USF announces hotel partnership for the benefit of business students

Catherine Hawley reports

Students at the University of South Florida‘S Hospitality and Tourism Management School will soon be able to gain first practical experience in a hotel diploma.

This innovative new program was announced on Wednesday and is made possible by a new multi-hotel partnership.

“This announcement is truly transformative, timely, relevant and powerful,” said Moez Limayem, Lynn Pippenger Dean at USF Muma College of Business.

The University of South Florida and Muma College of Business McKibbon hospitality join forces. The new partnership will turn some of the leading hotel brands into intensive training schools for students.

“We own and operate approximately 100 hotels in approximately 10 states, mostly in the Southeast with Marriott, Hilton Hyatt and IHG,” said Randy Hassen, president of McKibbon Hospitality.

Affiliation is creating a teaching lab program for students of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management that puts the entire McKibbon portfolio at their disposal as an internship location for any area of ​​interest.

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“Guests serve in the restaurant, at the reception or in the back of the house,” explains Hassen. “And really understand where they belong, where their strengths lie, and we will allow them to say which career path they want to choose.”

Officials say no other hotel management school in the nation has this type of partnership. There comes a time when the industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers. We are told that after graduation these students have a huge advantage with hands-on experience and are ready to fill these jobs.

“96% of students who do internship will have a job after graduation or very shortly thereafter. This is key. This is the only success factor that will determine whether or not they have this great job or not work,” said Limayem.

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is also growing. In 2022, the major will also be available at the USF locations in Tampa and St. Petersburg.