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Hospitality and Tourism Management

Before coming to the college, Akane Kasutani studied business at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan. Ultimately, she wanted to find a university with a strong hospitality program. While researching colleges in the U.S., she learned that Travel + Leisure magazine ranked Charleston the world’s No. 1 tourist destination. That’s when her choice became super easy.

Akane knew she wanted to end up in the hospitality industry, but she wasn’t sure what her focus would be. Through her classes at the College, she had the opportunity to learn the various subsets of that industry. “Now I know that hotel management is what I want to pursue professionally,” she says.

What helped clarify matters was the required internship in her hotel management course. She did that at the Belmond Charleston Place hotel. “What I wanted to get out of this internship was an overview of hotel operations,” she explains. “So, I’ve been shadowing people who run the front desk, concierge services, financial office, laundry, housekeeping, etc. You have to be really flexible and, of course, you have to multitask a lot. Plus, this is a four-star property that participates in a mystery shopper program. You never know when you’re being judged for a ranking.”

One thing Akane really likes about the hospitality and tourism program is the emphasis placed on developing hands-on skills. “For my intro to hospitality class, we had to interview tourists. This was daunting because I wasn’t even sure these people would be willing to talk with me. I had to work up to it.”

As she prepares herself for her dream job of working in group sales, Akane makes the most out of her interaction with the department’s well-connected faculty. “And the city of Charleston has amazing opportunities in this field. It’s not surprising to learn that there are more internship opportunities and jobs in Charleston than our program can actually fill.”

History - Clerc Cooper

Contact Information

Wayne Smith
department chair
Department of Hospitality
and Tourism Management
843.953.6663

Our faculty members deliver high-quality education in hospitality management, supported by a progressive series of practical, applied and experiential learning opportunities that take place in one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. Students learn to be guest-focused, innovative and globally aware. They’re also trained to be effective communicators, able to excel in the many facets of this growing industry.

❱❱ Students can focus their coursework in hotel and resort management, food service management or events management.

❱❱ Students can emphasize sales and marketing, human resource management or general management.