Program Spotlight: Hospitality Management

posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 in  College News

Almost anywhere you go, you will find jobs in hospitality management, from established hotel and restaurant chains to locations a little more off the beaten path.

“Maybe you want to travel the world by sea and manage a crew on a private yacht, or manage a resort in the Himalayas where tourists come to see Mount Everest,” said Ashley Gracia, Hospitality Management program advisor at Hawkeye Community College. “The hospitality business truly opens up all avenues.”

The Hospitality Management program prepares students for supervisor and manager positions in hotels, resorts, restaurants, institutions, and clubs. Students gain an understanding of the administrative and practical skills to manage food and lodging operations, from nutrition to marketing to human resources. Much of this knowledge comes from practical, hands-on learning.

“You get your feet on the ground right away,” said Sararose Holding, a second-year student originally from Maui, Hawaii. Holding came to Iowa to study at the University of Northern Iowa, where she received a degree in exercise science. She worked several hospitality jobs to help pay for school, and soon realized that was the career she wanted to pursue. 

Holding works full time as food and beverage supervisor at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cedar Falls, and is able to put what she learns in class to use on a daily basis.

Hospitality Management students have new opportunities for hands-on learning at the new Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center in downtown Waterloo. The program will have a role in managing Mac’s Place, the coffee shop located in the center. They can also utilize the catering kitchen connected to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hall on the building’s third floor.

Students take many field trips where they get to hear from area managers, owners, and chefs about what it’s like to work in the industry. This spring, students will take the program’s first study abroad trip to Greece, touring hotels, restaurants, and a farm.

“If you have a passion for hospitality and enjoy working in fast-paced environments, you should definitely enroll in this program,” Holding said. For more information on the Hospitality Management program, call 319-296-4000 or visit


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