Mark Beattie, PhD
Program Coordinator, Clinical Assistant Professor
Washington State University, North Puget Sound at Everett
Tell us about your program at Washington State University and how the SHFM Foundation’s Course Funding has helped you provide a course for your students?
Washington State University’s School of Hospitality Business Management is celebrating its 85th year of providing baccalaureate academics for those interested in all aspects of the hospitality industry. Prior to joining the faculty here at WSU I was in the industry myself serving in restaurants, hotels, and managed services. Seventeen years of my career were spent in K-12, corporate, and higher education settings. As an instructor, it is wonderful to share my experiences with students. The funding from the SHFM Foundation is the driving force behind this coursework being offered. Without this funding there would not have been support for course development and class activities. The field trip to managed service accounts is truly a highlight of the course work.
What does your course cover?
I approach the course from a macro-level perspective. How do managed services fit into the field of hospitality? What are some similarities and differences from traditional hotels or restaurants? What types of entities utilize managed services? From here we examine the different aspects of operations from food safety to human resources and financial management. Many of the topics explore transferable skills that are valuable regardless of where students launch their careers.
How do you feel students react to a potential career in the corporate foodservice and workplace hospitality industry?
It is challenging to overcome the allure of hotels and restaurants. One of my passions is to share the wide variety of opportunities afforded by our industry. From small business applications to large operations, I desire for the graduates of our program to have a “big picture” understanding of our industry. This would include managed services. While a student may begin their management career in a hotel or restaurant, if they have exposure to careers in managed services, they could shift at any time. I tell my students that hospitality is a career where you can “start anywhere and follow it everywhere.” This comes from my own experience of several years with restaurants and hotel F&B prior to enjoying a long and successful chapter in managed services.
Do they understand the quality of life that is possible with a career in our industry?
This may take a while to sink in; as it did for me. The allure of glitzy settings in spectacular hotels or restaurants is enticing. Eventually, the importance of work/life balance becomes more important and this is where the knowledge plays a role. They “remember” what I taught them in classes and they take another look at managed services. That being said I spent many years at a technology facility that was operating 24/7/365 that challenged the work/life balance on occasion.
How has your membership in SHFM helped you to teaching your students about the industry?
Networking! Far and away the best part of joining SHFM has been meeting key people from many companies and locations. My ability to share this network with my students as they have conducted group projects and explored careers is enriched by those who share their time and expertise with them.
Thank you so much for supporting field trips for my students through Educational Foundation funding. A picture is worth a 1000 words:
Photo caption: The Chedi Andermatt with WSU Cesar Ritz students in Switzerland spring 2016.