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Hospitality Partnerships Supports Post Grads

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Aramark Collegiate Hospitality and the University of South Florida’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management know a strong educational foundation coupled with hands-on experience leads to post-graduation success.

Since 2022, the two entities have collaborated to fulfill the hospitality school’s mission to provide students with a comprehensive education that seamlessly integrates theoretical knowledge with practical industry experience. In May, a new class of USF/Aramark fellows  graduates with valuable service leadership experience.

The partnership between USF’s School of Hospitality and Tourism and Aramark exemplifies the power of collaboration in shaping the future of the hospitality industry

The first year of the partnership resulted in 100 per cent job placement for the inaugural Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 classes.

“The partnership between USF’s School of Hospitality and Tourism and Aramark exemplifies the power of collaboration in shaping the future of the hospitality industry,” says Cihan Cobanoglu, Dean of USF’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. 

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“By seamlessly integrating classroom learning with hands-on experience, fostering mentorship opportunities, and investing in the education of future leaders, this partnership serves as a beacon of excellence in preparing students for successful careers in hospitality. Together, we are not just building careers; we are cultivating a legacy of innovation, professionalism, and excellence in hospitality education.”

At the heart of this partnership lies a unique initiative: Aramark’s proactive engagement with first-year USF graduate hospitality students, providing practical experience and reinforcing classroom teaching with real-world application. The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management also can access the culinary and restaurant facilities across USF’s three campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee. These experiences provide students professional experience and even the chance to participate in the expansion of residential dining in development at the Sarasota-Manatee campus.

According to surveys, the experience has been instrumental in shaping students’ understanding of the sector, helping to prepare them for challenges ahead, and fostering attention to detail that comes from hands-on experience. They have earned ServSafe certificates and developed customer service and communications skills, cultural acuity, and a comprehensive understanding of food operations. 

David DiSalvo, District Manager for Aramark at USF, says: “It would be difficult to find a program that has comparable rigor and depth to USF. Having strong ties between academia and industry is not only key to our strategic pipeline of talent but also allows students to have a sophistication about the intricacies of hospitality management upon graduation. The opportunities for learning, development, and innovation created through partnerships like this are endless.”

Aramark executives are regularly featured as guest speakers in USF hospitality classes, providing guidance, inspiration, and networking opportunities for future hospitality leaders. Students actively engage with Aramark in class research projects—an endeavor that develops research skills and provides Aramark valuable insights that inform ongoing operations and strategic initiatives. 

Students take International Hospitality Management and Introduction to Food Management classes in a teaching lab space at the Argos Exchange restaurant on USF’s Tampa campus, and the partnership has spurred creative projects such as the USF Hospitality Food Sustainability Student Competition and campus engagement events to highlight USF’s diverse community through cuisine.

“When I speak about partnership with Aramark Collegiate Hospitality, I talk about the Hospitality Ecosystem on campuses,” says Jack Donovan, President and CEO of Aramark’s higher education division. “We are not satisfied with transactional relationships. What we do is analyze a school’s culture and needs and build a system that supports many audiences and enhances what that campus can offer its community. Our collaboration with USF represents the best of this.”

The University of South Florida School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is one of six schools in the Muma College of Business, which leverages analytics, critical thinking and creativity to empower its scholars and graduates to lead and transform the future of business. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International, the Muma College of Business works to drive student success, produce scholarship with impact, and generate innovation in partnership with our community. The college comprises business programs on all three USF campuses across Tampa Bay and serves more than 8,400 students.

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Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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  • Staff Reporter

    FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

    View all Articles

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