CM’s Guide to the Hospitality Major

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Picture Mr. Moseby from Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Remember how he handled the ins and outs of the Tipton hotel? As a hospitality major, you basically learn how to become a Mr. Moseby. From managing a hotel, casino or restaurant to becoming an event planner, the hospitality major encompasses a wide variety of career opportunities.

What You’ll Be Doing

The hospitality major highlights business administration, tourism management and event planning. “The hospitality major is very hands on with a lot of group projects and presentations—and it’s also a tight knit group because the major is small,” said Florida State University junior Madison Fox. Some key classes within the hospitality major include economics, food serve management and tourism. “In all my hospitality classes, the most important thing was knowing what’s going on in the world because the tourism industry can change depending on what’s going on currently,” said St. John’s University senior Stephanie Alfano.

The Classes You’ll Take

Did you know that as a hospitality major you have the opportunity to take a class on wine? On a Monday morning, practice the pairings of food and wine while sipping on a glass (if you’re 21) and snacking on a variety of cheeses. Another interesting class includes International Protocol, where you focus on a specific country’s customs throughout the course. “Spending the majority of the semester putting together a two-day presentation on a European country was awesome. We learned everything from what they eat, how they dress, customs, holidays and more,” said Fox. If international hospitality doesn’t interest you, sign up for Lodging Operations and learn the different aspects of hotels, spas and other places of the hospitality industry and their accompanying amenities. Some universities offer Contemporary Healthy Foods which teaches students about healthy food. How could you miss out on learning about delicious and quality food ingredients?

Internships for This Major

The hospitality major offers diverse internships across the globe. FSU junior Lauren Gibson interned at Conrad Centennial Hilton Resort in Singapore this past summer. “The world’s leading brands such as Ritz Carlton, Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott seek out hospitality majors year round,” said Gibson. Project management internships, international tourism internships and event planning internships are only a few opportunities students can pursue.

“The Dedman School offers internships with world-class operations in countries ranging from Ireland to Australia. Some of those include the Universal Loews Resorts internship, Ritz-Carlton Central Park and Intercontinental Dublin,” said Bob Branciforte, Marketing Coordinator at Florida State University’s Dedman School of Hospitality. “There’s a lot of different things encompassed under the hospitality major so it was really important to get experience in different fields to figure out what exactly I want to do,” explained Cornell University junior Cassie Guerin. Who could say no to interning across the pond?

Career Opportunities

1. Human Resources

What do American Express, Google and the hotel down the street have in common? They all need human resources departments to keep the place running. Since hospitality major requirements incorporate communication and public relations, human resources remains the perfect combination.

2. Food and Beverage Management

Feel like managing the day-to-day operations of your favorite Italian restaurant? With a degree in hospitality, you can aspire to become a manager in the food industry. Some of the daily responsibilities of a food and beverage manager include purchasing food and stock, maintaining health standards and training new employees. Bon Appetite!

3. Tourism Management

Time to set sail. Hop on a cruise line and put your degree to good work. Plus, you can check out the Bahamas and the Caribbean. If you can’t find your sea legs, feel free to become a travel agent…on land. As a manager in the tourism industry, some responsibilities include planning and development, marketing and supervising staff. You’ll run the day-to-day operations, including public relations and management, in theme parks like Disney World or Six Flags.

4. Casino Management

Remember Andy Garcia from Ocean’s Eleven? He owned multiple Las Vegas casinos. And you can do the same. If you’re interested in that fast pace lifestyle of casino life, you can manage a casino yourself with all the knowledge gained from your degree.

5. Lodging Management

If you’re looking to live in Australia, Switzerland or anywhere tropical, the hotel industry always needs employees across the globe. A career in Lodging Management transcends internationally. If you want to manage the kitchen, room service or front desk operations, the choice is yours in the lodging industry.

Reviews

1. “The hospitality major has taught me to interact with all different types of people in all different settings. My favorite thing about the hospitality school is the professors and all of the opportunities that are presented to you. The professors are informative and relatable, helping you anyway they possibly can.” – Taylor Dec, Food & Beverage Department at Tara Iti Golf Resort, New Zealand

2. “I loved the practicality of the courses. The concepts, laws, theories and equations taught throughout the curriculum, whether they applied to golf, hotels, restaurants or any other service-oriented business, prepared me to understand decisions, operations and standards that now apply to my everyday life.” – Aynsley Hoffman, Conference Services Assistant & In House Meetings and Events at The Breakers, Palm Beach

3. “I learned the vital skills about learning how to run a business and be the boss all while caring about the wellbeing of the employees under you as a hospitality major. My professors taught us hard work, dedication, determination and to know things are not just handed to you.” – Fallon Brennan, Cluster Sales Manager at White Lodging, Tampa

Alex is a senior at Florida State University studying History and International Affairs. When she isn’t attending music festivals, she is busy watching Saturday Night Live and keeping up with contemporary trends. Born and raised in New York, Alex has adopted writing as a way to convey her fast paced and dynamic life.

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