able to network with managers from all over the US.”

Even for the students who have experience working in private clubs, the World Conference was useful to them to expand their knowledge and build their network with the industry professionals. Colbaugh mentioned, “Since I have worked in private clubs prior to the trip, I was able to relate to what the club managers had to say about their clubs during the student education. I will also be able to take what I learned from the conference and apply it to future jobs, whether I end up in a private club or not.”

“This conference was a great experience for me to network with industry professionals and get feedback from them about their specific clubs. They were able to help me to better understand the differences in various clubs, and help me determine the type of club I would like to work at moving forward in my career,” stated Zola. “I will definitely attend the World Conference during my professional career to develop my skills, and bring back new ideas to the club I am working at.”

These four students were also able to spend some time sightseeing when not participating in the educational sessions and networking. They were able see many things around Nashville, like Broadway, the What Lifts You Wings mural, and the County Music Hall of Fame. They were also lucky enough to attend a private concert by country music star Jake Owen at the Ryman Auditorium, free of charge to them.

This is the second year that students from the Department of Hospitality Management’s CMAA Chapter have attended the CMAA World Conference. The department plans to send more students and even faculty members to the conference in the years to come. The students and the department are lucky to have the help of the Pittsburgh Club Managers Foundation, who help offset the cost of the trip for the students.