March 13, 2019

Start Your Career Here

UMass Amherst students stage giant job fair

It’s Career Day for HTM (the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department at the Isenberg School of Management) and dressed-to-impress UMass Amherst students descend the Campus Center escalator. On the lower level, an auditorium full of potential employers, most representing hotels, resorts, and country clubs, wait to size them up.

Morgan Smith ’20, the marketing chair for Career Day, takes it all in—the huge vases of flowers on the check-in table, the firm handshakes of the students, the recruiters at 65 booths—and breathes a sigh of relief. As part of the Career Day committee, she is one of the students who put what they’ve learned in their HTM classes to work as they take on the formidable year-long task of planning, organizing, and executing this affair. HTM Career Day is in its 45th year and is the largest hospitality recruiting event in the Northeast. “It’s so rewarding to see this,” she says. “There have been a lot of stressful times, but today we get to network and relax.” 

Gabriel Dix ’20 flashes two thumbs up at the job fair.

Gabriel Dix ’20 flashes two thumbs up at the job fair.

Smith, a double major in HTM and marketing, explains that Career Day includes a rapid recruiting event, the job fair, and a senior reception. “So many HTM alumni return to recruit for their companies that it is like a family reunion,” she says.

Alumni returning for Hospital and Tourism Management’s Career Day this year included Jay Havey ’16 and John Conlin ’16, on campus to recruit management trainees for their employer, Boston’s Colonnade Hotel. Havey said, “We’re here because we’re well aware of the excellent talent that comes out of HTM at UMass.”

Michael Agnello ’17 returned to campus to represent his employer, Heirloom, a Boston-based company growing at what he calls “blitz scale.” Heirloom offers high-end rental properties to large groups of travelers. Agnello was looking to hire interns for many areas of the new company: digital media, social media, guest experience, corporate learning and development, interior design, and data science.

HTM major Kaitlyn Quinn ’19, searching for a job in event management, gave the last of her 15 résumés to a recruiter from the posh Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Working the booths is a little nerve-wracking, she said, but meeting some of the employers at rapid recruiting the night before made her more confident.

Anna Dolan ’19, also an HTM major, researched the employers attending the job fair before making the rounds. “I want something where I can interact with guests and customers,” she said. “I’m willing to relocate.” Although she came interested in opportunities at country clubs and in event management, the job fair made Dolan aware of potential paths she hadn’t previously considered, such as real estate management.

We’re here because we’re well aware of the excellent talent that comes out of HTM at UMass.

Most Hospitality and Tourism Management students probably haven’t contemplated a career in investments either, but Krystal Binder, a recruiter from Fidelity, pointed out that these students have highly marketable skills in building customer relationships and customer service. She said she found “a high level of student candidates at UMass, who are well-prepared and polished, with résumés at the ready.”

Morgan Smith was pleased with the turnout.  She and the nine other students on the HTM Career Day committee have found internships, part-time positions, and summer jobs through previous job fairs, and she expected this year’s event to be no less productive for recruiters and students. Smith will head the Career Day committee next year: “This is a fantastic event, and my goal is to keep the attendance and energy level up,” she said.