119 | How to Create an Awesome Internship Program with Ron and Kate

Ron Whitfield and Dr. Kate Price-Howard are both seasoned hospitality professionals with extensive experience developing, administering and growing successful internship programs. I’ve invited them back on the show to share how YOU can create an awesome internship program for your property.

Dr. Kate Price-Howard has 30 years experience in the fields of hospitality and commercial recreation. She’s held recreation positions on-board cruise ships, hotels, summer camps, psychiatric units, nursing homes, and served as Director of Recreation for several Florida resorts. In 2001, she founded Go Play, Inc., providing recreation consultation to resort and property management companies, corporate team building, and special events. She has taught more than 600 students that have come through her company as recreation interns.

Kate received a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Parks and Recreation Administration, with an emphasis and certification in Therapeutic Recreation, from Florida International University and went on to complete her PhD in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism from the University of Utah.

In 2013, she accepted a full-time faculty position with Troy University and teaches hospitality students all over the world in an online format.

Ron Whitfield is an Executive General Manager with ResortQuest by Wyndham in Destin Florida. He earned his Associate of Arts Degree from the University of West Florida and a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University with an emphasis in Resort and Club Management.

Ron has been in the Vacation Rental Industry for 22 years. He has had a Community Association Management License for 22 years and has been a Real Estate Broker for 11 years.

Ron enjoys working to further the the vacation rental industry. He is passionate about improving the experience of guests of owners, team building, employee development and teaching and mentoring College Interns.

In This Episode, Ron and Kate Reveal:

  • Where to begin, why it’s a good idea to partner with multiple universities, and what’s in it for a hotel to have an internship program
  • The key success factors for a solid internship program – not only for the intern, but for the property as well – and the best way to attract a strong pool of intern candidates.
  • How much they pay interns, the typical length of an internship, what to do about housing, and some of the pitfalls that can happen both on and off the clock.
  • What to do when the internship period is over, the importance of getting valuable feedback from the interns, and how to convert some of these passionate students into full time employees.

Resources & Links

Previous Episodes

Dr. Kate Price-Howard

Ron Whitfield

Jon Albano

Thanks for Listening!

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Until the next …