A new partnership will give University of South Florida students the opportunity to get hands-on hospitality training at more than 100 locations across the country.
The university’s Muma College of Business and Tampa-based McKibbon Hospitality signed an agreement Wednesday creating a teaching lab that will allow students in the college’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management to gain experience at McKibbon properties, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG hotels.
“Students who learn alongside and inside of these global brands will be equipped with much-needed operational skills and hands-on training that the industry needs,” Cihan Cobanoglu, dean of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, said in a news release.
Along with the partnership, USF will expand its hospitality management program.
Currently, that degree is offered only through the university’s Sarasota-Manatee campus, though the St. Petersburg campus has a hospitality leadership program. But starting in 2022, the degree also will be offered on the St. Petersburg and Tampa campuses, the news release said.
“This partnership between USF and McKibbon Hospitality opens up an important training opportunity and gives our graduates a competitive advantage,” Moez Limayem, the Lynn Pippenger Dean at the USF Muma College of Business, said in the release.
McKibbon chairperson John McKibbon said the partnership will benefit both organizations.
“In addition to providing unique training and development in preparation for their future careers,” he said, “we look forward to the new perspectives and fresh ideas that students will share with our hotel leadership teams, strengthening not only our operations, but the industry as a whole.”