Acknowledging the vital role airlines play in the hospitality and tourism industry, the department of hospitality and tourism at St. Joseph’s College hosted the inaugural “Airlinexpo” earlier this month to provide an in-depth look at airlines and the different career paths that exist within the industry.
Over 150 students from seven high schools across the five boroughs took part in the event at SJC Brooklyn, which featured two interactive panel discussions, skills competitions and a flight simulator courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps.
“With our inaugural Airlineexpo, SJC Brooklyn’s HTM department presented an interactive experience to showcase the ins and outs of the airlines – an industry near and dear to the hearts of all New Yorkers,” said Damien Duchamp, associate chair, HTM, SJC Brooklyn. “With a panel discussion, a skills competition conceived by airline professionals, and breakout sessions, this event illustrates what it takes to thrive in this vital sector of global tourism.”
To kickoff the event, members of a panel that included a flight attendant and pilots from United Airlines and the Marine Corps discussed how their interests landed them in jobs in the aviation industry. From flying in a war zone to resuscitating sick passengers to flying in inclement weather, the panelists shared both what kept them up at night and what brings them joy in their work.
”St. Joseph’s and NAF are flying high with this collaboration,” said Sharon Fine, CTEISP, NAF, Wbl coordinator. “Programs like this illustrate what we are trying to do – bring practical experience to our students to ensure they will be future ready.”
Interactive competitions offered the students the opportunity to present safety instructions, complete with seatbelts and lifejackets, and pitch the panelists on creating a direct route to Africa via Accra. The Expo concluded with a chance to use the flight simulator and a sweepstakes, in which students could win $25,000 if they threw a paper airplane into a target. No one won the prize, but every student received valuable insights on the airline industry and the rich career options that exist within it.
“As an educator, this was a teachable moment, and I truly enjoyed watching my 11th and 12th graders learn and guide the younger students as they enjoyed the challenges at Airlinexpo,” said Geri Gluck, coordinator for the Academy of Business and Hospitality and Tourism at Grover Cleveland High School. “My students had a fantastic time, and we thank Professor Duchamp, the panel and St. Joseph’s College for a wonderful day.”