Nyekeva Black – Tourism and Hospitality Management
Class of 2015
I originally entered the Recreation, Parks and Tourism major because I knew I definitely had two solid interests; business and travelling. I had a pretty narrow perspective of the industry at the time but I decided to pursue hospitality management and I have stuck with it since. There are a lot of avenues to choose from with this degree if you’re looking for something flexible.
UF’s program is intimate and the curriculum is versatile. You’re provided with background knowledge of the industry and an unbeatable network of Gators to rely on. In the end, it is what you make of it. I’ve taken a lot of interesting classes and I got to study abroad in Russia/Germany (which was funded by the department). I made the most of my time by volunteering for various internships in the industry (Hilton, Kimpton, etc.) even when it wasn’t required and I have found that it is the best way to hone your skills and become a competitive candidate. The skills I’ve gained from interning have enabled me to smoothly transition into the workplace as a fresh graduate and I have a good head start on everyone else. My advice to future students in the major is to network and volunteer as much as you can. Having experience and a strong network of contacts is the best way to get your foot in the door in this industry. After I officially graduate, I want to continue working for a few years and then pursue a Masters in either International Relations or Business. I’ve hopped around between the hotel sector and the travel industry a lot during the past few months and many doors have opened since then. The opportunities are endless; I look forward to the places I will go!