The first graduates of the School of Hospitality Studies at the University College of the Cayman Islands celebrated at an awards ceremony last week at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell presented the young Caymanian graduates with awards and certificates for their success in the program.
The event, on July 16, was the inaugural awards and recognition ceremony for the program, which began last September. Eighteen of the 25 students who entered the program graduated.
In the program, students shadowed professionals in their chosen industries for a short period of time to gain some firsthand knowledge of the workplace.
During the course, the students learned about several aspects of the hospitality industry, including food and beverage, lodging, spa and wellness, water sports, and more.
“It was an absolute success. When it was actually executed we learned a lot of things from the students and how they learn and actually take on the program. The first year is a learning exercise for the students, teachers, and leaders alike,” said Markus Mueri, co-owner of Deckers, Karoo, and Abacus restaurants. “I would say about 80 percent right now is spot-on and 20 percent needs to be tweaked, so we will be doing an even better job next year.”
Mr. Mueri was closely involved with the program as an advisory board member and looks forward to being involved again next year.
“The applications are in and at this present time we have 14 students [accepted]. We are taking some more interviews because we have quite a few applications, but we would love to see more,” Mr. Mueri said.
The application process is open until July 31. Prospective students may apply at www.ucci.edu.ky.