Students in the Department of Hospitality, Hotel Management and Tourism in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will gain meaningful real-life experiential learning through an internship collaboration with the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center.

The memorandum of understanding, MOU, signed by department head Brian King, Ph.D., and Greg Stafford, general manager of the Doug Pitcock ’49 Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, in the lobby of the hotel on May 7, will provide students in the department with opportunities for two types of paid internship programs – operational and supervisory.

About the partnership

Ten individuals, seven women and three men, giving a thumbs up. Two of the men are sitting at a table with a tablecloth that have the ATM logo and the words Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center Doug Pitcock '49. The other eight individuals are standing behind them.
Greg Stafford (left, at table) general manager of the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, and Brian King, Ph.D., head of the Department of Hospitality, Hotel Management and Tourism, signed a memorandum of understanding relating to student internship opportunities. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)      

The hotel and conference center, located on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, is operated by Pyramid Global Hospitality, an international hotel and resort company with a portfolio of more than 240 properties in the U.S., the Caribbean and Europe.   

“This memorandum of understanding commemorates the first of such partnerships, and it is both appropriate and symbolic that we chose our own Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center to start the process,” King said. “It will be an example of how the hospitality industry can benefit from working with our department and the College.”

Pyramid Global Hospitality is a third-party hospitality management company formed by the 2021 merger of three hotel and resort management companies, with offices in Boston, The Woodlands, Cincinnati and London. For more information, go to:

Student internships outlined in the MOU

The MOU outlines the expectations and responsibilities of the interns and Pyramid Global Hospitality at Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center as the industry partner. It provides two types of internships: an operational-level internship requiring 200 hours and a supervisory-level internship requiring 300 hours. 

“We value both formal and experiential education,” Stafford said. “Anyone with only a formal education would have a hard time getting into a supervisory or managerial position in the hotel industry. Through this internship program, we will provide participants with a legitimate learning experience that combines productivity with education.” 

Salaries for both internships will be commensurate with those of regular hotel employees having similar responsibilities.

Stafford said about 55% of the hotel and conference center’s labor force is students, and a stable leadership team is in place to work with students and help them develop professionally.  

While these internships represent a front-end investment by Pyramid, he said the company hopes the experience will lead participants toward longer-term employment with them.  

“We are very excited about the partnership between the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center and the department,” said Calvin Banks, senior vice president – people development and culture, at Pyramid Global Hospitality. “This agreement demonstrates our commitment to growing future leaders in the hospitality industry. The agreement also further expands our internship and leadership development program opportunities across our global network of hotels and resorts. We look forward to creating a valuable experience as a part of each intern’s learning journey.”

Responsibilities as an industry partner

The responsibilities of those involved in the program are described in the Internship Handbook developed by department experts in collaboration with Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center human resources.

Per the memorandum, Pyramid Global Hospitality, through Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, will serve as an industry-based teacher, offering the intern instruction and supervision, and using its operations to advance the intern’s professional competencies.

Along with interviewing the interns to ascertain their needs, interests, knowledge, skills and objectives, Pyramid will be responsible for:

  • Orienting the intern to their objectives and working environment.
  • Providing the intern with meaningful experiential education throughout the internship.
  • Holding periodic evaluation sessions with the intern to review progress and discuss any concerns.
  • As far as possible, helping interns satisfy their personal goals and objectives.

Pyramid will also conduct evaluation reports on intern performance, participate in virtual meetings with the intern and sign the intern’s final time sheet.

Responsibilities of interns

According to the MOU, the intern will be responsible for fulfilling internship expectations as provided in the handbook and course outline, in addition to following some general guidelines that include:

  • Working with the internship coordinator to provide the necessary information and learn of any costs associated with program materials.
  • Following the policies and duties outlined by the industry partner and in the Internship Handbook and meet all scheduled commitments made in connection with the assignments.
  • Submitting any forms and reports as required by the university and the industry partner.
  • Attending periodic conferences with the industry partner and, if needed, with the internship coordinator.

Before starting their internship, the intern will be asked to submit three personal goals, each accompanied by two to three objectives.

“Interns will be expected to perform work assignments to a professional standard throughout the internship and abide by Texas A&M’s code of conduct,” King said.

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