HTM Internship Details
“There's a lot more to it than just smiling at people behind a desk. This job takes hard work and dedication and I have so much more respect for the people that do this now.”
Alison James, HTM Internship
For the student of the Hospitality & Tourism Management Program
We require all HTM students to complete the following hospitality work experience:
- 400 hours of hospitality experience prior to being admitted into their third year
- 300 hours of paid hotel or restaurant work experience in the junior year
- 300 hours of paid work experience in the senior year
Before You Enter Upper Division:
400 hours of hospitality work experience is required to get into upper division. You can:
- Complete hours any time before starting upper division classes (work during high school or before entering SDSU counts).
- Work part-time during school or full-time during summer and breaks.
- Work in any hospitality job, but we encourage you to work in your area of emphasis that you will be studying. Examples are: SDSU catering; SDSU Viejas Arena; SDSU Student Union; hotel front desk; hotel food and beverage; restaurant host; and restaurant server.
Please note: Retail is not considered hospitality experience. If you are unsure that your job fulfills this requirement or need assistance in finding employment, please set up a meeting with a lower division advisor.
Pre-Internship Meeting: In your second semester of your sophomore year, you must attend a Pre-Internship Meeting. This is an important part of understanding the required internships and your attendance ensures your placement in the Internship Search Database from which you will receive frequent postings that qualify for the 398 internship. Christina Jeffries, Associate Director of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Student Center for Professional Development, will announce dates via email each semester.
During the junior year of the HTM curriculum, students enroll in the Hotel Work Experience Internship (HTM 398). Students receive an overview of the internship requirements to include a checklist of many tasks to complete during their time at the hotel, which are solely their responsibility as to not be a burden to you, the employer. There are several internship structures from which to choose and these may be customized according to the property and student needs. You may rotate students around the key departments or base them in one area and assign time to shadow or work in other departments as business allows.
The minimum time the student should be employed is for 300 hours, which is approximately 20 hours per week over the course of a 15-week semester. However, it is not unusual for students to choose to work for longer than the 300 hours. Most are employed during their entire junior year, which is a benefit to your property. During summer, students may be able to work full-time and they may also complete their internship anywhere in the world as long as the experience is relevant to the curriculum.
Students must attend a mandatory meeting with Christina Jeffries, Associate Director of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Student Center for Professional Development, the semester PRIOR to enrolling in the class. Dates and times of these presentations will be posted and e-mailed out during the first few weeks of every semester. To be able to enroll in the class, students must be signed into the major and have completed all lower division classes along with HTM 301, which is a required class prerequisite.
Restaurant Work Experience Internship: As above but restaurant emphasis students may complete their junior year internship in a restaurant, where they will complete tasks with a similar checklist as above that is oriented towards restaurant operations.
Casino Work Experience Internship: As above but tribal gaming emphasis students may complete their junior level internship in a casino.
During the senior year of the HTM curriculum, students must also enroll in an internship (HTM 498) with a hospitality organization, but this experience is relevant to their emphasis:
- Hotel Operations
- Restaurant Operations
- Meetings & Events
- Tribal Gaming
Students will be tasked with completing a special project while employed in a relevant position. This should have a “real-world” benefit to the employer as well as to the student, such as a sales or service improvement plan or research project. The minimum time the student should be employed is for 300 hours, which is approximately 20 hours per week over the course of a 15-week semester.
All HTM internships must be paid in order for students to receive credit. Unpaid internships will on occasion be allowed, however we caution employers to follow unpaid internship guidelines. Details may be found at http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf.
SDSU will provide liability insurance for all students enrolled in the internship class and a Student Learning Agreement will be signed by both the employer and SDSU. The form is available at http://bfa.sdsu.edu/.
Students should meet directly with Christina Jeffries, Associate Director of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Student Center for Professional Development, the semester prior to enrolling in the class to discuss options. Appointments can be made by calling the HTM office at 619-594-4964.