International Tourism & Hospitality Management Resources

Internships

The internship plays a critical role and is an important component of our IHT curriculum, affording students the opportunity to gain practical experience, build their resume, make industry contacts and, potentially, work their way into a fascinating job and career. (In today’s market, most industries view experience to be equally important as education and look for graduates with industry experience.)

The professional internship is performed under the guidance of a mentor-supervisor in a host agency located anywhere in the world that furthers their career aspirations. Saint Leo students have recently performed internships at host agencies such as:

  • AAA
  • Amazonia Expeditions
  • Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism
  • Busch Gardens
  • Florida Strawberry Festival
  • Four Seasons Resorts
  • Palm Beach Community Events
  • Ritz-Carlton Resorts
  • Saddlebrook Resort & Spa
  • St. Augustine Ecotours
  • Sea World Parks
  • Tampa Convention Center
  • Walt Disney World Resorts

Internships Credit Requirements: IHT majors are required to perform at least 6 credit hours of internship. (They may also elect to perform additional credit hours of internship, earning all of their credits at one time; or, perform more than a single internship at more than one host agency to broaden their experience, or to sample more than one industry sector, company, or location.)

For each 3 credit hours earned, students are expected to perform a minimum of 150 contact hours at a host agency. Exact internship work schedules are developed based upon the needs and availability of both the host agency and the individual student.

Arrangements: Most host agencies have established internship programs or management trainee positions available. Others may accept interns on an individual basis and arrange the internship program accordingly.

Host agencies are contacted either directly by the student, or by their course instructor/faculty supervisor, to discuss the possibility of an internship. Students are expected to apply on their own by contacting the appropriate office or individual at the host agency for presentation of their resume, academic record, and discussion of their interests and the host agency’s opportunities. (The course instructor/faculty supervisor is available to clarify policies and assist in structuring the internship.)

Compensation: Host agencies vary in their policies regarding pay, stipends, and other forms of compensation for student interns. Students always appreciate an opportunity to make money. While we would hope that all students acquire paid internships, some are unpaid. This issue is settled directly between the host agency and the intern.

Health Insurance: Students are covered by Saint Leo University insurance while performing their internship.

Testimonials

 “My internship at Disney was a truly amazing opportunity to gain experience in the hospitality industry. I was able to take the knowledge learned in the classroom and apply it to a real-world setting. Having an internship enhanced my guest service, leadership, and problem solving skills which has prepared me for the future and helped me get my current position. Along with many other opportunities for learning, leadership and working at Saint Leo, my internship has greatly prepared me for the industry.” – Brittany Brasseur ’13, Assistant Credit Manager, Louis Garneau Sports

 “Having recently graduated from Saint Leo University, I feel that I was adequately prepared for transition into the workforce. Saint Leo’s IHT program, including the classroom experience and the required internship credits, allows students to become well-rounded individuals. I am glad that while still in school, I could get real-world experience by participating in an internship. It helped me decide which career path I wanted to follow and helped me adapt to the working world.” – Corey Ryan ’13, Accounting Clerk, Embassy Suites LBV South

Scholarship Links

Many organizations provide scholarships for students of hospitality and tourism programs. Listed below are helpful links to some of those opportunities:

American Hotel and Lodging Association

American Resort Development Association Academic Outreach Scholarship Competition

Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association

Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals

Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals Mid-Florida Chapter

Meeting Planners International

National Association of Catering and Events

National Society of Minorities in Hospitality

Tampa Bay Hospitality Alliance Scholarship

Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society, Scholars Awards Program