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September 10, 2020
REVISED Professional Hours Requirements through 2021 icon-olus-circle

Due to the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in the lack of hospitality and hospitality-related business work opportunities, completing 1,000 hours of professional work experience has been suspended as a pre-requisite requirement of HM492 Advanced Professional Seminar through to the end of 2021 semester. In the event it is necessary, this suspension could be extended.
Although meeting 1,000 hours of professional work requirement has been suspended, the School of Hospitality Management’s faculty are committed to creating new opportunities for HM majors to meet the high standards and exceptional work ethic that all our Penn State alumni are known for throughout the industry. The School’s entire community is looking forward to helping students professionally grow and develop in new ways to demonstrate the resilience, creativity, and compassion that great hospitality leaders cultivate. We are working on new opportunities for our students, both paid and unpaid, within hospitality and related professional, service environments.
New expectations for professional work experiences and development will be forthcoming in the academic year ahead. Substitute professional development activities will be inserted as course requirements in HM 492 in future semesters. To help you better plan your professional development activities and identify your pre-professional experiential needs, follow these steps.
For students wishing to register or registered for HM492 for any of the following semesters - Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021 complete the steps below.
1) Submit all documentation of any work experience (hospitality or other) that you have completed prior to March 15, 2020 to the School of Hospitality Management offices (email directly to Ashley Medina, at your earliest opportunity.
2) Complete a work experience survey form ( see HM 492 Enrollment Request Form below) and submit your current resume. To enroll or remain enrolled in HM492, you will need to complete this form.
3) Read your SHM Hospitality Hotwire, delivered to your Penn State email, each Thursday for more information.

HM 492 Enrollment Request Form

The School of Hospitality Management’s professional experience requirement prepares students for management-level employment. This requirement is designed to provide students with experience that complements their classroom learning and affords them the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Professional experience provides knowledge about the hospitality industry, the chance to learn new skills, and a means to assess strengths and areas for development.

We encourage students to think carefully about their career goals and plan professional experiences to best prepare them for the job they would like to have at graduation. They are encouraged to consider the following questions:

  • What types of professional experience should I pursue now and throughout college to best prepare me for the career path I desire?
  • How will future experiences complement and build upon the experience I already have?
  • Do my jobs increase in challenge, variety, and responsibility? Is there a progression in the experiences I pursue?

Students with the highest quality experiences are best prepared for post-graduate employment and receive the most competitive job offers. Typically, broader and deeper experiences are preferable. For example, a position in which students rotate through multiple positions and learning opportunities will provide better preparation than any single job. Similarly, a position with supervisory responsibilities will be valued more highly by potential employers.

Each student comes to Penn State with different employment histories. Many students have already gained extensive professional experience that will qualify them for higher-level positions. Students who have limited or no professional experience should expect to begin their employment in lower-level jobs and use these experiences as stepping stones to higher-level opportunities.