On February 6 and 7, one doctoral and four undergraduate students from Rosen College joined faculty and students from other institutions for the Tampa Bay Hospitality Alliance’s FAM Educational Experience 2015. While FAM trips are typically reserved for travel writers and agents, this one had a different objective – to increase student awareness of career opportunities in Tampa in order to attract educated and skilled employees to the city’s tourism and hospitality industry. Highlights from the two-day program included:

  • Informative guided tour of hotels, entertainment venues and tourist attractions in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties
  • Introductions to hotel GMs and key staff members with overviews of their daily operations
  • Speakers, including GMs, executive chefs, directors of operations/sales/ HR, etc.
  • Career Fair Mini-Tradeshow
  • Networking and employment opportunities
  • Although the program typically takes place biannually in February, the Alliance will consider hosting it on an annual basis if there is demand.

    “I think this was a phenomenal experience for the students and educators because it gave us a close-up look at all that Tampa’s hospitality industry has to offer,” said Dr. Asli Tasci, assistant professor at Rosen College who attended the FAM trip. “In fact, this kind of program is an effective and strategic promotional tool that other destination management organizations in Florida should consider implementing in the future.”

    In addition to the FAM Educational Experience, the Tampa Bay Hospitality Alliance has been a strong supporter of tourism and hospitality education, providing several annual scholarships to students, including those attending Rosen College.

    For more information about hospitality education at Rosen College, please visit hospitality.ucf.edu.