January 31, 2022

Student Club Spotlight: The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI)

The NYU Chapter of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International is a student club at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. The club’s president, Jessie Yau (’24), talks about her experience at NYU and her objectives for the club.

What brought you to the BS in Hotel and Tourism Management?

When I was in the fourth grade, I was struggling with fractions.  My teacher encouraged my mom to bake with me to help me to better understand ratios in a more fun context. Little did my math teacher know what she’d started! My mom and I would bake together often, and one day when we had just put the madeleines in the oven, my mom went into her art room to paint. She had completely lost track of time and an hour later, she frantically ran into the kitchen thinking the madeleines were burnt a crisp, but I had already taken them out of the oven and was dusting them with icing sugar. From then on, I took over the kitchen. I started off by baking my mom’s favorites like apple pie and eclairs and later ventured into the world of cooking. When I was 12, my mom signed me up to try out for a cooking competition on the local tv channel, and I ended up getting third place. From then on, I knew my future lay in the food industry… and that led me to choose to study hospitality.

What is NYU HSMAI?

HSMAI stands for the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International and it’s an individual membership organization that has over 7000 members from 35 countries and chapters worldwide. We are NYU’s chapter of this organization and our goal is to help students build strong networks and connections. We hold events for students to learn about a wide range of topics from hotel operations to hotel investing, and our biggest event of the year is our Annual Intercollegiate Conference. During the conference (which spans over several days), we have alumni and industry professionals discuss industry trends, their careers post-graduation, and other topics. We also collaborate with other hospitality schools, like Penn State, Boston University, and Cornell.

How did you become involved in NYU HSMAI?

Being that NYU has such a large student body, I wanted to find a smaller community with shared interests. When I heard about HSMAI from a friend, I was eager to join. Fortunately, I was able to take over as president my sophomore year, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

What are your personal goals for your time in NYU HSMAI?

HSMAI has done a great job in helping students build networks amongst the hospitality industry as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the industry; my main goal is to keep that up. Additionally, I’d love to grow the club and spread awareness so that anyone who’s interested can join.

How can other students get involved in HSMAI?

Subscribe to our newsletters at hsami.nyu@gmail.com, follow us on social media (Instagram: @nyu_hsmai, Facebook: HSMAI NYU, LinkedIn: HSMAI NYU), and come out to our events! It’s a great opportunity to meet with industry professionals and get involved in the community.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Gaining meaningful connections is so important, especially in the hospitality industry.  Go out and get involved!

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