Submitted by: Judy Shope, Director of Corporate Affairs, American Cancer Society’s Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. **Now retired**
Importance of cultivating industry students – my memories.
In the early 70’s I went to the University of Houston to get my degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. The students were invited to industry meetings and events. I still remember going to an evening reception/meeting at the new Hyatt Regency Houston and being introduced to the GM and Sales Director. At the time this was the most glamorous hotel in Houston. Those soaring entrances and sky walks made Hyatt the “wow” hotel chain of it’s day. But what I remember most was that I was a young, inexperienced student who was so awed that I was in the company of these “big wigs”. They talked to me and encouraged me and made me feel important. They probably even said “come see us when you graduate”. This obviously made such an impression on me and really solidified my desire to be in this glamorous business. I relay this memory to impress on PCMA SE how important it is to cultivate the “newbies” and to remember how important first impressions are. Current “big wigs” of the industry should be encouraged to mingle with and listen to students and fill their heads with what is possible. And let’s not forget that young people have fresh ideas that are needed at every level. Some memories never fade!