Since joining the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) earlier this year, the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida has increased its awareness among vacation ownership companies in the Central Florida area and made several educational opportunities, such as scholarships and mentorships, available to students interested in a career within the timeshare industry. Perhaps as a result, UCF’s Rosen College was recently able to partner with the world’s largest developer and marketer of vacation ownership products, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, to develop corporate internship opportunities for its students.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership offered similar internship opportunities to UCF Rosen College students in the past, but downsized its college recruiting efforts over the past few years due to the U.S. economic climate. However, according to UCF Rosen College Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Amy Gregory, the College’s ARDA affiliation and expanded timeshare curriculum has sparked a renewed interest between WVO and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

“We had an increased presence at ARDA’s global convention this year due to our student scholarships, involvement in the Education Committee and Research Committee, and various other networking opportunities,” said Gregory, who helped UCF’s Rosen College become a member of ARDA. “Our visibility within ARDA has certainly helped generate or reinvigorate interest within the industry. Wyndham, aware of our presence within ARDA, recently visited our campus to discuss new partnership opportunities with our administration.”

As a result of those discussions arranged by Lori Cosimides and facilitated by Dr. Joe Hutchinson, Dr. Youcheng Wang, Dr. Amy Gregory, Tom Barr and Veena Garib, UCF Rosen College students will have the opportunity this summer to participate in Wyndham Vacation Ownership’s 11-week paid “WYNternship” program. The full-time, 40-hour week program will allow students to gain excellent industry experience, along with the opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced and talented individuals in the hospitality industry.

“This is a great opportunity for learning, exposure, and visibility to the many levels of Wyndham’s organization, including direct interaction with senior leadership,” said Gregory. “The students that are selected will be very fortunate to have these opportunities.”

According to Shelly Griessel, Senior Vice President of Contact Center Operations and Wyndham Vacation Resorts Management, “the WYNternship program allows for students to work in a variety of areas within our Hospitality division whilst being part of a wider group of interns.”

The rotational program will help students gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of several areas, equipping them with the ability to make more informed decisions on their true passion in the world of hospitality.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership is currently interviewing UCF Rosen College students to fill four summer WYNternship positions, which are all set to begin on May 29, 2012.  Students interested in the internship opportunities, as well as other full and part time work with Wyndham Vacation Ownership should refer to the UCF’s Rosen College listserv communications and/or contact Tom Barr or Veena Garib in Student Services for additional information.

The Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida is one of eight academic institutions in the United States, who are current members of ARDA’s vast network of industry professionals and organizations.