Hospitality students plan festival, gain event experience
Master’s students in hospitality and tourism management recently organized an “International Festival of Lights” at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center in metro Washington, D.C.
More than 200 guests attended the event, including MBA students; Pamplin College of Business alumni, faculty, staff; industry representatives; and family members.
“The students planned and conducted the event as a practical experience in hospitality and tourism management studies,” said Professor Mahmood Khan, the department’s graduate program director in Northern Virginia.
The master of science program currently enrolls 35 students representing nine countries, he said. “This is the first time a multicultural event has been held on such a large scale here.”
The event, he said, coincides with Diwali, the Indian festival that is widely observed by lighting lamps and fireworks. “The main theme of Diwali is the victory of light over darkness," he said. "In Indian mythology, it represents events celebrating the defeat of evil and the return of happiness.”
The event started with the U.S. and Indian national anthems sung by Evening MBA students, followed by a cultural program with music, dance, and solo performances by students, alumni, and their families.
Guests enjoyed a variety of appetizers, Khan said, followed by “a lavish Indian meal” provided by alumnus Kumaran Ravi, owner of the Chennai Express restaurant in Chantilly, Virginia.
Virginia Tech’s hospitality and tourism management program is ranked No. 2 in the nation and No. 6 worldwide.