Making Learning Real at The Grand Hotel Minneapolis

Students who attended the Saturday (Feb 21, 2015) optional Saturday morning classroom gained insider information from program alumna, Kathryn Billig, Sales Coordinator at The Grand Hotel Minneapolis.  Kathryn began her hospitality career as a Guest Service Agent at The Grand Hotel (a Kimpton property) in 2011. Following her graduation from the DCTC Meeting and Event Management program in 2012, she continued to distinguish herself as a leader that exemplified the “spirit of hospitality” which makes every guest’s visit memorable.  In 2013 she was promoted to her current position as Sales Coordinator of The Grand Hotel.  She lights up when she shares her experiences at the “hidden” gem of downtown Minneapolis that used to be the Minneapolis Athletic Club and her love of the “team” that works to create guest magic at this amazing Kimpton property.  The Kimpton flag is well-known for creating one-of-a-kind properties from historic buildings and The Grand is a great example.

group stiarcase pic 2-21-15 1160Students (pictured here with Kathryn on the grand staircase- l to r Shannon Terry, Kathryn Billig, Jennifer Rials, Kristopher Lohman, and Todd Hurst).

Kathryn is an inspiration to individuals who want to explore the many facets of hospitality that meeting management touches. In the candid style of this program, no topic of discussion was off-limits on Saturday.  We explored the property (front- and back-of-house), career mapping, the many applications of DCTC’s curriculum to the diverse field, industry myths and realities, and so much more.  Contact Kathryn on LinkedIn and look for more information on this blog about opportunities to assist at The Grand Hotel’s 100th birthday later this year.

Students who participated in the class day shared presentations about generational differences and similarities.  We all learned a great deal about each other, peers, co-workers, staff members, and event attendees.  In keeping with the program’s theme of delivering innovative presentations, we shared Kris’ great discussion, Jennifer’s “quiz” and were treated to the “X” and “Y” t-shirt presentation of Shannon and Todd.  They literally wore their presentation (t-shirts shown here). 1160 feb 21 2015 gen x and y shirt duo Everyone proved my theory that learning can be quite real AND fun!

Thanks to the students who participated in this optional SMGT 1160 course day, to Kathyrn Billig for generously sharing her day off of work, and The Grand Hotel for sharing their facilities (and amazing cookies).

Students of SMGT 1162 are looking forward to participating in their next optional Saturday on February 28th at Midway Party Rental.  Visit the following links for more information about DCTC programs in Meeting-Event, Hospitality Lodging, as well as Spa-Resort Management, please contact me on LinkedIn.

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planner Ranks 12th on the List of Best Business Jobs

US News and World Reports ranks Meeting, Convention, and Event Planning as one of the top business jobs again this year!  It’s pretty clear that when people meet, business happens.  In fact, meetings, conventions, and events are major revenue drivers for much of today’s business community on a global scale. I love that I now get a chance to share tips and tricks learned in my career of planning VIP functions for 20 or larger groups of up to 70,000 “close personal friends”.  I am honored to mentor others in the diverse field of hospitality, while connecting with peers and associates.  There’s something very special about this community and I am continually astounded at how much everyone shares their ideas and innovations.  Even after decades in the field, I love that I can learn daily from others.

Once again, US News and World Reports has honored this field with one of it’s crown jewel rankings.  As pointed out in the article linked here, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects meeting, convention and event planner employment growth of 33.2 percent between 2012 and 2022, adding 31,300 more jobs.

Please connect with me on LinkedIn and visit Dakota County Technical College to explore your future in:

Meeting and Event Management

Hospitality Lodging Management

Spa and Resort Management

Making Learning Real at DCTC!


Here’s a toast to our corporate hosts for spring ’15 semester! These amazing organizations will help in very real ways to make learning real by hosting Hospitality course Saturdays at their offices and venues, providing guest lectures, and sharing facility tours.  This is REAL education for the REAL world!

Feb 21: The Grand Hotel, Minneapolis

Feb 28: Midway Party Rental

Mar 7: Apres Party & Tent Rental

Mar 14: Care Providers of MN

Mar 21: Marriott Minneapolis West

Mar 28: Hope Lodge

Apr 11: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Apr 18: Minneapolis Convention Center

For more information about DCTC’s Hospitality Programs, visit:

Meeting and Event Management Certificate and AAS Degree

Hospitality Lodging Management Certificates and AAS Degree

Spa and Resort Management Certificate and AAS Degree

Connect with Rosealee Lee too!