Chaplin School Career Office Places Students in Management Positions

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In two and a half years since it expanded, the Florida International University, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management’s J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Career Development Office has successfully placed more than 200 students in management positions immediately after graduation, while 100 percent of students graduate with internship or work experience.

The office, which is funded by The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, provides students with access to internships, jobs and management in training programs with brands across the hospitality industry. It also funds scholarships to attend industry events, national conferences and global competitions.Now, with an additional $225,000 grant providing an additional three years of operating funds, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation will continue to take the lead in promoting hospitality education worldwide, reflecting the entrepreneurial spirit of the pioneers for which it is named.“The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Career Development Program at the Chaplin School helped me shape and expand my understanding of the hospitality and tourism industry. The services they provided gave me the skills and confidence to get a head start in my career,” said Stephanie van Romondt, who was selected to participate in a management in training program in Dubai with Kerzner International.

The goal of the grant is to ensure that students receive a well-rounded academic education with a focus on professional skills in the areas of communication, language, leadership and cultural awareness.“The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation is a big supporter of the hospitality industry as a whole and of our program, in particular. The success of the career development office demonstrates how FIU and the Marriott Foundation are working together to create development opportunities for students, so they can reach their maximum potential in life and career,” said Mike Hampton, dean of the Chaplin School.

The Marriott Foundation aims to prepare students for the rigorous demands of hospitality careers by supporting exceptional hospitality programs at select colleges and universities across the United States.“As hospitality education is a priority focus area for the Marriott Foundation, we are passionate about making a difference in students’ lives and helping prepare them for successful careers in the hospitality industry,” said Anne Gunsteens, executive director of the Marriott Foundation. “We are very pleased with the impact of this grant and will continue to nurture our long-standing relationship with FIU’s Chaplin School.”

FIU Carnival Gold Scholars
By Jennifer Lacayo
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This fall, five recent high school graduates from across South Florida began classes at Florida International University in the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management as the third cohort of Carnival Gold Scholars, a program established by Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation & plc. Selected for their outstanding academics, personal ambition, and financial need, this new slate of scholars represents the pinnacle of pre-collegiate achievement.

After immigrating to the U.S. as a child, Taisha Coradin overcame language and cultural challenges to excel in high school, where she served three years in the Navy Junior ROTC. At FIU, she plans to focus on event management and culinary innovation.

Serena Beze was president of the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism in high school and plans to major in travel and tourism as she works to become the first member of her immediate family to graduate from college.

While helping her mother, who is disabled, Leah Esper found time for academics and activities in high school; she received the Hospitality and Tourism merit diploma for her exceptional extracurricular accomplishments. Her career goal is to work in communication, and travel and tourism.

Working part time to help her family, Dyani Roberts still found time in high school to serve as Vice President of the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) chapter and place in the statewide competitions, and complete a year-long internship at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale. After college, she wants to work in human relations within the hospitality industry.

Despite multiple relocations and family separations, Faith Snow found her focus in high school, where she received the Hospitality Excellence Award from the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. She wants to prepare for a career in hotel management.

Every Carnival Gold Scholar is rewarded for academic success with an annual scholarship renewal provided he or she remains in good academic standing. This results in a fully-funded bachelor’s degree, allowing the student to graduate without debt. Including this latest gift, the Carnival Corporation, one of South Florida’s largest employers, has invested $1.2 million in the Carnival Gold Scholars program through Carnival Foundation. “As a long-time supporter of our school and the South Florida community, Carnival Foundation is making a real difference in students’ lives,” said Mike Hampton, dean of FIU’s Chaplin School. “This scholarship donation continues to allow us to attract and retain the best students who, as tomorrow’s leaders, will be prepared to design and develop the customer experiences of the future. We couldn’t be more fortunate to collaborate with Carnival in shaping the future of the hospitality and tourism industry.”

The partnership between Carnival and FIU began in 2008 with a pledge from Carnival Foundation that led to the creation of the Carnival Student Center on FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus. “These five new Carnival Gold Scholars are an impressive addition to our program and we congratulate them on earning our scholarship, which will allow them to pursue their dream of working in hospitality and tourism,” said Linda Coll, executive director of Carnival Foundation. “Carnival Foundation is committed to working with FIU and the Chaplin School to create the next generation of industry professionals.”

FIU Hospitality Student’s Reflections
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Counting my blessings has become a daily occurrence in my life. I consistently reflect on the tremendous opportunities that I have recently been given – opportunities I noticed when I began my collegiate career at FIU. Throughout my childhood, I was forced to become independent. If I wanted something, I knew that I would have to work extremely hard to earn it.

During my senior year of high school, my concern for the financial burden that college carried began to weigh heavily on me. In an attempt to fight the impending stress and anxiety, I focused on my faith and positive attitude. This newfound attitude allowed me to release all concerns when I began my first semester at FIU.
Through my hard work, I was recognized and awarded the prestigious Carnival Gold Scholars scholarship during my freshman year. Covering expenses – such as my tuition and fees, room and board, textbooks and supplies – the award has allowed me to strictly focus on my future at FIU. I am now living on campus, spending most of my time studying, and was recently named a dean’s list scholar – something I never imagined possible.

My dream job is to work in the hospitality industry. The Carnival Gold Scholars program has provided me with a variety of connections and experiences. In fact, I will be traveling to New York soon to participate in an internship program in my field of hospitality management thanks to the scholarship. I also volunteer for the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Experiences like these will allow me to turn my dream into a reality.

As I look at my life today, I am proud of the individual I have become. I continue to grow every single day, and I thank the Carnival Foundation for allowing me to strive. They saw the potential I had within myself and gave me hope – two things I will use to reach great heights here at FIU.

Price Destinobles
FIU Hospitality Student


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