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Students participated in the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago

Mizzou's booth at the National Restaurant Association

The Department supported a team of undergraduate and graduate students led by Phil Dreshfield, food and beverage instructor, to participate in the 2015 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show at the McCormick Place in Chicago last May. The NRA Show features the hospitality industry's most prominent issues regarding trends, innovations and new products.

More than 2,000 exhibitors and 60,000 professionals from around the world attend the annual show. In addition, industry experts conducted more than 70 educational sessions and culinary demonstrations. The hospitality management program manned a booth that promoted the online program. Of those interested in our booth, we found two primary groups emerged: potential students and talented recruiters from hospitality firms looking for interns and employees. Potential students were mainly from three distinct groups: relatives of high school students and current hospitality students from other programs interested in our undergraduate program, industry professionals interested in completing their HM degree online and those interested in our graduate programs. In total, we captured nearly 100 qualified leads using the shows smartphone app. Students learned a great deal from the latest offering of food, equipment, technology, and more from the thousands of exhibits in the show.

Mizzou students at the National Restaurant Association

While in Chicago, students were treated to a tour of Remington's conducted by owner and graduate of our own HM program, Doug Dunlay, BS '95. This operation was Dunlay’s seventh restaurant in the Chicago market. He shared with students summer internships and career opportunities with his 4StarRestaurant group. The trip also gave students the opportunity to meet at the Hyatt Magnificent Mile hotel in downtown Chicago for a tour and the alumni reception hosted by the hospitality management department. General Manager Doug Dean, BS '88, and his colleague, Anthony Joaquin, offered career advice and interaction with the students. The trip to Chicago truly was a one of a kind eye-opening experience for students. From the impressive nature of the show itself to the experience of interacting with industry leaders, each student took away a special memory which will forever be a part of their Mizzou experience.

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