August 12, 2013

Hospitality/tourism students to form chapter

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are in the final stages of launching one of the few student chapters of the international business organization Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

They are looking for area hospitality and tourism administration professionals, including current members of MPI, to join as professional affiliates.  They expect to launch the student chapter as a Registered Student Organization during the 2013-2014 academic year, which begins Monday, Aug. 19.  MPI is the major professional association for meeting and event planners.

The SIU Carbondale student chapter will have close ties with the St. Louis-area chapter.  Students in the hospitality and tourism administration program, as well as students from other majors interested in an event planning career path, will attend EduCon 2013 in November in St. Louis.

The event will give SIU Carbondale students enhanced access to networking, a vital component of a successful career in hospitality and meeting or event planning, said Nicole Davis, instructor and coordinating counselor in the hospitality and tourism administration program at SIU.

Conference attendance is important, she said, because students can network their way into job offers at them.

“We have about 30 students already in the future student chapter,” she said.  “It’s open to all majors.  Right now, we have several who are interested in careers affiliated with the major sports industries, so we’ll be looking to attend conferences specifically geared to those careers.”