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Brittany Mazal - #MYNSMHSTORY

Kicking off our website launch is our new Social Media Campaign: #MYNSMHSTORY. In this series, you'll get to know what NSMH is all about through the eyes of our veteran members here at SDSU. You'll hear their stories about how they started, what they've accomplished, and so much more.

Have someone in mind that would be perfect to feature? Email me at


Our first member to be featured is our amazing Chapter President. Read below to see how her story turned out!

Name: Brittany Mazal

Hometown: Agoura Hills, CA

Expected Graduation: May 2018

Q. Who or what inspired you to get involved with NSMH?

I enrolled in the Hospitality and Tourism Management program as a Freshman, completely new to San Diego State University, with no idea of what the hell I was about to get myself into. During my very first HTM 201 class Freshman year, the various student organizations came in to explain why we should join theirs. Connor DeLille and Amanda Richlin, the two NSMH representatives that day, inspired me to join NSMH through their lively personalities, positive energy and words of encouragement – man am I thankful for those two.

I still remember attending my very first NSMH External Board Meeting, led by Connor and Amanda, one of the very first weeks of my Freshman year. We went over the NSMH Mission and Vision statements and practiced our elevator speeches. I called my mom after our meeting and told her that I think I found my place here in the HTM program and that I really think that Connor, Amanda and I were going to be great friends. From there on out the NSMH team became my second family, allowing me to adjust to the huge life change of starting college, moving away from home, and trying to figure out this whole life thing on my own. Now, four years later, I still consider Connor and Amanda to be two of my very best friends. I will never forget how comfortable and welcomed the entire NSMH crew made me feel from the very start... just started crying like an idiot reminiscing on it all… that’s love right there!

Brittany (Right) with Connor (Middle) and Amanda (Left)

Q. What is the best memory you have that involves NSMH?

Geez, this is a tough one. Picking one memory out of all of them... let’s see…

I think one of my most memorable moments for sure was competing in Mr. & Mrs. HTM my Sophomore year. For those of you who do not know what that is - basically it is a talent show-like competition where HTM students compete for a chance to win a free trip to our National Conference in the Spring; that year NSMH would be heading to Washington D.C. The three areas that we were evaluated on included: a background/culture section, a response to the judge’s industry related question, and finally a “special talent” performance.

Long story short, someone backed out the night before and we needed someone to fill in the spot, so our planning director at the time, Kimberly Robles, asked me if I would do it. I told her I would take one for the team on this one and make a fool of myself for her because I did not want to let her down. BUT there was one big problem... I did not have any “special talent.” She told me to be creative and to figure it out - so I guess you can say that’s what I did. I ended up making a rap to the Jay-Z song “99 Problems” with lyrics that included: “If you can’t go to D.C. I feel bad for you son, I got 99 Problems, but this trip ain’t one. Send me.” Genius, I know. Since I needed to write and memorize the rap to perform within a 24-hour period, with two midterms the day of, I would say I was feeling a little shaky on the lyrics. When I got up on stage I think I forgot to picture everyone in their undies because I got way too nervous and forgot the lyrics the second that the beat dropped… so I asked for a redo. The panel told me they never had anyone stop mid-performance and ask for a redo, but I guess that there were no rules against it, so why not. I’d like to think that I freaking crushed it on the second go though. I guess the audience and judges did too because I ended up winning the whole thing and getting my trip to Washington D.C. paid for in the spring. That trip to D.C. was also quintessential in my engagement and involvement thereafter in NSMH, you know what they say – “I got 99 Problems and this trip ain’t one”… oh and that everything happens for a reason!

Brittany and Jolly: Mr. and Ms. Winners!

Q. What opportunities have you gained through NSMH?

First and foremost, I have created an unparalleled network of HTM classmates, that I consider my dearest friends, who have helped me succeed throughout my years at State. They have been my teammates on the seemingly never ending assortment of group projects, they have been my support system by creating a home away from home for me, and they have opened doors to opportunities that I otherwise would never have known existed.

My industry network has expanded immensely, as I am now in contact with individuals throughout the hospitality industry that I would have never dreamed of even speaking to as a Freshman. The Regional and National conferences that I attended have aided in my professional development substantially, making me feel so comfortable at career fairs, networking events, job interviews, etc. – basically because of NSMH I have the confidence to rock it in any professional setting thrown my way. Which is freaking amazing, considering I was scared to sit on the couches in the HTM office when I started out. I know you were all scared once too, don’t laugh. And if you haven’t spent time on the couches yet, do yourself a favor and go do that right after you finish reading this. :)

Being involved with NSMH, you are exposed to constant interaction with our chapter advisors, which has allowed me to develop trusted relationships with my professors and program directors. These relationships have been essential in the advancement, not only in my schooling at SDSU, but in my professional career. I would like to give a special thank you to Carl Winston and Alana Dillette for always being there for me and the organization whenever we needed anything – advice, support, reinforcement – you two are incredible and are so appreciated for all you do.

Q. What's the best piece of advice you could give anyone?

There are two types of people in the world, that’s it. There are Renters and there are Owners.

Renters are those individuals who just make it by, who live their lives with no real reason and no defined purpose. They move on year to year, renting time like they rent their homes, fulfilling something, but not really fulfilling anything. The renters out there will rent their time at San Diego State University for the years that they are here, until they graduate and someone else moves in to rent their time here too. They will have no legacy to leave behind, because all they did was fill another seat.

The Owners out there are the students who will make the very most of everyday they have at this outstanding University. They will take advantage of every opportunity in their path, finding their true reason and defining their own purpose however it is that they choose - maybe they will find their purpose by joining NSMH, like I did.

So, my best piece of advice to you – Be an Owner.

Q. What does NSMH mean to you?

NSMH is my little piece of home at SDSU, and I will be forever thankful to all of those that made THAT what NSMH means to me.


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