January 3, 2020

Networking in NYC: Hospitality Student Leaders


Networking in NYC: Hospitality Student Leaders

Each November during HX: The Hotel Experience (a conference and expo for hospitality professionals), student members of Eta Sigma Delta from colleges across the country join together for breakfast, networking, and educational sessions. This year, five student officers of the CIA chapter of ESD, an international honor society that recognizes high-achieving hospitality management students, took the train to nearby New York City for a full, fun day.

“They represented us so well,” says Associate Professor Dr. Joy Dickerson. “They looked great, asked great questions, and networked with other students and industry professionals. One of the industry sessions included two CIA graduates who now work for Union Square Hospitality Group, and our students seemed to bond with them immediately!”

The students share their experiences…

“It was a great honor to represent The Culinary Institute of America at the Eta Sigma Delta breakfast among so many passionate students and industry professionals. Though the students who attended were from various parts of the United States, there was a connection between us all through our love for hospitality. Having the opportunity to talk with other students, guest speakers, and CIA alumni connected our worlds to those who once stood where we stand today. Attending the ESD breakfast was a reminder of how amazing our industry is. We are beyond fortunate to have a job we love—one that can connect us with so many people in various parts of the world and offer the opportunity to change lives, all in a way no other profession can.”

—Derrick Bradley

“This year’s Eta Sigma Delta annual student breakfast and industry roundtable was an eye-opening and inspiring networking opportunity. Being surrounded by such influential, like-minded individuals such as Dr. Lea Dopson of Cal State Poly, Ron Mitchell of Hcareers, and Erin Moran, Aretah Ettarh (CIA ’15), Diana Getchius, and Denez Moss (CIA ’13) of Union Square Hospitality Group made me want to continue to strive towards achieving the goals I have set for myself within the next few years. The networking I was able to conduct at this event will be extremely beneficial to all my future endeavors in the culinary/hospitality industry. We also had the opportunity to take a tour at The St. Regis New York hotel, as well as attend The Hotel Experience event at the Javits Center. These two events gave me the opportunity to learn things about the hospitality industry that I had no prior knowledge of. I’m extremely grateful to be a part of such an elite group of individuals who will go on to do great things. I look forward to attending the event next year!”

—Kyla Salley

“My experience at the Eta Sigma Delta breakfast event was a tremendous one. Not only did I get to meet other students from different chapters around the country, but I made network connections with people in the industry, which is important for building lasting, professional relationships.”

—Brittney McCormack

“While at the Eta Sigma Delta breakfast, it was great to network with other individuals from all over the nation. Just to meet with other students with the same interests and ambition made for good conversations. I really enjoyed the speaker from Hcareers. His outlook on telling your story and his tips on interviewing were truly inspiring. And his suggestions are definitely tools I will use throughout my career. Interacting with the Union Square Hospitality Group was truly a treat. Hearing all of their stories and how they got started in the industry really helped put things in perspective. All in all, the Eta Sigma Delta breakfast was an experience I will always cherish and never forget.”

—Sadie Benson

“Representing the CIA at the Eta Sigma Delta breakfast was an honor and an overall amazing experience. We began our day by meeting and connecting with students from other schools nationwide that also have hospitality programs and the honor society. We then listened to several presentations, but the one that stood out to me was by the Union Square Hospitality Group. They had two CIA alumni who spoke about their experiences after graduating and learning how to eventually land the job you dream of. Hearing their experiences and being able to relate to them was extremely relieving. This was a great opportunity and I am both grateful and honored to have represented the CIA during this event!”

—Darwin Acosta

Eta Sigma Delta inductees

Our newest ESD members! Earlier in the month, 19 proud new members were inducted into the CIA chapter of the Eta Sigma Delta International Hospitality Management Society. Congratulations to all!