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University Board Representation can Greatly Benefit Your Employer

Public universities in particular see value in tying themselves to the community. Where hospitality schools are concerned, many have fashioned boards that are meant to help marry the school’s interests with those of an industry that wants well-trained and disciplined workers.

Whether it be a regional or national university, there is a great deal of value in being on the advisory board of a hospitality school if your local institution has one. It’s common that these boards are composed of representatives in the professional world in an attempt to make sure students are learning and otherwise participating in ways that are useful in their post-college endeavors.

In Florida, FIU, UCF andFlorida Gulf Coast University have boards of this kind. If possible, you should make sure your hotel has some representation of it, even if it isn’t you.

There’s some value in having access to the folks who can quickly grab interested students and recent graduates. You will find yourself hiring for any number of positions, and many of them may be a natural fit. They need labor, and you need people willing to work.

If a meeting every now and then can help that relationship so you can leverage it, the arrangement is more than worth it. As you know, there are plenty of students who don’t come out with a hospitality management degree who can be valuable to your employer. Students who are finance majors, for example, or public relations majors can fit in an organization in a number of ways, and you want access to the folks who know the superstar students.

These boards also provide useful networking opportunities. Perhaps there are ways to figure out from your colleagues how they are adjusting to industry trends just from hearing their input on a meeting of some sort. In a situation where you are competitors, perhaps some information will be harder to come by because of the pursuit of competitive advantage.

That said, there are plenty other ways to glean valuable information if circumstances allow. It’s a blessing to have people engaged in a university community, and the institution appreciates volunteers who are willing to give their time in the way that these boards require. You should squeeze as much value as you can from the agreement, and there are myriad ways to do so that would benefit you and your employer.

People do care about your involvement in the community, and being on a board like that allows you to also interface with people who aren’t directly tied to hospitality. You don’t know who might have a connection to the mayor of your city who can help you get paperwork pushed through, for example. Having access to the movers and shakers in the community where that university can pay dividends in ways you might not have considered.