Twice a year, the Rosen College of Hospitality Management hosts a career fair for industry professionals to come and recruit some of the best hotel, restaurant, and event management students in the world. Over the past ten years this event and the college itself has grown in prominence and reputation. This year we had 70 employers and over 800 students networking and discussing the latest opportunities in the hospitality industry.

While almost every college campus across the nation hosts career fairs for their students, the Rosen College Career Fair is unique in the way that it is hosted and planned by students themselves. A group of Event Management seniors plan out the semi-annual career fair from deciding on a theme up all the way until the coordination on the day of the event.

As the lead event planner, I was able to gain a ton of real world experience in planning a trade show/conference event from working with a General Service Contractor, working with exhibitors from across the globe, as well as filing the paperwork with local governments and organizations necessary to host an event of this size.

Our theme this year was the Rosen Career Draft, inspired by the exciting, world-class NFL Draft. I managed a team of 26 staff members and 11 volunteers over a three-month period working with a budget of over $25,000 to plan this event from start to finish including marketing, event logistics, decor, food & beverage, and attendee engagement. After waking up at 3 am, leaving the house at 4am, and starting event load in at 5am, it ended up being a long day but a day that was worth it in every way.

As I get closer and closer to graduation, I have grown to realize how special this opportunity really was. Even as a student, the Rosen College provided me with the chance to be a professional, to plan a large-scale event. Over the past few years, Rosen has helped me in more ways than I could count to prepare for the real world. As I approach the professional world, I am confident in myself and my abilities and it is all thanks to the University of Central Florida and more specifically, the amazing people at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.


Written by Jazmyn Patterson

Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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