Alumni Speaker Series

June 29, 2020

Looking back on recent history, the Great Recession of 2008 was the last time the hospitality industry fell with the rest of the economy leaving professionals unemployed and the job market stunted. As the world saw history repeat itself halfway into spring semester 2020, hospitality management students’ plans for a fruitful future in the industry upon graduation dwindled rapidly.

One of the ways The Collins College community came together to lift up its students was launching a virtual speaker series featuring graduates who offered advice and tips about being successful during a recession. Alumni participants graduated in 2009 when the economy last turned on its head and included Nadine Liauw, Lera Van Straatum, Thomas Mendez, Christopher Kim, and Anne Doucette.  They provided perspective from an array of areas of expertise while creating a safe space for students to ask questions and gain insight.

 “Sometimes it’s more impact to offer your ear. I can’t fix the job market by myself, but I can share knowledge and my own experiences in hopes of making a difference in someone’s life,” said Van Straatum, assistant general manager of The Beach Club.

The Collins College continues to offer virtual professional development opportunities for students and alumni through August with its Summer Speaker Series. These bi-weekly virtual discussions feature alumni from all decades and cover a variety of topics including sustainable seafood, COVID-19-related career conversations, service essentials during a pandemic, and more. Click here for details and to register.

Read more about the alumni speaker series in the upcoming digital issue of Collins magazine. Join The Collins College’s email list to receive a copy.