Keeping with St. Joseph’s College’s mission of preparing students for careers with a foundation in the liberal arts, SJC Brooklyn’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) welcomed over 35 juniors and seniors from New Utrecht High School’s career and technical education (CTE) program in HTM for a college and career readiness tour.
“Partnerships with New York City high schools, such as New Utrecht, are crucial in developing the next generation of hospitality and tourism leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Damien Duchamp, associate chair of the HTM department at St. Joseph’s. “Our HTM students here at SJC Brooklyn are the best ambassadors we have to showcase the merits of our program.”
To kick off the visit, Professor Duchamp, presented a primer on the hotel industry, going over the key distinctions between the types of properties and how the industry measures quality. He then engaged the students in discussion, asking them to share their recent travel experiences and talk about the insights they had gained through the information that they just had received. Following this, SJC HTM majors led a small group activity, working with the high school students to conceptualize their own ideas for a hotel and what market niche it would fill.
“Career and technical education, particularly in the fields of HTM and entrepreneurship, is a growing priority for New Utrecht High School,” said Antoinette Carlsen, coordinator of HTM programs at New Utrecht High School in Bensonhurst. “By showing our students a glimpse of the possibilities that a post-secondary education can open up for them in the field, they received valuable insight on the importance of a college education.”
After the small group activity, the students received lunch and an in-depth presentation on the college application process. During this component of the tour, the different concentrations of the HTM major at SJC were discussed in greater detail. Many of the students were pleasantly surprised about the myriad of professional prospects that existed within the major.
“This visit taught me so much about the hospitality industry; it opened my eyes to how big the sector was,” said Jillian Demasi, a senior at New Utrecht High School. “For example, I didn’t know that the field of healthcare hospitality even existed and now, I’m very interested in studying it!”
“It was our pleasure to illustrate how a degree in hospitality and tourism management can prepare students for dynamic careers in the industry,” Duchamp said. “We look forward to deepening our relationship with New Utrecht High School and all of the CTE programs in New York City.”