UD student Kristiana Perini completed a summer internship in Tuscany.

International internship

Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management student interns in Tuscany

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8:19 a.m., Oct. 16, 2012--A new three-month summer internship with Shaner Italia Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Tuscany gave Kristiana Perini, a senior honors student in the University of Delaware’s Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (HRIM) an insider’s look at the industry and unique lessons to complement her studies this fall.

Marriott’s Courtyard Newark at the University of Delaware campus hotel has a long-standing educational relationship with Shaner Hotels, and after the company branched out to Italy in February 2012 and rebranded the Shaner Italia as a Marriott hotel, the HRIM advisory board saw the potential to give students an authentic internship experience.

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According to Fred J. DeMicco, ARAMARK Professor in HRIM who served as a member on the HRIM advisory board and helped plan the program, this was the first international internship for the department in many years.

“The successful Shaner Italia hotel internship in Tuscany opened up a world of opportunities for Kristiana and will continue to do so for future HRIM students,” said DeMicco.

As the first HRIM student to participate in the international internship, Perini got a firsthand look at the complex operations of the hotel in Tuscany and assisted with translating all hotel menus to meet Marriott standards.

“Almost everything was in Italian,” said Perini. “The staff was extremely welcoming, but it was beneficial that I knew the basics of the language.” 

Perini was also introduced by hotel staff to customs and a variety of management perspectives and worked in all areas from housekeeping, sales and marketing, to the food and beverage department, which gave her a wide exposure to multiple fields and helped her recognize how operations intertwined.

“It was good to learn about the different techniques in the kitchen and experience firsthand how their culture operated,” said Perini, who was already familiar with restaurant operations at Vita Nova, HRIM’s faculty- and student-operated applied learning restaurant laboratory. “I worked in all the departments but my favorite was food and beverage.”

For Perini, both Vita Nova training and her experience in at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Tuscany helped her relate classroom lessons to the business world. 

“Hospitality as a degree is helpful but the experience is what makes everything worth it,” said Perini. “Shaner Italia was a great group to work with. I learned more Italian, studied their culture and gained valuable experience in my major.”

Added DeMicco, “Now that Kristiana has returned with such a great success, we look forward to establishing more international management internships in the future for our UD students to prepare for the growing global hotel industry.” 

Article by Rachel Howard

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