The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE gives thousands of FIU hospitality management students hands-on experience and invaluable networking opportunities each year. Melissa del Toro is a data analyst at Carlo’s Bakery. Her experiences at the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE have helped her land her dream job with Buddy Valastro, also widely recognized as the Cake Boss from the hit TLC series. Demi Marroquin, an event manager at the Turnberry Isle Miami, now oversees social and corporate events at the upscale resort, an opportunity resulting from a connection made at SOBEWFF®. While working as a student lead, Stephanie White was hired on the spot by Deco Productions, a preferred décor vendor of the Festival. These are just a few of the student success stories from SOBEWFF®, which held its 15th edition from February 24 to the 28. Just like Del Toro, Marroquin and White, over 1,200 FIU students got the same exposure to potential opportunities when they volunteered for more than 3,700 shifts at this year's Festival. SOBEWFF® gives students the opportunity to gain valuable skills, exposes them to every aspect of producing one of the country’s most popular wine and food festivals, and allows them to gain first-hand experience alongside event organizers, more than 200 sponsors and partners, and world-renowned chefs, like Bobby Flay, Katie Lee, Masaharu Morimoto, Rachael Ray, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart, and more. Their experience pays off with connections and, in many cases, career opportunities. “SOBEWFF® was pivotal for my career. From developing very simple skills to exposing me to situations I had only dreamed about, the experience [...]
From a warm morning coffee to an afternoon iced latte, sometimes, a cup of coffee just helps get us through the day. For FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management students Francia Umanzor and Gabreon Davis, coffee got them internships and full-time jobs with Starbucks. Read the Full Story Photo: FIU hospitality management students and Starbucks internsGabreon Davis and Francia Umanzor.
When Chaplin School junior Diosmary Vega created a Symplicity account to begin her job search in May 2014, she did not know what to expect. She learned about the web-based program from e-mails sent by the career development staff at the Chaplin School and decided to give it a try. She applied for about seven different jobs, and just few days later, she was already interviewing with two hotels in Miami. Diosmary landed a job with the Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach Oceanfront in June 2014, a hotel with a history of recruiting from the Chaplin School. "I think Symplicity is great for finding job opportunities and the process is really simple. I was working at a bank before and had no experience in hospitality. Symplicity helped me get my foot in the industry," Diosmary said. The J. Willard & Alice S. Marriot Foundation Career Development Program has made Symplicity available to Chaplin School students in January 2012. During the 2013-2014 academic year, over 1,700 opportunities for jobs, internships, and volunteer positions were posted. Currently, close to 4,000 students are actively using the system and over 2,000 employers are registered. The office has a dedicated staff who assists students and alumni with professional development workshops, resume and portfolio advising, as well as targeted job search. Chaplin School career advisor Lourdes Gomez was recently profiled in FIU News. Read More