Continuing Education launched it’s third cohort of the Front Desk Representative Program in partnership with Youth Co-Op Inc., a youth program funded by Career Source South Florida and City Foundation-Ready Set Go Program.  The group of 12 young men and women were from the Homestead, FL area.  The participants are interested in pursing a career in an area related to hospitality and customer service and were attracted by the opportunity to participate in this program. Ms. Olga Cormier was the lead instructor for the program with Mr. Edward Vazquez, Front Office Manager at the Dream South Beach Hotel, co-teaching.  This was Mr. Vazquez first time teaching.  Given his vast experience in training different teams in the hospitality industry, we knew teaching would be a natural to him.  In his own words:

I was honored to be able to teach about the industry that I carry so much passion for.  This was my first experience teaching a class and I can honestly say that it was a truly unique and unforgettable moment in my life. To see the spark of curiosity and intrigue as we went through the lessons speaking about different aspects within hospitality and how those moments are managed by the team was what made the work well worth it each and every week. The students were fantastic and so eager to learn and I hope that they take what they have gathered in the class and apply it effectively to whatever goals and dreams they look to achieve in their future endeavors.

Ms. Cormier organized a field trip to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Miami-Kendall where the students met Mr. Constantino Papadopulos, General Manager of the property, and most important, an FIU Alumni, as well as Michelle who shared her experience as the Front Office Manager of the hotel.

Mr. Papadopulos, General Manger, talking to the students about the hospitality industry.

Mr. Papadopulos, General Manager, talking to the students about the hospitality industry.

Michelle, the hotel's Front Desk Manager talked to the students about how she got to be a Manager in the hospitality industry.

Michelle, the hotel’s Front Desk Manager talked to the students about how she got to be a Manager in the hospitality industry.

What a great learning experience it was for all of us!

What a great learning experience it was for all of us!

So what did the students enjoy the most?  The tour of the property, seeing first hand what they had learned in class, and most important, what the front and back of the house looked like and what role each area played in the overall operations of the hotel.

the importance of the different sizes of conference rooms in the property and capacity

Learning about the importance of the different sizes of conference rooms in the property and capacity. At this property, this is one of the questions Front Desk Representatives will need to be able to answer.

Visiting the common area where the continental breakfast is served

Visiting the common area where the continental breakfast is served and also learning about room capacity.

Visiting the fitness room.

Visiting the fitness room and learning that most properties today have a fitness room and/or pool as people become more aware of the importance of being healthy.

Question

There’s always room for one more question before we leave!

As always, it was a wonderful learning experience for the students.  Visiting the property reinforced what they learned in class.  We thank Mr. Papadopulos and his team, once again, for showing us the true meaning of hospitality, they exceeded our expectations.

THANK YOU Holiday Inn Express & Suites Miami-Kendall team!