Thompson Rivers University

TRU Students Learn by Doing

  Posted on: January 15, 2009

TRU Students Learn by Doing

When it comes to learning, there’s nothing better than the experience of actually doing it. Whether it’s building a house, preparing a tax return, cooking a soufflé, or becoming an events coordinator, there’s no replacement for a real life experience.

TRU students experience reality in many ways as part of their degree, diploma or certificate program. The list includes co-op education work placements, internships, practicums, service learning courses, directed studies , research projects , field schools , Study Abroad , work study , and even good old fashioned volunteering .

Across the university, hands-on learning is part of virtually every program, including the Events and Conventions Diploma program, where 16 students are putting theory into practice when they organized the entire Kamloops Luxury Bridal Showcase .

Held in the TRU Campus Activity Centre on Feb. 1 this is one of the university’s largest and most complex public events, with upwards of 50 vendors presenting their goods and services to 500 registered guests with wedding plans on their agenda.

Gerard Hayes, TRU’s Director of Ancillary Services, was confident that these students would bring incredible enthusiasm and professionalism to their roles as coordinators for the showcase, having seen their work previously with the Sport Task Force Dinner and the Foundation Gala It’s also the second time around for Havovie Suraliwalla, a second-year Events and Conventions student , who volunteered for last year’s showcase.

“What’s most amazing about organizing these events is the range of detail that you have to be prepared for and how time consuming it can be,” says Suraliwalla. “You have no idea how long it can take to make beautiful name tags for all the brides, until you do it”.

Hot on the heels of the bridal fair was this year’s 17th annual Foundation Gala . Three hundred guests gathered in the Grand Hall on Feb7 for a five-course dinner prepared by TRU Culinary Arts students under the direction of Master Chef and Instructor Ron Rosentreter and students from the TRU Culinary Arts Program . The level three students prepared a fabulous 5 course gourmet feast, with an entrée of Roasted Pork Loin topped with a delicious leek and mustard sauce.

The New York New York themed evening included valet parking, a green apple signature martini for the cocktail hour, Kamloops Big Band, Rockettes style dancers, jazz crooners and David Letterman style comedy.

The Gala and the Bridal Fair were the ultimate in learning-by-doing for the Events and Conventions Diploma students They also allows students to build their resumes, and to create the means for other experiencesThese students used their skills to fund a recent field trip to the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) convention in New Orleans, where they saw how professionals in the industry pull out all the stops to impress their peers.

The New Orleans trip also gave students valuable networking experience. Students from TRU’s PCMA chapter connected with some of the biggest event organizers in the industry, and were able to show off portfolios stuffed with pictures from major events they had been involved with at TRU”We impressed them,” says Suraliwalla”, They didn’t expect students to have been involved with such major events”.

Contact: Jarita Heer , Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Tourism Management, (p) (250) 828-5366