The Hospitality Management concentration combines complex business principles with biological and social sciences to lead to careers in the hospitality industry. Students pursue positions in restaurant management, event planning, catering and food service sectors.
Questions about this concentration can be directed to:
295 Bevier Hall – MC 182
905 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
General Job Description: I am responsible for selling, planning, and executing private events. Cog Hill has four 18-hole golf courses, a main clubhouse that can seat up to 280 guests, and a pavilion tent that can seat up to 600. Our main events business comes from golf outings during the week in season, and weddings on the weekends throughout the whole year. We also have meetings, baby and bridal showers, birthday parties, and holiday parties. I meet with the chairperson or couple to sell them on what Cog Hill has to offer, I work with them through the planning of their event, and then I am on site the day of to execute the event.
Jenny Gulas, a special events manager at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club located in Lemont, IL, loves the customer service aspect of her career and working individually with brides and others to make their dreams a reality.
“Having patience with customers and customer service skills are probably my most essential tool. A happy guest will probably tell a friend or two and may write a nice review online, but an unhappy guest will tell all of their friends and will very likely write a negative review,” Jenny says. “It is important to be able to diffuse a situation with a customer if one arises. Providing good customer service is also a good way to hopefully prevent a lot of situations from even becoming issues for the customer to complain about.”
Jenny says the hospitality program in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition allowed her to acquire a lot of on-the-job experience, preparing her for her current role.
“Working as a TA in both the Bevier Cafe and the Spice Box definitely impacted my professional development. I was able to gain management experience while still in school,” she says. “Then when I started my career as a special events manager, I already had that experience under my belt, which made coming into a company with a lot of long-time employees as a young manager that much easier. Many of the management skills I learned as a TA translated to my current position.”
Jenny says the focus on excellence at the U of I sets the standard.
“The tradition of academic excellence really sets U of I apart. Even though I am biased, as a graduate, I feel that everyone is aware of the level of U of I standards,” she says. “Employers and people in your everyday life know what it means when you say you are a U of I graduate. The tradition is known across the country, and it makes me proud to be a graduate of this university.”