The hospitality industry is fast-paced and ever changing. How do hospitality leadership faculty stay current on the latest trends? They complete externships.
Hotel Nikko faculty externship
Most recently, two faculty spent a week at Hotel Nikko (starting July 15) to observe all operation systems. Their goal was to connect with industry and incorporate the information in their classrooms.
Dr. Liza Cobos, assistant professor, and Wajeana White, instructor, experienced every aspect of Hotel Nikko. They spent about a half a day with all operational departments, including housekeeping, security, marketing and engineering.
“It was valuable to see and understand how cohesive the whole operation must be to achieve that level of service,” Cobos said. “They are all very focused and work seamlessly towards achieving their goal.”
Hotel Nikko is a four-star hotel in San Francisco, California. The Hotel Nikko team is working on getting the fifth Forbes Star.
“This was a great opportunity to see the behind the scenes of a high-end hotel,” Cobos said. “This opportunity also allowed us to learn what employers are looking for when recruiting students, which helps us prepare the students better for careers in the industry.”
Cobos also was impressed that the hotel is dog-friendly, with a canine mascot named Buster.
Alumni ties to Hotel Nikko
On top of that, more than 10 Missouri State hospitality leadership students are working there, either as permanent employees or in the manager-in-training program.
Students in the training program work in every department, trying to find the right fit for them.
“It is very unusual for young graduates to have jobs and opportunities to work in a highly rated hotel without much experience,” White said. “Hotel Nikko currently employs 11 of our alumni and we were able to interact and see how each one of them are developing and growing their careers.”
The general manager of Hotel Nikko, Anna Marie Presutti, is also alumni. Presutti and her team come back to MSU each fall to recruit future Hotel Nikko managers.
“The great thing about the hospitality industry is that we build solid relationships with each other that lasts a lifetime,” White said.