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Talent Matters: The Rosen College of Hospitality Management

As Orlando remains the most visited destination in the United States, with a record 62 million visitors last year, it makes sense that the largest, most advanced and most modern facility for hospitality management education would be built in the Central Florida region. Rosen College of Hospitality Management is a 159,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility, and is the largest facility to be built for hospitality management education. The college includes 18 high-tech classrooms, a 200-seat training dining room and bar, two test kitchens, a 400-seat auditorium, an executive education center, a beer and wine laboratory and other more common essentials, such as a library, computer labs, fitness center and café.

Classroom_SettingThe unique branch campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF) opened in 2004 under the original name of the Rosen School of Hospitality Management. The facility went from dream to reality thanks largely to Harris Rosen, a local hotelier who donated money and land totaling $18.2 million for the construction and completion of the campus. a domino effect ensued, with other hospitality companies abounding the region donating funds as well to the campus, including the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, Walt Disney World, Sea World, the Universal Orlando Foundation, Marriot and Darden Restaurants.

The mission of the now Rosen College of Hospitality Management involves the efforts of UCF to educate future global hospitality trailblazers in the industry’s leading market, and in what better place than in the region that most celebrates tourism and hospitality? They develop these future leaders and hospitality front-runners through tightknit community and industry partnerships, cutting- edge research, and advanced academic programs, as well as opportunities to learn from internationally-acclaimed experts in the field, guest speakers, participation in competitive internships, obtain scholarships and memberships and much more.

Students can earn graduate, undergraduate degrees and certificates in various courses of study related to hospitality management, including events, food service, and destination marketing. students also are attracted to the many awards and accolades earned by Rosen College. Just recently, CEOWORLD Magazine ranked Rosen College number fifth out of their list of 50 of the best hospitality and hotel management schools in the world. the results came out of a global survey of 18,000 hospitality recruiters and senior managers of luxury hotels around the world. Rosen College also offers fantastic scholarship opportunities. This past March, a total of $291,000 in scholarships was awarded during a special ceremony to 83 graduate and undergraduate students, a record number as it was the highest amount ever awarded in the history of the college. The funds came through the support of over 20 community partners in the hospitality industry, highlighting outstanding students who met criteria that included industry experience, academic performance, philanthropy, and their professionalism, service and passion for hospitality.

Wine_ClassOrlando is famous for housing some of the world’s top-rated resorts, theme parks, convention centers, restaurants and other attractions, all in direct correlation to the hospitality industry. Orlando would not be able to thrive, and would probably not be the most visited destination in the world, if it were not for the professionalism, the kindness, and the genuine care given to tourists while in the region, ensuring a time they won’t soon forget and will want to experience again and again. These experiences are made possible by those who work in and run the tourism and hospitality industry, and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management continues to excel in producing the great staff and successful leaders in the industry that continue to give those experiences.

George Aguel

President & CEO of Visit Orlando

Growing the Trade: Orlando’s Tourism Jobs Continue to Flourish

The hospitality industry is growing at a remarkable pace. according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, by the year 2025 the hospitality and tourism sector will account for one out of every 10 jobs in the world. That translates into 7 million jobs per year over the next decade. When we look closer to home, we see that in Orlando tourism careers accounted for a third of the destination’s 2015 job growth — that’s up 5.3 percent over last year and growing at a faster rate than any other industry. It’s the kind of momentum you’d expect from the most-visited destination in America.

All this is cause for optimism for those of us who make our living welcoming the many visitors who come to our destination each year. But to make sure we are prepared for all who will come in the future, we must see to it that we are developing tomorrow’s hospitality professionals just as fast as the demand for their services. That’s where UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management plays a key role. Together with our Visit Orlando members, we are fostering a destination where state-of-the-art facilities and superior education meet a world-class environment where students can refine real-world skills and graduate with a degree that will be best in the tourism industry.

Let’s take a closer look at why Orlando is the ideal location to lead the pursuit of travel-related careers. to begin with, the size of our local industry means today’s job-seekers will find opportunities in a wide-range of careers — from operational positions to highly-skilled professional jobs. From restaurants to theme parks, resorts to entertainment, the sheer variety of Orlando’s opportunities make us a natural fit for these gifted graduates. Whether it’s a young chef fresh out of culinary school or an MBA graduate looking to manage a luxury resort property, the opportunities seem endless.

In addition, the event management sector is expected to account for one in every 11 jobs by 2020. That’s good news for Orlando which continues to welcome professional sports teams, arts and cultural attractions and entertainment venues. And don’t forget, Orlando was also recognized recently as the number one destination for meetings and events in the united states and second for major trade shows. That means premium jobs for event planners and meeting coordinators.

All in all, tourism here in Orlando is big business and the opportunities for success extend to many in our community who enjoy the hospitality industry. The Rosen College of Hospitality Management — the largest facility of its kind and one of the many reasons orlando continues to be a world leader in travel.

For more information on the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, visit hospitality.ucf.edu.

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