In a previous post, I shared some insight on why I think college degrees matter for a student who is hoping to pursue a hospitality career. When you earn your degree not only are you demonstrating the type of behavior employers are looking for—commitment to success, perseverance, and hard-work—but you become better equipped with the skills necessary to continue to learn over the life of your career.
At Johnson & Wales, we know hospitality. When you enroll in a hospitality program at JWU, either on-campus or online, what you’re actually signing up for is more than 100 years of expertise and professional success.
Like most degrees in hospitality, programs offered by Johnson & Wales University include core business courses that are rounded out by courses focused on the industry itself. But what sets JWU apart is that the curriculum has been designed—and is continually improved—based on recommendations from our industry hiring partners. I often tell students that they are not our “customer”—our hiring partners are our “customers.” Students are the “product” they are purchasing. So it is in everyone’s best interest to assure that our academic programs are focused on creating a product that meets the evolving needs of our customers.
Dedicated Faculty and Staff
One of the reasons I joined Johnson & Wales after I retired from a 30-year career in the hotel industry was because JWU is a business and operates as a business. Always has. Everyone here understands their role. Everyone here understands that the ability to attract and retain students is based largely on how successful our graduates are in their careers. As a faculty member, I am reviewed on a 360-degree basis by my supervisors, my students, and my peers. Finally, and perhaps most important, JWU does not have a faculty tenure system. Everyone here is here because they want to be and they perform. Everyone knows that if they don’t perform, they are gone, and there is a long line of talent who would love to work here. This creates a culture of continual improvement and achievement. Having experienced several different institutions of higher learning, both as a student and as a faculty member, I can assure you this is not the case everywhere. JWU is unique.
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Focus on Experience
In addition to a curriculum constantly improved based on tight integration with our industry partners and a highly motivated and skilled faculty supported by an outstanding staff, we work hard to integrate experience into our programs. The hospitality industry has always been one in which experience is highly valued. It is important for our students to have experience before they graduate, and we work hard to make that happen. Whether it is through internships, part-time jobs during the school year, or the ability to continue their academic programs online over the summers or terms abroad, the integration of student experience is very important.
In addition to education and experience, we help our students understand the importance of being able to think critically and apply logic and reason to solve problems. In my case, I also stress the importance of being highly relocatable so that you may take advantage of opportunities as and where they occur. Being relocatable is extremely important to our hiring partners. It is also one of the terrific things about this industry. You can experience all types of different locations, cultures, and people—and you should do so.