Hospitality employers gather at Fritz Knoebel for unique recruiting event

Rather than hosting a traditional job fair for its seniors, the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management‘s unique recruiting event offers a different type of fare. In fact, three courses of it.

At the second annual Senior Recruiting Dinner on Oct. 25, upcoming Fritz graduates networked and discussed job opportunities with employers from across the hospitality industry, including big global names and smaller local operators. The three-course meal invited informal conversation and real connection between the students and recruiters, with a handful landing interviews the next day.

For Camilla Rosenberg, the event was about giving back to a school that gave to her. The 2022 Daniels College of Business graduate took part in the recruiting dinner a year before, albeit on the other side of the table, as a student. She now works for Four Seasons Denver and was excited to return to Fritz to find new talent.

“Having gone through it from the student side, it’s a really nice, comfortable, organic way to talk with the companies that show up,” she said. “It’s more person to person, instead of employee to employer.”

The night began with a cocktail reception where students buzzed from table to table to greet employers. Next, the nearly 30 students in attendance sat for a dinner, while the 14 employers represented moved around with each course.

Another Daniels alumna, Ryanne Hutchinson (BSBA 2011), front office manager at Four Seasons Denver, said she was looking for candidates with personality that could bring something unique to the brand. At the event, she lauded Fritz’s creativity for hosting the recruiting dinner, rather than a traditional job fair.

“It creates a more casual conversation where you can get to know people, as opposed to a very scary interview process,” she said. “You can really get to know each other.”

Fritz senior Marco Canclini prepared extensively for the evening, researching each company and the recruiters in attendance to ensure he had the upper hand.

“My goal was to go into the recruiting dinner with an open mind and to network with a range of different business professionals in the food and beverage, hotel, events and other industries,” he said. “Networking and showing my expertise about the company helped me get an interview with companies the following day.”

That preparation sets Fritz students apart at recruiting events, said Jessica Beckner, a recruiter with Ojai Valley Inn in California.

“They come ready and they have the right questions,” she said. “Going to some other colleges, things are lacking, but this is a special event.”

Beckner came looking for candidates to join Ojai Valley’s manager in training program, where selected employees would learn a variety of hotel management skills, including with rooms, the front desk, housekeeping and more. She sought students that showed a willingness to learn on the job and passion to grow.

“We can’t teach heart; as long as you have the heart and passion, we want you,” she said.

In addition to Ojai Valley and Four Seasons, recruiters from Mariott International, Sage Hospitality Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and more were in attendance. A total of 61 interviews were conducted on-site the day after the dinner.

For Fritz senior Megan Wong, the night represented a perfect opportunity to envision what her career might look like post-graduation. She encouraged future students attending the dinner to do the same.

“Take the time to think through and understand where you want to go with your career post-graduation in order to be productive at this event and be able to be proactive in pursuing companies that will potentially be a good fit for you,” she said.