Cooperative Education: Hospitality Management
The national award-winning Cooperative Education and Leadership Development Series program in the School of Hospitality Management is an integration of classroom learning and study-related employment. The guiding principle of co-op is to provide the ultimate learning opportunity and industry leadership readiness by integrating periods of work experiences, classroom study, reflection, and experimentation.
Summer Field Experiences
Before entering co-op, students are required to complete two 400-hour paid summer field experiences in different roles, different companies, and better yet, different segments of the hospitality industry. This does triple duty — it gives students an insider’s look at what working in the field is really like, it offers the chance to learn early on what they don’t want to do, and it makes students more marketable to potential employers.
Leadership Development and the Workplace
All students must enroll in the Leadership Development Seminar as a part of the graduation requirement for the hospitality management program. Students enroll in this cooperative education program as a second-semester junior or a first-semester senior and work full-time hours for 16 consecutive weeks during a semester. Each student must accumulate a minimum of 600 working hours to satisfy this co-op requirement. Students are also required to return to the classroom one day each week for the six-hour Leadership Development Seminar.
Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida
Courtney Baron and Claire Maddocks had the opportunity to work full-time at the Ritz Carlton, Naples, Florida, while participating in weekly leadership seminars at Widener University's Main Campus via an e-learning platform. During the semester, they spent time in various guest relations positions and helped coordinate special amenities for VIP guests. Both students accepted full-time management positions in the Marriott Voyage Leadership program upon graduation.
The Union League of Philadelphia
Jaclyn Hald worked at the Union League of Philadelphia in a rotational intern position. She was exposed to the food and beverage operations, special events, and financial management areas of the club.
Linsey Poletti worked at M&T Stadium, home of the Baltimore Orioles, as a catering sales associate. Upon graduation, Linsey joined the ARAMARK team as a full-time sales and marketing manager.