Students network at Hospitality and COM Days

By Megan Palumbo & Armando Machado Jr. – Sports Editor & 1851 Staff

This month, Lasell faculty and students in the hospitality and communication departments got to show off what their majors are all about at the annual Hospitality and COM Days. 

Partner at Corinthian Events Jill Tate speaks at the third annual Hospitality Day. Photo by Michael Bueno

The third annual Hospitality Day was held on March 2. The entire day is student-coordinated and centered around education and professional development. Hospitality students and any other students who were interested in learning about the industry were welcome to listen to guest speakers, attend an alumni panel, breakout sessions, a career fair, and a closing reception. Each event was geared toward helping students to better understand the workings of life in the hospitality industry.

Juniors Madison Garside, Lauren DiGiandomenico, and Alex Hoffman were coordinators last year and took on the responsibility again this year.

They were picked by the previous student coordinators and have spent several months preparing for the event in March.  The student coordinators found that planning a big event taught them things they might not have learned in the classroom.

“I think hospitality majors are really driven and really motivated. I think what sets us apart [from other majors] is we’re really good at communicating and we like environments where we’re very sociable. Hospitality Day is a day for us to show off our people skills,” said Carrie Randall, a sophomore who switched into the hospitality program this year. 

“This event completely embodies and encompasses everyone that I wouldn’t normally talk to on a day-to-day basis. It’s just really cool to branch out and get a different perspective that’s not just Lasell College,” said Hoffman. 

Senior Schyler Oliveria said, “I like the conversations we had during the breakout sessions. The questions that people asked were pretty insightful for the industry, especially regarding the travel ban and how it affects businesses.”

The college also hosted its sixth annual COM Day in de Witt Hall on March 7. The theme for this year was “Streaming Culture” and focused on “different representations of different cultures along with the underlying theme of trying to connect students with professionals from all concentrations,” according to Co-Chair of the event Professor Michael Laramee. 

Laramee’s role consisted of “picking the schedule, the theme, organizing speakers, then all the nuts and bolts. October and November are largely devoted to meetings [regarding] COM Day.” 

Events such as guest speakers, panels with professionals, a keynote speaker, an alumni panel, and a closing reception went on in de Witt Hall throughout the day for students to join whenever they could. All communication classes were canceled so students could attend the events.   

“I look forward to COM Day to see the light bulb that goes off in students’ heads when a speaker or panelist either answers a question they had or lights a path for them in their careers,” said Meryl Pearlson, Chair of the Communication Department and Associate Professor.

“I think we get a lot of Connected Learning in our classrooms, but it’s a lot different to have professionals from the field come in specifically to talk about what they’re doing and have a whole day dedicated to it. I love when students make that even bigger connection between what they’re studying and looking forward to their career,” said Pearlson.

When asked what makes communication majors different from others at Lasell, sophomore Dylan Mitchell said, “I think our courses are more demanding in writing than a lot of other majors. It has to do with a lot of analytical and more in depth thinking.” Mitchell is studying sports communication and is interested in going into the broadcast field in the future. 

The keynote speaker for this year was ABC News Vice President Alan Ives. Ives delivered insight into the world of ABC News during his presentation. Ives, a native of Newton, spoke of how he went from an entry level employee at ABC to having an imprint on essentially every ABC News program. 

“I really liked his highly relevant advice to our students. [To] be interesting, be crazy curious, be prepared [and] be fearless,” said Co-Chair Dr. Janice Barrett, in an email.

“Networking is about relationship building. It’s a two way street, it’s not just about what they can do for you, but what you can do for them. We’ve had students that have not only gotten full time jobs, but also able to get internships from speed networking,” said Professor Erin Vicente.

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