The country's first of its kind graduate-level program for meeting and event professionals, administered by San Diego State University's L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and Meeting Professionals International, has begun accepting applications. The 18-month online program will launch in August 2019.
"The master's program in meeting and event management is designed not only to elevate the careers of meeting professionals but our industry as a whole," says Carl Winston, director of the Payne School. "The program takes the meeting professional's focus off day-to-day logistics and allows them to gain the knowledge, tools and network to understand the value of meetings at a higher level. Our goal is for students to change the perception of their role within their organization from being the person responsible for the logistics to being a strategic contributor to overall goals."
Aiming to turn meeting professionals into business event strategists, the meeting and event management masters is geared for certified meeting managers, certified meeting professionals and those working in corporate meeting planning, group sales, convention services, destination management and A/V production, among others.
"This is the only program of its kind, and the only curriculum proactively addressing the challenges facing meeting and event professionals," said Winston. "We've gathered a selection of the industry's best and brightest to instruct and design course work that provides students with knowledge that will take their career to the next level."
A recent San Diego State University alumni survey shows that graduates of SDSU's Hospitality & Tourism Management program have seen pay increases of 10 to 50 percent in their first year. Winston adds that the event masters program incorporates material that is proven to drive measurable return.
The curriculum focuses on strategic leadership, stakeholder management, finance fundamentals, business analytics, applied design thinking, demonstrating ROE (return on experience), leading change and innovation, modern marketing strategies and more. Throughout the 18 months, students can network with industry leaders organically, complete flexible online assignments, participate in mentor matching, attend TED Talk-style lectures, learn instantly applicable leadership takeaways and complete a career-changing Capstone Project.
The program can be completed online and includes two on-campus weeks in San Diego, one held at the beginning of the program and the other at the end, which allow students to meet face-to-face.
With only 30 students being accepted into the first cohort, space is limited. For more information or to apply, visit https://mastershtm.sdsu.edu/apply-now/.