The Hospitality Management Council celebrated Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRT) Week at Cal Poly Pomona with a ‘Welcome Back’ Barbecue during U-Hour at Collins College on Thursday.
The event welcomed hundreds of new and returning hospitality students and featured club fairs, a sunglasses giveaway, a photo contest and free hot dogs, hamburgers and chips.
Matthew McMaster, a fourth-year hospitality student and president of the Cal Poly Hospitality Association, said the ‘Welcome Back’ BBQ is an event that welcomes the new and returning students.
McMaster said this is probably one of the highest turnouts he has ever seen and that it is great seeing all the new students get involved.
“It is a fun opportunity to grab some food and meet with friends,” said McMaster. “The [purpose of the] event is to increase student involvement and show students we have a lot going on outside of classes.”
HRT Week happens once a year during the fall quarter and aims to promote HRT clubs on campus.
The club fair provides various opportunities for students to get a head start on networking, and building leadership skills.
One of the clubs at HRT Week was the Cal Poly Hospitality Association (CPHA), a club that allows students to tour hotels and hospitality venues. Students can network with management professionals and participate in social events.
The contacts enable students to build their professional and personal skills.
Carolyn Randolph, a fourth-year hospitality student, likes HRT Week because participants seem interested in all of the clubs and what is offered for freshmen.
“It allows incoming freshmen and transfers to learn about Collins College and the various clubs, and there is also free food,” said Randolph.
Mario Jaramillo, a fourth-year hospitality management student, said HRT Week allows the students to get to know each other.
“Here in Collins College it is all about networking,” said Jaramillo. “We are all future leaders so we might as well get to know each other.”
Jaramillo’s job at the BBQ was to be an ambassador and hand out sunglasses and take pictures to be uploaded to the Facebook page.
“I am the director of fundraising so I am letting people know the benefits of diversity,” said Jaramillo. “We are signing up people to be members and signing up people for the western regional conference and having a lot of fun.”
He said when he attended his first HRT Week last year as a transfer student he got to know a lot of people and made a lot of friends, which got him to his current position.
Club officials said HRT Week helps build an interest in the clubs as well as promote new clubs.
Cassaundra Williams, a second-year hospitality management transfer student and the president of National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH), said the club she is in charge of is a newer club on campus.
“We promote diversity in the hospitality industry and we are doing great,” said Williams. “I feel the event is great and increasing the Collins family.”