The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management is hosting its largest career fair yet, with more than 100 industry partners and employers coming to the campus near International Drive on March 8 to recruit students and alumni to fill vacancies in their workforce. At least 800 students are registered to attend, with registration still available on site.
Demand for hospitality workers is growing in the entertainment and media industry, which in 2020 was estimated to be worth $660 billion in the U.S., according to the International Trade Administration. The Rosen College constantly is looking to new ways to connect students with these ample career opportunities.
In recent years the Rosen College began hosting more career fairs, with 1,000 students currently in paid internships they landed through these offerings and other networking opportunities through the college. Experiences like Disney Day, which is specific to The Walt Disney Company, has landed many students employment. More than 400 students attended the most recent Disney Day, which began in February 2022 and is being offered each fall and spring semester.
The Rosen College also hosts Universal Days specific to Universal Studios, and an Entertainment Exploration Experience Festival that recently included Entertainment Technology Partners/LMG, Florida Groves Festival/Dab Day Productions, the Orlando Magic, Rhino Staging Florida, Royal Caribbean Entertainment and SeaWorld. In-person and industry panels also have connected students to employers such as Netflix, the Orlando Film Festival and Spotify.
Mayara Martines, director of the Event and Administrative Support for Professional Internships at Rosen College, encourages students to take full advantage of the career fairs and the other events that connect them to the workforce early.
“These are collaborative events, not competitive ones,” Martines says. “Students can utilize those opportunities to network, develop interview skills, their elevator pitch, learn more about the industry itself, and have fun.”
Tristan Mumblow, a hospitality management senior, helped plan and execute the Entertainment Exploration Experience Festival.
“Starting early in your careers by working in the field and making many connections will boost your chances of moving up significantly,” Mumblow, says. “Make sure to always put yourself out there and give 150% every day at work.”
Mumblow says he hopes other students won’t follow in his footsteps of merely attending class.
“I think these events are great for networking. You truly gain so much, and you may not realize it in the moment, but it will help you out so much in the long run,” he says.
Another such way the college is connecting students to the demands of the workforce is through the bachelor’s in entertainment management degree, which launched in 2016 and pairs business acumen with creativity to give students the foundation to be a leader in the entertainment industry. Students will study the business of entertainment, including financial, marketing, human resources, and value proposition, as well as entertainment law and ethics, consumer behavior and more.
Jessie Bridgeman, an entertainment management major, transferred to UCF for the program.
“I knew I wanted to work with a variety of entertainment and themed events, but struggled to find a program that suited my goals,” Bridgeman says. “When I found out about the entertainment management program here at Rosen, I was over the moon.”
Bridgeman is a cast member at Disney Springs and is graduating this spring.
“I’m so excited to start my professional journey in event entertainment,” says Bridgeman.
To learn more and register for the upcoming career fair, visit hospitality.ucf.edu/students/current-students/career-fair-students.