Three tourism and hospitality students from Fort Hays State University recently completed internships at the Executive to Executive (E2E) Summit, which develops industry-specific meetings to connect top-level industry "visionaries, innovators and pioneers" (VIPs).
The idea is that interactions between VIPs helps create innovative and disruptive programs within target industries.
Tim Speno, president and founder of E2E Summit, based in Hays, started the company in September 2012. When preparing for the second summit, which was held in San Antonio, he looked to FHSU for interns to accomplish tasks that would create a smooth-running summit. He chose Audrey Rupp, Tribune senior, Josey Vandiver, Robinson junior, and Amber Zvolanek, Russell junior.
They led, planned and executed key components of the 48-hour event. From planning a private dinner for more than 130 guests on the grounds of the Alamo to preparation efforts fueled by E2E’s event website and handling multiple fire drills that would come up at the last minute, the interns played parts in almost every aspect of the summit program.
"This experience gave me the opportunity to apply everything I’ve learned in the tourism and hospitality management program," said Rupp. "Reading from a textbook is one thing, but this internship gave me the opportunity to experience event planning firsthand."
"The best part of the internship was seeing the final product when we got to San Antonio," said Zvolanek. "It was great to see our hard work pay off and see that the attendees were enjoying themselves."
"I am so grateful for this opportunity," said Vandiver. "It is an experience I will always look back on with a smile on my face, knowing how it challenged me, how much I learned and how amazingly much fun I had."