With its highest employer turnout in recent years, the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida recently hosted its Fall 2012 Career & Experiential Learning Fair. More than 900 students and alumni of the hospitality college registered to meet, network and interview with 61 industry businesses, marking a six percent increase in employer attendance over 2011’s recruiting event.

“We had a great turnout this year,” said Veena Garib, assistant director of employer relations at UCF’s Rosen College. “The college has a great relationship with a lot of local hospitality businesses who continuously recruit our students, but recently our Career Fair has been attracting more out-of-state employers, as well.”

According to Garib, more out-of-state companies are researching hospitality schools online, and are contacting UCF’s Rosen College for recruiting opportunities, after seeing the level of education and experiential learning that it provides its students.

“We are looking to hire people with values and skills that match our reputation,”  said Marleen Bosch of The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, a AAA Four Diamond luxury mountain resort near Vail, Colo. “Rosen College has such a great hospitality program, and that’s why we’ve traveled here to recruit.”

According to Garib, 11 of the 61 employers that attended the Oct. 25 recruiting event were looking to fill positions outside of Florida.

“It’s nice that Rosen brings such a diverse group of hospitality businesses to its Career Fair,” said Amanda Nichols, a senior majoring in Hospitality Management. “Companies around the country are looking to fill jobs for airlines, hotels, country clubs and every other area of hospitality. I had an amazing time networking and learning about all the different industry employers out there.”

During the Career Fair, alumni and students discussed career opportunities and applied for internships, full-time, part-time, and management training positions within the entire spectrum of the hospitality industry. Employers represented everything from foodservice and lodging to destination marketing, events, travel services, and theme park management.

“Some of our students and alumni will get interviews out of this experience and others used it as a networking and learning opportunity,” said Garib. “Either way, if they found a company that piques their interest, I encourage them to follow up with that employer.”

The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management is tentatively planning its Spring 2013 Career & Experiential Learning Fair for late February.