To provide hands-on experiences for students, the University of South Florida has forged new partnerships with two of the biggest leaders in the local hospitality industry.
On Tuesday, hotel operator Mainsail Lodging and Philadelphia-based hotel management company Aramark signed a multi-year partnership with USF’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The effort will result in a combined value of $3.6 million.
“These new ailments build on the innovative hospitality teaching lab program pioneered by McKibbon Hospitality,” said Moez Limayem, dean of Muma College of Business, during Tuesday’s announcement in the commercial building.
McKibbon Hospitality entered into a partnership with USF last year that allows USF hospitality management students to learn from industry experts and gives them access to work with top brands like Marriott. , Hilton and Hyatt.
Through Mainsail, which invests in world-class hotels, students will have the opportunity to gain experience at its properties, including its hotels in Tampa Bay such as Epicurean, Fenway Hotel in Dunedin, Karol Hotel in Clearwater and the Waterline Villas and Marina. on the island of Anna Maria.
The five-year agreement with Mainsail provides for a new funded scholarship program for 10 students per year. The value of the Mainsail deal alone is $1.25 million.
Juli Corlew, Vice President and Managing Partner of Mainsail, explained that she didn’t graduate from hotel school despite majoring in accounting in school; however, she was working in a hotel at the time and continued to rise through the ranks of the hospitality industry. Thirty years later, she is still in the hotel business.
“Everything is so much more technical and advanced. A culinary career is no longer just about cooking, but involves health and wellness, sustainability and the ability to predict future trends. The same goes for design, digital marketing, technology and finance,” she continued, adding the need for purchasing managers: “We need candidates who have ingrained the spirit of hospitality with the training and education of university programs combined with experiential learning.
Meanwhile, Aramark, which currently acts as USF’s primary grantee providing catering services, is entering into an eight-year agreement to provide paid scholarships to up to 10 students per year. Aramark’s deal is valued at $2.5 million.