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Hospitality Administration/Management, General


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What to Expect

Program accreditation is an important element for many students when it comes time to select a school for hospitality and tourism training.

"There were many things I took into consideration when I began searching for a university to attend," says Ling-Hua (Sherry) Chien, who studied hospitality and restaurant administration at Southwest Missouri State University. One of her main reasons for choosing the program was that it was accredited.

That's because accreditation ensures that her degree will be recognized by employers in the hospitality industry.

Vivienne Wildes took doctoral studies at Penn State University's school of hotel, restaurant and recreation management. "Get as much training as you can," she says. "Education is never wasted."

She got an early start in the hospitality industry. "I started waiting tables when I was 13," she says, "and continued doing that through high school and college."

Marc Lubetkin, who also took doctoral studies at Penn State, learned to cook over a campfire when he was a Boy Scout. "By the time I was 15, I was working part time and sometimes full time at various cooking jobs until I finally graduated from high school," he says.

After high school, Lubetkin went to college, but didn't do well there, and dropped out. He spent the next six years in a variety of jobs. "[But] I was always drawn back to cooking, and when I was accepted at the Culinary Institute of America for a two-year program, I was ready for it." That's when it all came together for him.

He wanted to have his own restaurant someday, but he knew he needed a degree to make his dream possible, so he went back to school.

If you plan on getting advanced degrees like Lubetkin and Wildes, don't think you have to complete them one after the other. In fact, Lubetkin recommends getting work experience between degrees. "Moving through school from degree to degree doesn't make much sense," he says.

"In this business, it is far better to go to school for a while and then work for a while. That way, you can apply what you've learned in school to the workplace, just as you bring back to school the things you've learned outside. It puts everything into perspective," he says.


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