Top Women Headline Hospitality Job Fair
March 7, 2007 6:52 PM
About half of SF State’s hospitality management students turned out Wednesday for eight hours of handshakes, career networking, and a rallying cry from high-ranking professional women to take the hotel industry by storm.
The keynote panel for the day was titled, “Cracks in the Glass Ceiling,” and featured three women who hold top positions in hotels around the country. About 70 percent of the 400 students enrolled in the hospitality major are female, so department chair Janet Sim said she was excited to show them some successful, ambitious women.
“When I started attending [hospitality conventions] in the early 90’s, I couldn’t even wear the name tags,” said Sim. “The meetings were all white and all men, and the tags were designed to only fit on their suits.”
New opportunities are becoming available to women every day, Sim said, with 25 percent of general manager positions in San Francisco now taken by women.
“People treasure the talent,” said Candice Lam, a hospitality major at SF State. “And the speakers pointed out that so many directions are possible in this industry – service, sales, hi-tech, finance… if you have passion and drive, you can make it, and as women are proving themselves more and more doors keep opening.”
Many students said they were attending the symposium to network with the 30 major employers who set up tables to meet students and discuss internship opportunities.
“This entire thing is like speed-dating,” said Ryan Steele, another hospitality major. “There are way more students than industry people, so we all stand in line.”
“The thing is, I don’t think anybody here got their jobs from career fairs,” Steele said, gesturing to a row of professionals at the tables. “I think what we get here is more of a broadened idea of what avenues we can take when we get out in the real world. There’s no one way to do it.”
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