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York College Hospitality Management student finds inspiration at NYC’s premier hotel event

December 05, 2016
Emily Mitnick

Emily Mitnick had never heard of anything like it, but when the Hospitality Management major learned about the upcoming “HX: The Hotel Experience” trade show in New York City, she knew instantly she wanted to go.

She hoped the trip might offer some ideas of where she wants to be once she graduates from York College of Pennsylvania next December.

As the largest hotel trade show of its kind in North America, the event offers the chance to see the newest trends and latest innovations in the industry, said Dr. Joseph Scarcelli, Associate Professor of Hospitality Management at York College of Pennsylvania.

“I find that this trip always inspires and energizes the students,” Dr. Scarcelli said, “motivating them to be proactive about both their education and career.”

‘The golden ticket’

Mitnick was one of 11 York College students to take the trip to New York.

They stayed at the Marriott Marquis and got the chance to tour it and other premier hotels like the Essex House and The London NYC.

They submerged themselves in the HX: The Hotel Experience trade show floor, which was filled with hoteliers shopping for rugs, room number signs and bathroom sets. Others were purchasing kitchen wares – pizza ovens, appliances – and washers and dryers.

While the trade show features the depth and breadth of hospitality choices, Dr. Scarcelli said the students’ visits to the hotels were even more important.

“New York City is home to some of the best luxury properties in the country,” he said. “Touring them, going behind the scenes, and talking one-on-one with the professionals can be a great experience to those entering the hospitality industry.”

“I wanted the trip to expose the students to the wide range of opportunities available within the hospitality field, and to help them make connections that will assist in job placement and career advancement.”

Finding inspiration

The group also attended two seminars. One discussed the sustainability of the industry. The other – Mitnick’s favorite – examined the ways in which women in the hotel industry can professionally encourage one another to get ahead.

As she sat in a room full of professionals and students who listened in on the panel of female general managers of luxury hotels in New York City who spoke of how they started at the bottom and worked their way to the top, Mitnick saw pieces of her future self in each of them.

Her original interest was event management, then came lodging. Now, she sees a chance to merge the two, starting wherever she needs to and working her way up – hopefully to the top.

It’s this experience that Dr. Scarcelli hoped his students would get at HX: The Hotel Experience.

“As a professor, nothing reinvigorates me and gives me greater pleasure than seeing my students excited about the path they've chosen, excited about the prospects for their future, and excited to learn,” he said.

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