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Hospitality Students Gained Valuable Experience in the Summer

Many Californian schools’ back-to-normal, face-to-face instruction plan was interrupted at the beginning of the spring semester due to a new wave (variance) of COVID cases. It was not until this fall semester that we resumed most classes in face-to-face mode. At the beginning of the semester, I met a few hospitality students from the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona who were excited to return to campus. I was curious about how our students spent their summer. I also want to know how prepared they are for school. 
Who are the students I met? 
I interviewed four students. They are:
Adrian Laksmono (AL), a senior student from Toronto, Canada, is a hospitality major with a lodging operation emphasis and a minor in finance. 
Andrew Soel (AS), a first-year student from New York, is a hospitality major. 
Demi Quevedo (DQ), a senior student from Orange County, CA, is a hospitality major emphasizing on event management. 
Lex Fuller (LF) is a junior student from San Diego, CA. 
What did students do over the summer to prepare for a new academic year? 
“I completed an internship at the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay. I got to experience food running, serving, service assistant --- a fancy word for busser, and posting. I also (want to) shout out the managers there.” (AL)
“I worked at the La Jolla Shores Hotel. I was a front desk agent there over the summer, and it was very fun … I also prepared myself by learning a lot about the industry with my managers and stuff on my own job that allows me to excel with a lot of these programs.” (LF)
“I was a front desk agent at the J.W. Marriott Anaheim Resort. That was fun!” (DQ)
“I had the opportunity to work in a limited-service property back in New York. I had just a ton of opportunities to work through different departments and see everything that the property offered.” (AS)
What fun activities did our students do over the summer? 
“I went to Lake Tahoe. I explored that side of the hospitality industry by staying at a lodge up there. And then, I went down to San Francisco, exploring the city. It was my first time there, so it was a very different experience from San Diego. At the same time, it was a lot of fun.” (LF)
“I went to a music festival by myself. Something I would never do before, and I think that’s pretty cool.” (AL)
“I went to a lot of Dodger games. I’m a big baseball fan, so I went to Dodger Stadium.” (DQ)
“I traveled to Europe. I saw London, Paris, and Ireland. I’ve got to see much of different hospitality.” (AS)
What do the students look forward to in the new semester/academic year? 
“I am super excited to finally be on campus, and the weather (in Southern California) is just such a great way to really getting me out every morning and up the hill.” (The Collins College is located on a hilltop on the Cal Poly Pomona campus) (AS)
“I am looking forward to the semester. I’m taking 15 units, and they are exciting in-person classes, so I can’t wait to get involved … I am excited to take a lot of different classes like the STR Market Competition and stuff like that. They are very focused on the number side of hospitality … I am taking a professional cooking class now. So, I did a lot of cooking.” (LF)
“I am super excited to see everything that Collins has to offer. I’m really lucky this semester to be able to take a super awesome course relevant to STR and data analysis, so I’m really enjoying kind of the number side of hospitality.” (AS)
“I am just living my life at Collins by going to different conferences and being involved on campus. I’m excited to see the people again because I know we’re fully back in person. Like the other day, I saw someone that I had not seen ever since the first year.” (AL)
“I am just looking forward to gaining a bunch of new knowledge throughout my classes, making some new friends in my last year, and getting more involved on campus for sure.” (DQ)
Positive energy gives us hopes
Although these four students could only represent a tiny group of hospitality students, it seems they all gained valuable experience in the hospitality industry while having fun over the summer. I could quickly feel the positive energy from these students. I am with these students, looking forward to an exciting semester and a new academic year. A bright future is waiting for all of us!  

Note: This post was also published in Hospitality News Magazine


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