Faculty Internships for Hospitality Instructors

Article excerpt

INTERNSHIPS CAN HELP HOSPITALITY FACULTY BUILD INDUSTRY RELATIONSHIPS WHILE ALSO ENSURING THE BEST AND MOST CURRENT TRAINING FOR THEIR STUDENTS.

Many hospitality organizations have structured faculty internships available or are willing to work with faculty to provide individualized internship opportunities. Career and technical educators in secondary hospitality programs have not been targeted for faculty internships by hospitality operations in the past; however, with the growth and importance of secondary hospitality programs, more faculty internship opportunities are available, and secondary educators are encouraged to apply for faculty internships previously open primarily for university hospitality program educators.

What Are Faculty Internships?

Faculty internships are simply time spent by faculty members with hospitality industry businesses for the purpose of learning the current operational priorities, challenges and strategies of the companies. These internships can include time at corporate offices and/or individual properties, and may be as short as three days or can last three weeks or longer. They may be structured or individualized.

Structured internships are offered by a hospitality company each year and generally include eight to 10 faculty members. These are typically for a one-week time period at the corporate office but can be as long as three weeks. The schedules include guest speakers from different departments, tours of various departments, and visits to different hotel brands or restaurant concepts.

Hyatt, Marriott, Darden and Sodexho faculty internships are offered through the Council on hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (CHRIE) and require membership to participate. Applications are to the companies directly and are coordinated by the college relations or human resources departments. The internship companies pay all travel to and from the internship location, and some offer a stipend of to cover additional expenses. Most also require submission of a final report or internship evaluation.

Advantages of structured faculty internships are that they generally cover most of the financial costs incurred, the programs are already established, and participants are with several other faculty members from other universities. Disadvantages are that they may require membership in an association or organization to be eligible, and the dates and time periods are already established.

Individualized internships are arranged by faculty members directly with hospitality companies. These are often the results of relationships established over the years by faculty members with industry managers through associations, field trips, guest speaking engagements or as coworkers. Sites and schedules are arranged by the faculty members with the college relations departments and coordinated with the host properties.

Costs are generally split between faculty members and the host properties. Travel is generally at the expense of the faculty members, while the host properties provide lodging and the majority of the meals during the internships. Often the meals are spent with senior management of the hotel or restaurant discussing topics such as operational issues or educational and career issues.

Advantages of individualized internships are that the time periods are more flexible, and they often provide faculty members the ability to tailor internship experiences to their needs or objectives, such as gathering research for a specific topic or establishing a relationship with a property for student internships, field trips or guest speakers. These internships can also be done at properties that are close to faculty members' campuses. Disadvantages are that they generally do not offer as much financial compensation and require the faculty members to do all the work in establishing and designing the internship.

Getting Started

For interested faculty there are several available options, but it is important to start early and allow a year to plan and arrange an internship. …