UD student Sara Cannizzaro with Arne M. Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International.

Studying in Tuscany

HRIM student completes internship at Tuscany's Marriott Renaissance Hotel

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10:38 a.m., Aug. 28, 2014--This summer, University of Delaware hotel, restaurant and institutional management (HRIM) student Sara Cannizzaro participated in an internship in Italy, learning cutting-edge skills in Tuscany’s Marriott Renaissance Hotel.

“Professionally, this internship was a valid introduction to the working world,” said Cannizzaro. “I had always worked with a team of people my age or slightly older. During my internship I had the chance to work with people a lot older and, more importantly, with a lot more experience than me. Not only did I get to learn a lot from them, but I also had to find a way to appropriately interact with them.”

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Fred DeMicco, ARAMARK Chair in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at UD, said that summer internships like Cannizzaro’s further strengthen the international offerings of the HRIM program. 

This July, the department signed a memorandum to become a partner of the new Scuola Internazionale di Alta Formazione (SIAF) Campus in Volterra, Tuscany.

“Italy has rich opportunities for all majors at Delaware, from business to engineering, art, design, foreign languages and literatures, agriculture, health and wellness,” said DeMicco. “The new Tuscany UD-SIAF partner campus in Volterra, Tuscany, gives us a beachhead and foundation for future learning on a modern campus in a former Roman town over 3,000 years old.”

In the future, the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management plans to offer a credit-bearing internship course in Asia and Australia. The HRIM faculty recently unanimously approved this course of action.

Opportunities for Cannizzaro and students like her have been made possible by the Shaner Hotel Group, which manages the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Tuscany. The Shaner Group has developed a fruitful partnership with UD in recent years, owning and managing the Marriott Courtyard Newark at the University of Delaware campus hotel.

“Our relationship with UD and our hands-on working relationship with HRIM has successfully reached a global spectrum,” said Plato Ghinos, president of Shaner Group. “This was the third year we successfully had a UD student intern in Tuscany. It is a tremendous experience for both the associates and the students."

Cannizzaro says that she is considering work in the hotel industry in the future.

“I know that I would like to work on an international level, because traveling is second nature to me,” said Cannizzaro. “I have been developing an interest in marketing and sales, while the lodging business has always been a passion of mine.”

Sheryl Kline, chairperson of HRIM at UD, added that her department, which requires all students to complete a 700-hour internship experience, offers a uniquely wide range of internship options.

“One of the benefits of the hospitality industry is that students can work anywhere there are tourism, food service or hotel operations,” said Kline. “Sara’s internship experience at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Italy gave her real-world experience with a global perspective.”

Article by Sunny Rosen

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