UAPB Junior Completes National Society of Minorities in Hospitality Leadership Program

Trenay Hayes, a junior majoring in foodservice and restaurant management/hospitality at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Department of Human Sciences, recently completed a six-month leadership program by the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH). She was one of 15 students from six historically Black colleges and universities selected for the program.

“Thanks to the program, I learned some skills that we don’t really get to work on during regular college instruction,” she said. “For example, a lot of the training had to do with resume preparation. The instructors really walked us through that process and explained how to tailor your resume based on what employers in the hospitality industry are looking for.”

Hayes said she learned how best to prepare for job interviews and developed new networking skills.

“We learned how to make ‘elevator pitches’ and promote yourself and your skills in a short amount of time,” she said. “I also learned the importance of doing research ahead of time about the companies you apply for jobs at. If you familiarize yourself with the company’s mission and vision, you are better able to explain why your particular skill set is the right fit for the job.”

Program participants received professional mentorship from Sharonda Bishop, NSMH consortium member and facilitator of the program. Over the course of the program, Bishop conducted regular group and individual career counseling sessions during which participants learned about different types of career opportunities and could discuss their goals and dreams.

Hayes has long dreamed of owning a restaurant or working in a managerial position at a restaurant chain. However, in the past year, she began to wonder whether her career goals were realistic.

“I started thinking about the fact that I’m just a college junior and have limited work experience – this made me wonder whether my dreams were attainable,” Hayes said. “I was able to discuss these issues with Ms. Bishop. She told me not to worry and just to stay the course. She reassured me that realizing your goals just takes time, patience and dedication.”

Dr. Suzzette Goldmon, assistant professor of hospitality and tourism at UAPB and NSMH advisor, said she is proud of Hayes for enthusiastically applying for and participating in the program.

Trenay is a young leader that has great potential to excel in any segment of the hospitality industry she chooses,” Dr. Goldmon said. “Her dynamic personality and amazing organizational skills will sustain her for an amazingly successful career.”

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.