Field Trip Creates Real-World Opportunities for Hospitality Students

Hospitality and Tourism Management students with their instructor on a sunny day outside with a fire pit and wooden chairs in front at the Ritz-Carlton in Truckee, CA.
Kate Kirkpatrick

As a Hospitality and Tourism Management student, you will come to expect the unexpected. While you may meet many industry experts who share their knowledge and experience, class content is based in the classroom or online, but an educational trip provides an authentic experience.

“Field trips are an exciting and engaging way to learn about the industry,” said Vanina Coudriet, professor of hospitality and tourism. “These trips play a crucial role in enriching the educational experience of hospitality and tourism students, bridging the gap between theory and application, fostering industry connections, and preparing students for successful careers in this dynamic industry.”

Students in the Hospitality and Tourism program recently enjoyed a field trip to the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, located in Truckee, CA, including complimentary transportation in a mini-bus, courtesy of Reno-Tahoe Limousine.

“The purpose of the field trip to the Ritz-Carlton was two-fold,” said Coudriet. “Students learned about service quality standards from the experts and observed leadership skills, competencies, and behaviors that are successful in the hospitality industry.”

While at the Ritz-Carlton, students participated in a working lunch with presentations from Colin Perry, General Manager, and HR experts. They also had the opportunity to tour the property and experience luxury hospitality firsthand.

“The students were thrilled to visit a luxury hotel, learn from local industry leaders, observe the customer experience concepts we discussed in the classroom, inquire about job opportunities, build community with classmates, and have fun,” said Coudriet. “While at the Ritz-Carlton, the unexpected thing was being able to watch the “Masters of the Craft Competition,” which showcases the extraordinary culinary and beverage talent within Marriott International hotels, beginning with a mystery ingredient that the culinarians and mixologists must use in their final dish or cocktail.

The message from the Ritz-Carlton was clear: in the hospitality and tourism industry, it’s essential to create a culture that guests will appreciate and return to. Students also heard about emphasizing the importance of gaining lifelong guests.

“We are beyond grateful for the support of our industry partners,” said Coudriet. “We’ve had many class speakers and field trips, which allow students to clearly understand all the avenues they can explore for future careers.”

A Growing Industry with Many Career Opportunities

There’s good news for future students who haven’t considered a hospitality and tourism management career, with exciting possible job titles and travel opportunities.

“The job market in H&T continues to grow, especially in this area, as new hotels open and new customer experience opportunities develop,” said Coudriet. “The average annual pay for a Hospitality Tourism job in Northern Nevada is about $50,000 annually.”

Professionals in this field can find work in many types of businesses, including outdoor recreation, entertainment and events, air and ground transportation, and, of course, hotel and food service management. And as the recent field trip showed current students, the variety of the industry focuses on one thing: the customer experience.

“COVID reshaped the landscape of the hospitality and tourism industry,” said Coudriet. “Businesses have adapted to new health and safety standards, changing consumer preferences, and technological innovations to thrive in a post-pandemic world. It’s helped the industry realize the importance of resilience and adaptability. Also, sustainability and well-being are more relevant than ever.”

For more information, visit Hospitality and Tourism Management.