UHMC HOST Graduates Complete Internships in China
Four University of Hawai’i Maui College Hospitality and Tourism graduates acquired practical experience abroad before returning home to jobs in Hawai‘i’s biggest industry—tourism.
Shelby Kihara, Noelani Corpin, Shermila Sioson and Shelly Silva, graduates of the UHMC HOST program, have successfully completed internships at hotels in China.
The two-year, associate degree program prepares students for leadership positions in the hospitality industry. It is, specifically, a career-ladder program.
Kihara is an assistant food and beverage manager at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa; Sioson is part of the front office team (rooms control) at the Royal Lahaina Resort and is also pursuing her bachelor’s degree; Silva has just become the assistant guest experience manager at Destination Residences; and Corpin is working part-time for Chrysalis Events Hawai’i as she pursues a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“The international internship was a chance for me to get out of my comfort zone, further my education, learn a different culture, and experience a different type of hospitality, all while traveling the world,” said Corpin.
It turned out to be much more than that.
“It gave me the opportunity to ‘find myself,’”said Corpin. “Spending a great amount of time abroad alone, made me realize what I like and dislike, what I’m good at and not good at, what I want to achieve and overall, the true importance of my life.”
Silva, the UHMC valedictorian, echoed Corpin’s sentiments.
“The international experience, without a doubt, exceeded my expectations,”Silva said. “Living and working in a foreign country—having the opportunity to immerse myself so completely into the culture—was unbelievable. Walking the Great Wall of China and sharing a meal with a Chinese family are just a couple of the personal experiences that are indescribable.”
She said the experiences were priceless to both her personal and professional life.
“These students are truly our success stories,” said Program Coordinator Lorelle Peros. “In addition to being outstanding students in our HOST program, these international experiences have truly been invaluable and have given the students a competitive edge.”
The UHMC HOST program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
Registration for fall classes closes on Aug. 1.
For more information about the program, go online.