Skip to Content

College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Banner Image

Professional Development

The Marnie Pearce Professionalism Seminar (known as HRSM 301) prepares all HRSM graduates (more than 650 each year) with the skills to pursue and achieve their professional career goals in the hospitality, retail, sport, entertainment, and technology industries.

Our industry partners agree that there is a valuable need for a course with this content in our programs. We focus on proven strategies that are adaptable to any organization regardless of industry. This seminar gives the College of HRSM a collaborative opportunity to meet the needs of our students and industry partners. Students develop their professionalism through this course and move into their internships and full-time employment industry ready.

Each student who successfully completes all designated instruction and evaluation components of the professionalism seminar will be awarded the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management Professional Development Certification.

This certification includes the follow areas:

True Colors

Personality/Temperament Training

A team of certified personality / temperament facilitators from the College of HRSM faculty and staff conduct a workshop each semester for all students enrolled in the HRSM 301.


Professional Attire with Kohl’s

Each semester, the regional vice president of Kohl’s and their South Carolina management team leads our students in an educational, yet entertaining, evening of interactive, professional dress topics complete with men’s and women’s sessions and fashion show.


HRSM Alumni Society Career Night

Going to an event with the intention of making new contacts can be intimidating for college graduates and those unaccustomed to building professional relationships. The HRSM Alumi Society hosts a career night each semester bringing together more than 50 alumni and industry partners. This event is meant to be a practice in “face-to-face” communication. The career night assists students in cultivating a positive professional image while enhancing social business skills via mock performance in a realistic setting.

Etiquette dinner

Business Etiquette Dinner

The Business Etiquette Dinner is a classroom experience in a fine dining setting! Students are seated with their peers and served a four-course meal during the etiquette instruction.

Dean's lecture

Dean’s Executive Leadership Lecture Series

The Dean's Executive Leadership Lecture Series is a way to collaboratively bring top industry leaders together to speak on key leadership topics to College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management students, faculty, and invited guests. Students hear inspiring messages from groundbreakers in the fields of hospitality, tourism, retailing and sport management. The lecture series has included: S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A; Nevill Isdell, Coca-Cola; Jonathan Tish, Lowes Hotels; Jim James, Augusta National Golf Club, and many others.


HRSM 301 Practical Exam

As part of the seminar, each student completes the HRSM 301 practical exam. This is an evening of individual professional evaluations conducted by HRSM faculty and staff, university partners, the University Career Center, HRSM Alumni Society and industry partners who are committed to the success of all HRSM graduates. The certification has 10 competency areas including these experiential learning events: Professional image, networking, an accomplishment-based resume, business dining etiquette, behavioral interviewing and salary negotiation. At the completion of the exam, each student receives a portrait sitting to have their professional headshot taken by a PPA Certified professional photographer.