Students at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics have almost 30 unique student groups that they can choose to join. In each installment of this series, an executive member of one of these student groups will share their first-hand experience choosing, participating in and eventually leading their group.
Kada Cernek, Class of 2021 hospitality business management major and event planning minor, is the president of Club Manager Association of America (CMAA) at the Lerner College. Cernek shared why she joined CMAA, what makes this group unique and more!
When and why did you choose to join this student group?
Cernek: I joined CMAA in the fall of my first year after talking to the president at the Lerner RSO fair. I knew I wanted to get involved in a hospitality student group and found that CMAA seemed like the perfect fit for me.
What is the mission of your student group?
Cernek: We are a tight knit group that participates in many events throughout the year including planning a high-profile dinner for all club managers in the area, going on road rallies and club tours and attending conferences around the country, all while making a difference in the club industry. Whether students want to work in clubs, event planning, food and beverage or even things outside of the hospitality industry, CMAA is a great way to get involved and stay involved on campus while making incomparable connections within the industry.
What is your best memory from this student group?
Cernek: My best memory from being a part of CMAA is by far all of the conferences we have been able to attend. We are fortunate enough to be able to attend one conference in the fall and one in the spring each year. Throughout the last two years, I have traveled to San Francisco, California, Washington DC, Chicago, Illinois, Nashville, Tennessee and soon I will travel to San Antonio, Texas. While at these conferences, we grow extremely close as a group while gaining education credits. While we get to do a lot of fun things on campus, our travels away as a group are always member’s favorite part of the year.
What is unique about your student group?
Cernek: Our group is unique because it is so focused on a specific part of the hospitality industry, country clubs. Because of this, our students really get a deep understanding of this field and make incomparable connections with the professionals in this area during their time on campus. We also do a decent amount of traveling for an RSO, so our students really get a unique experience in both the RSO and the industry, not just on campus but around the country.
What has been your proudest moment leading your student group?
Cernek: While I am proud of my group always, I felt extremely proud at our last annual appreciation dinner in May 2019. This is a dinner we hold every spring to recognize and thank all of the club managers in the region. The event is completely student-run from the culinary, decor, education sessions, serving and more. To see all of our members work so hard and come together to create something so amazing and successful was the best feeling as the leader of the group.
What are your goals for the future of your student group?
Cernek: I hope for our club to continually grow in the future and expand our education, network and experience. Through various new additions to our chapter such as a guest speaker series or member bonding events, I hope our group can gain a valuable experience during their time here at UD.
How has your student group helped you grow?
Cernek: This group was what paved the path for my college career, as well as my career post-graduation. I had never considered going into the field of country clubs until I became a member of this group and ever since that day I have been all in with that career path. Throughout the last two years, I have had nothing but positive experiences regarding CMAA and all of the members therein. Through my various experiences with CMAA, I have come across countless students, advisors, managers and overall staff who have inspired me and pushed me to be the absolute best student and person I can be.
Club Manager Association of America has approximately 25 members and meets Monday nights at Raub Hall.