College of Business > News & Events > School of Hospitality Leadership to Host 2021 Virtual Career Fair on Jan. 29

School of Hospitality Leadership to Host 2021 Virtual Career Fair on Jan. 29

Strong employer participation despite industry challenges

Students at the 2020 Hospitality Career Fair
DePaul’s annual hospitality career fair, held in-person last year, is being presented virtually this year and has attracted more than 40 companies.

The School of Hospitality Leadership at the Driehaus College of Business is hosting its annual career fair virtually this year on Friday, Jan. 29. But the fair, in its ninth year, is not just for hospitality students or those interested in the industry. It’s for anyone interested in job and internship opportunities in the realm of business.

“Hospitality businesses are businesses. They need everything a business would need, from marketing to sales to finance to accounting,” says school Assistant Director of Student Development Shelley Gibbons, who is spearheading the event with a planning committee of five DePaul hospitality students. “Any person from any discipline has a chance at finding an opportunity at this fair, even if it’s just a part-time or summer job to have while in school.”

This year’s e​vent will see more than 40 companies from the hospitality industry who are recruiting for internships, full- and part- time positions and even manager-in-training programs. Employers registered so far include Marriott International, Northwestern Mutual, Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Lettuce Entertain You, Gibsons Restaurant Group, Kehoe Designs, Big City Bride, Hyatt Hotels, and many others. The fair is a hub for job opportunities, but it’s also a great place for students to practice their networking skills.

“I always encourage students to use this fair to practice their elevator pitch or just work on getting comfortable in a networking situation,” Gibbons explains. “Hospitality professionals are a great group to practice these skills on. They’re known to be approachable and easy to talk to since the industry is so people-centric.”

Students also can benefit from a series of information sessions taking place during the week leading up to the fair. From Monday, Jan. 25 to Thursday, Jan. 28, select companies will lead information sessions for students interested in learning more about them. So far, 10 companies have signed up to host a session, among them: Swissôtel, Hornblower Cruises & Events and the Chicago Bears.

All sessions, including the fair on Friday, will be hosted on the virtual event platform, Symplicity. One advantage Symplicity offers students is the ability to upload resumés in advance so that recruiters can look at them prior to the fair. The fair’s virtual format also allows anyone anywhere— including students and alumni— to participate in this year’s fair and pre-fair events. In fact, the fair has historically drawn students from universities around Illinois and the surrounding states. This year, students are registering from universities even beyond the Midwest.

“The pandemic hit the hospitality industry hard and people are hungrier for it to come back probably more than any other industry,” says Gibbons. “Think about it. How excited are you to travel again and just go out safely? The hospitality industry may have suffered this past year, but it’s coming back hard and fast. Anyone interested in being a part of this comeback, or exploring opportunities beyond avenues they would normally take, should definitely attend this fair.”

The fair is taking place Friday, Jan. 29 from 11 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.

Register for the School of Hospitality Leadership’s 2021 Virtual Career Fair