Destination: San Francisco, then successful careers
For the 18th year, PTC’s Hospitality Management students took a Familiarization (FAM) trip, a common practice among hospitality professionals who need to experience, first hand, different destinations so that they can give informed recommendations to their clients. In previous years, PTC FAM trip destinations included San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando, San Antonio, Toronto, and Charleston, SC. In 2018, 24 School of Hospitality students traveled to San Francisco.
Before their journey began, there was work to do:
2. Select a city, and it has to be one that you can get around easily by walking, is culturally diverse, and is known as a leisure and corporate travel destination
3. Create an itinerary
4. Negotiate with vendors
5. Create and finalize contracts
6. Travel and experience the five-day trip
7. Plan for a Travel Show to present their experiences
Once our students arrived in San Francisco (some of whom had never been on a plane before), they explored different modes of transportation, accommodations, entertainment, excursions, and neighborhoods. They were also exposed to industry personnel and met with guest speakers—general managers of hotels, visitors’ bureau, conventions, and restaurant managers. This not only enabled them to network but helped them to hone in on their career interests. Scavenger hunts got them out and about in the city and encouraged team building.
After their trip, they began preparing for a Travel Show and invited over 200 people including family, friends, industry professionals, prospective employers, faculty, and staff to join them for their presentations of their trip—in a way “selling” their experiences to those attendees.
Their presentations focused on different aspects of traveling to San Francisco, including:
- Excursions: Muir Woods National Forest and Sausalito
- Attractions: Alcatraz, Twin Peaks, Ferry Building, and the Golden Gate Bridge
- Entertainment: Different points of interest such as the Dungeon
- Accommodations: Fairmont Hotel (4 diamond, luxury brand)
- Transportation: United Airlines, charter bus, subway, cable cars, scooters, and community passport
- Neighborhoods: Castro District, Chinatown, Haight/Ashbury, North Beach, and Fisherman’s Wharf
- Restaurants: Diverse dining such as Super-Duper Burger, Forest Gump/Bubba Gump, and the Wipe Out Bar & Grill
It’s this kind of well-rounded, hands-on experience that prepares our students for a range of hospitality careers—one that takes them out of the comfort of the classroom and into the world they’ll soon be exploring as a professional.