A few weeks ago, AAHOA Treasurer Miraj S. Patel was interviewed by Sachinsingh Tomar, a graduate student at the University of Houston, about AAHOA and the hotel industry at large. Gaining insights from experienced hoteliers, like Patel, goes a long way in helping students launch a career in this field after graduation.
As a second-generation hotelier, Patel’s exposure to hospitality can be traced back to his family’s first 30-room independent hotel property. Since then, he’s seen the industry adopt technological advances, embrace new customer expectations, steadily recover from the global pandemic, and open the door for people from diverse backgrounds.
Patel spoke about the hard work, education, networking, and dedication it took to eventually become the President of Wayside Investment Group, specializing in lodging and hospitality investments. Future hoteliers can also achieve a successful career if they are willing to work, build long-lasting relationships, and get involved with organizations like AAHOA.
“My interview with Miraj Patel was very enlightening. He helped me gain more knowledge about AAHOA and the hotel industry in general, including the great work being done to get more women involved and initiatives to promote a sustainable future for hoteliers,” University of Houston Graduate Student Sachin Tomar said. “I thank Mr. Patel for taking the time to meet with me, and I would also like to thank Professor Tucker Johnson for providing this learning opportunity.”
As the AAHOA Treasurer, Patel also provided Tomar with a first-hand account of the opportunities AAHOA creates for current and future hospitality professionals. The association has two Young Professional Directors focused on engaging students and recent college graduates, as well as two Board members charged with getting female hoteliers involved in the industry.
Like the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, hospitality programs open the door to limitless career options in the U.S. and around the world, equipping future leaders to take the industry forward.
“I found the conversation between Patel and Tomar incredibly inspiring, interesting, and informative. The opportunity for students to hear directly from industry leaders is invaluable,” said Tucker Johnson, Instructional Assistant Professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Investing in future generations of hoteliers and hospitality professionals is crucial for our work at AAHOA and the hospitality industry as a whole. We thank AAHOA Treasurer Miraj Patel for helping students, like Tomar, see the promising future in this ever-growing field.