Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management

CMAA Student Perspective

CMAA Conference Frame Pic 2014

Hi, my name is Christina Dean and I am a Hospitality Management major at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. At JMU, I am involved in different clubs and organizations across campus including my position as Secretary for PCMA’s JMU chapter. I am so happy that I decided to attend this year’s Convening Leaders. I honestly wish that I didn’t wait till my senior year to make the decision to go!

In the past I thought that I was too young to get enough out of the conference, which is far from the truth. At any age, a trip to Convening Leaders is a positive experience. I would recommend any student who has the means to go to Convening Leaders to take a chance and go for it. I walked away from the conference with a vast amount of knowledge about the industry, new contacts, and a fresh outlook on what I can do with my degree.

CMAA 4 picFrom day one the 2015 Convening Leaders theme “Make No Little Plans” was evident in everything from the session topics, the General Session speakers, the parties, and more! As a student, I enjoyed the PCMA U focused sessions on Sunday and throughout the week. I valued the specific focus on topics that affect students while also enjoying the fact that I could interact and mingle with other professionals at non-student focused breakout sessions. One of the highlights of Convening Leaders for me was the knowledge I received. I learned how to add design in everything that I do in order to make an emotional connection with my audience from Emily Oberman, I learned to never, ever give up from Diana Nyad, I learned how to become a better decision maker from George Wu, I learned to look at challenges as opportunities not problems from Heather Thomas and David Rich, and I could go on and on about the many lessons I took with me as I left Convening Leaders.

Looking back one of my favorite quotes I learned while at Convening Leaders was a quote by John Wheeler, “We shape the world by the questions we ask.” This has already affected my daily life in the way that I ask questions of my peers and teachers. In addition, I have a notebook full of notes that I know I will look back at throughout my last semester at college and once I start a full-time position in the future. As a student I feel that the benefits of attending Convening Leaders are endless. I had an amazing experience, and I hope to make a trip to Convening Leaders for years to come.

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2015

Last Updated: Saturday, February 10, 2018

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