Growing up in nearby Portsmouth, I am no stranger to the hospitality industry. Portsmouth is known for its many restaurants, hotels and country clubs. I know just how important it is to have quality service and that you need some good business sense to run a business in hospitality. So how does this relate to the Paul College at UNH? Simple, as an incoming business freshmen we were told that there were three majors we could choose from:
Hospitality Management is my focus today and for some students this major will be their future. Interested to learn more, I spoke with Professor Clayton Barrows, head of the Hospitality Management department. When I asked what made hospitality different from other majors, Professor Barrows responded by saying, “We’re tied to an industry – not just to a functional area of business.”
He went on to say that graduates go to work anywhere from restaurants, hospitals, hotels and even consulting – anywhere hospitality is needed. Professor Barrows went on to talk about all the courses required for the major.
“The core classes are modeled after the business program but hospitality based,” Professor Barrows explained.
He continued on to explain about the specialty classes like food service production and then finished by talking about the “boatload of electives” offered by hospitality management. Characterized as the “fun courses” by Professor Barrows the electives allow students to zero in on what they want to do in hospitality. The electives range from classes like revenue management, beverage and casino management, to private club management. These are among the 13 electives offered by the school and next year there will be 3 specializations offered within the hospitality management major. They also offer smaller class sizes and more one-on-one time with professors than other majors.
Of course the program has always been great – in fact it was just named as one of the top 25 in the country and now they have a school to match. The hospitality suite is a state of the art classroom with an attached kitchen and a multi-purpose classroom. The kitchen is used in the food service production elective and as Professor Barrows stressed to me, “One of the risks is how the public views hospitality — we’re preparing managers, not chefs.”
The major also requires students to get 800 hours experience in hospitality before they graduate and most students will get those hours during the summer months. To get that experience, students can reach out to the extensive alumni network that is renowned across all majors of the Paul College at UNH.
If you’re a prospective hospitality student, you have to be hard working and an extravert! Also, students don’t often come into hospitality management knowing exactly what they want to do. Many students change their specializations after taking a new class or learning something new. When I asked Professor Barrows “why hospitality?” his answer was simple, “It’s a fun major, the industry continues to grow and UNH gets attention from top notch recruiters.”
My overall impression of the hospitality management major was a positive one. Professor Barrows spoke with passion about his department and now with a new school this program is that much better.