Hospitality majors attend PCMA conference

Six Mercyhurst hospitality students traveled to Boston last weekend to attend a leadership conference hosted by the Professional Convention Management Association.

The conference, titled “Convening Leaders,” brings together people from all over the hospitality industry. Hospitality Management Professor Daryl Georger accompanied the students.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing last April, the conference featured discussions on safeguarding against potential disasters, according to senior Taylor Digiacomo.

She added that the conference in general focuses on a range of topics about the hospitality industry.

Students sat in on lectures and discussions which expand their knowledge of the field at large.

Victoria Lewis, a senior with an events planning concentration, said school can only teach students so much.

“There is so much more than what your major says,” Lewis said.

But Digiacomo said networking is the key reason to attend. Catherine Costas, a senior with a hotel management concentration, agreed.

“It’s about getting your name out there,” Costas said.

Georger’s contacts in the field allowed the students to gain access to private after parties to further entrench themselves in the minds of potential employers. Costas said this was an added benefit of attending the conference.

“We were the only students at the parties,” she said.

Lewis noted that the attendees of these parties were very willing to offer advice to students, even if they did not have employment opportunities to offer.

Overall, Digiacomo said the personal touch afforded by meeting employers in person made the conference worthwhile, adding that an online job application “doesn’t mean anything” until employers read “the email you sent saying its so nice to have met [them.]”

If you would like to learn more information about the PCMA conference, or about the Hospitality Management department in general, contact Georger at or (814) 824-2340. You may also contact Hospitality Management department chair Beth Ann Sheldon at or (814) 725-6318.