Launch of the Travel and Hospitality Alumni Group and SMU Industry Night for Alumni in the Travel and Hospitality Sector

5 May 2016

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Over 170 SMU alumni, students, staff, industry partners and professionals attended the SMU Industry Night for the Travel and Hospitality Industry on 5th May 2016. Supported by SMU’s Office of Alumni Relations (OAR), the event was organised by the Executive Committee of the newly minted Travel and Hospitality Alumni Group, which was launched that evening. 

“It is a big day for all us as we launch yet another alumni group! Although SMU does not offer a degree in travel and hospitality, our alumni are making an impact in this industry” Director of SMU’s Office of Alumni Relations, Associate Professor Low Aik Meng said in his welcoming speech. 

“For all women present, you’ll be excited to know that OAR will also be launching the Women Alumni Group shortly.” A/Prof Low continued. “Alumni Groups are one of the many touch points for OAR to reach out to our alumni and to keep them connected with one another and with the University.”

Guest-of-Honour Mr Ho Kwon Ping, Chairman of SMU Board of Trustees and Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings Limited gave a rousing speech, congratulating the Group for being the first hospitality group set up by a university. He said, “The setting up of this Group is the beginning of something really great, because this group can be a game-changer in the industry, bringing together the best and brightest hospitality talents in Singapore.” 

President of the Travel & Hospitality Alumni Group Shyn Yee Ho-Strangas spoke next, sharing the vision for the Alumni Group, which is to build a wide but well-connected community of SMU alumni in the Travel and Hospitality industry in Singapore and the Asia Pacific, and provide a platform for networking, professional development, and collaboration opportunities. 

“Tonight is a special evening for me. The event took a couple of months to put together, but for me it was years in the making. Graduating from the pioneer SMU cohort, the university then had very few contacts in hospitality. My dream was to be a hotel manager but I had to go through many rejections initially. These experiences taught me to be extremely determined. I am very grateful to a special mentor Mr Vivek who gave me the opportunity as a management trainee; I built up my network of contacts from there. It shows that when one cares, it can make another’s dreams come true!” 

Held at Boathouse Fullerton, balloons in the shape of aeroplanes were released into the evening sky to commemorate the Alumni Group launch. Members can now look forward to many activities in the months ahead, such as networking events, company visits, participation at prominent industry conferences, speaker sessions, panel discussions, development workshops and learning exchanges. 

A lucky draw took place towards the end of the night where bottles of wine were given out as prizes. In addition, two lucky winners walked away each with a 2D1N stay at Angsana Hotels and Resorts (Phuket) or Angsana Hotels and Resorts (Bintan) sponsored by Mr Ho from Banyan Tree Holdings.

Like the balloons soaring into the night skies, we can look forward to seeing the Group’s ambitions and plans take flight. 

For more photos from the event, click here.

Visit the SMU Travel & Hospitality Alumni Group's page for more information.