JWU student Karon J. Green reflects on his many leadership roles with the JWU-RI National Society of Minorities in Hospitality and how his involvement is paving the way for a bright future.
Have you have ever played Minecraft? Yes, you have! Ok well, Minecraft is a sandbox video game about placing blocks to build anything you can imagine. Minecraft allows players to be creative in expanding beyond the limitations that we place on our mind to create and build our own designs. Similarly, the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) allows students to lay the building blocks for their destiny through avenues of professional development. As a member of the NSMH, I am able to put together the building blocks for my future.
What is NSMH?
NSMH reigns as the largest hospitality student-run organization in the nation. The mission is to promote the advancement of hospitality students with the goal of building relationships between students and industry professionals. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of NSMH throughout my entire tenure as a college student. It has significantly impacted my college experience by giving me the building blocks that paved the gateway to my future.
Strategically and creatively, I was able to place these building blocks of industry connections that led to three great internships that sprouted into my full-time role as a Corporate Management Trainee at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Every year, NSMH puts on regional and national conferences that bring together like- minded and driven hospitality students who all have the same desire and thirst for opening the pathways of destiny to their futures. From professional development workshops to assuming leadership roles on campus, I have gained a great amount of leadership/managerial experience that’s unmatched and has proven to be highly sought-after skill sets to employers.
The JWU-RI NSMH Chapter Makes a DifferenceMy major contribution to the JWU-RI Chapter was through my role as the Community Service/Pre-College Outreach Chair. In this role, I created community awareness through service projects and by starting one of the first Pre-College Outreach Programs at East Providence High School. Along with our members and E-board, we led classroom presentation topics and creative team building activities that gave us the opportunity to engage with the high school students by sharing our experiences as college students and upcoming leaders in the hospitality industry.
At the same time, I was able to assume a senior leadership role as Program Director by providing support and directing yearly program activities, with the guidance from the Chapter President. I planned our annual Hospitality Week and also the very first End of the Celebration and Awards Ceremony that celebrated and highlighted all the accomplishments of our members throughout the year and the election of new Executive Board Members.
Our chapter has grown from being a mere solid quintet member group in 2013-2014 that consisted of myself, Clay Golde (Membership Director); Jean Choi(Chapter President); Maferly Reyes(Vice President) and Monete Cockburn(National Board Member) to a solid 30+ members today! I’m thankful for the continuous hard work of our E-board officers throughout the years, continued dedication of members, our network of chapters in the nation, and of course our sponsors who support us greatly!
JWU-RI Chapter Sweeps NSMH Awards
At the 2016 NSMH conference, the JWU-RI Chapter was awarded Chapter of the Year, Best Membership Drive, Highest # of Members, and Best Publicity Award! We’ve made a significant impact in the JWU-Providence Community and I believe that this year we could be awarded Student Organization of Year! However, beyond my involvement with the JWU-RI Chapter, I am currently involved in JWU-North Miami Chapter as Chapter Vice President where I am utilizing my skills acquired from previous leadership roles to provide guidance with membership retention and strategic direction for the chapter’s continued success. Overall, my involvement with NSMH has paved the way for my success as a prominent leader in my community and the hospitality industry.
My NSMH journey would be compared to survival mode in Minecraft as I was able to continuously gather all my resources from this organization to build on meaningful qualities such as assertive leadership traits, strong communication aptitude, and a great work ethic. I’ve been able to develop and build relationships with many different students from across the country and a great amount of corporate sponsors from Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and more! I would encourage every hospitality student to get out, get involved and, play the Minecraft game of NSMH to build and sculpt the destiny of your future career in the hospitality industry.