The Ryerson Hospitality Alumni Association kicked off a new initiative, called 200 Coffees, to brew connections between soon-to-be Hospitality & Tourism Management graduates and alumni.
“The purpose of the event is to expose 4th year students to the variety of career options that are available to HTM grads,” says Dr. Frederic Dimanche, Director, Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “Prof. Chris Gibbs worked his LinkedIn connections to bring together over 30 alumni who work in various organizations from banks to hotels and attractions.”
“Students have seven minutes to have a coffee with an alumnus and alumna, discuss career paths and goals and move on to the next person they are interested in meeting,” explains Dr. Dimanche.
“This is an opportunity to hone in presentation and communication skills, as well to get a better understanding of career options.”
HTM student Vivian Le wanted to attend this event, held at TRSM on October 7, 2019, after seeing the alumni who would be attending. “This is my lucky day because I met everyone I wanted to meet,” says Le. “It was the perfect opportunity to talk with alumni and ask them questions. I was also able to expand my network and learn more about other areas of HTM.”
For alumni, it gave them the opportunity to help the next generation of HTM students. Emilia Kim (HTM, 2018), Sales Coordinator, US Market, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, who participated in the event, thought it was important to give back to the HTM community and wishes she had gone out more to network in the community when she was a student.
Recent graduate Sunny Toor (HTM, 2018), Global Connections Officer, G Adventures, also wanted to come back to give back. “There are tons of resources HTM provides to students. As an undergraduate, I used the resources the program had to offer, and that helped with my educational career.”
“These types of events allow current students to see the future – where everyone is heading and where the program is heading,” Toor explains. “I was once one of these students, and now I’m on the other side.” His advice to graduating students was to “keep on pushing, build contacts and network as much as possible and the opportunity will present itself.”