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Chapter Idea Fair

So Much More than a Summer Internship


Greater Chicago Chapter

Entry Details

The Greater Chicago Chapter Student Development Committee set out to make 2021 one of the best.

The idea: to creatively enhance GCCMA interns’ engagement and retention by:

  • Host meaningful summer tour programs for the more than 30 student interns in the Greater Chicago area to include tours, education, and lunch/networking
  • Increase club participation in internship programs by sharing national guidelines regarding how to build and maintain successful internships
  • Engage with local area hospitality schools
  • Create a social media campaign for GCCMA student interns
  • Create a follow-through program so interns will share how the GCCMA student programs benefited their professional development and advancement in the industry
  • Update the scholarship application process and assist students pursuing a career in the club management industry


Implementation of the idea was achieved by an engaged committee, each willing to take on various components:

  • Tours at various clubs were arranged in May, June, and July. Each tour date included tours of several clubs, an education session, and a lunch and networking session.  More than 30 students attended each session.  Managers of both the host clubs and others attended the events to network with students and share insight on the industry. 
  • Prior to the summer season, managers visited local universities to speak to hospitality students about club management as a profession. Managers were successful in making students aware of the opportunities in our field and served as a liaison between the practicing professionals and the academic community. 
  • The #InstagramClub 101 gave interns a platform to share and showcase their unique and individual experiences throughout their summer internships. They shared 90-second videos (internship testimonials), intern profiles, promoted student networking events. 
  • There was even a social media contest to see which intern could market their club the best via Instagram. Scholarship application points were earned through this contest.
  • $12,000 in scholarship money was awarded to students. They were honored at a luncheon in August.  They will be asked to return to a chapter event in the future to share how the scholarship money assisted them in pursuing their career goals within the industry. 

The reaction of chapter members was very positive.  Clubs had engaged and enthusiastic interns. Managers took the time to actively participate in and educate students at all the summer events.

About the author

Kathryn Collins

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