Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

HRT Testimonials

I graduated from the HRT program in 2008. I had such a great experience! The professors have so much knowledge about the industry and are really invested in the students. I really felt like they all cared about my success. Most programs don’t require an internship to graduate, but I am very happy that the HRT program did. My required internship for school turned into a full-time position! I think this program really prepared me for my career in hospitality.—Megan Bolton, CPP Program Coordinator for UT Conferences HRT Class of 2008

My degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management from the University of Tennessee was the absolute best tool I had in making the leap from college life into the real world, largely because I was challenged to think critically. While my new load has been so far light and undemanding, my professors and colleagues at the University of Tennessee instilled in me a desire to remain true to the vision of an organization, not just the mission of my own career. Above all, my orange blood reminds me to push forward.—James D. Camp (’12), General Manager of the Regattabar Jazz Club {The Charles Hotel} Assistant Manager of Banquets {The Charles Hotel}

Though I haven’t continued my career in the hospitality industry, the courses I took to earn my degree have still been relevant in my pursuit of a master’s degree in higher education administration. My strategic management course specifically prepared me for creating and collaborating on strategic plans within higher education programs—Charlie Clifton (’12), Graduate Assistant to the Commission for LGBT People to the Chancellor. 

I chose the hospitality and tourism management major because I wanted a degree that would be a lifestyle and a career. The great thing about being employed in the restaurant and hospitality world is the opportunity. Through moving around, trying new things, talking on new challenges, I was able to make my lifestyle of food and travel into a solid career. Fast forward 10 years later, and I have a great job with US Foods as a sales manager. The University of Tennessee gave me the building blocks and the guidance to follow my passion. My car is my office, I work with a diverse group of people, and I get to learn something new every day. Oh…did I mention…I get to eat, ALOT too!—Amanda E. Crisp (’07), Sales Manager US Foods

The education and memories I have of the University of Tennessee and the HRT program are something I will carry with me for the rest of my career and life. I transferred my sophomore year from another school and major. Stepping into the HRT program was a real challenge for me, but my professors and classmates made the transition very easy. The program helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. My professors knew me and cared about my success. I cannot express my thanks enough for the program and the people behind it. I can honestly say, looking back, that I would not be in my career today without the HRT program.—Jessica Fewell (’11), Event Coordinator at the Jack Daniel’s Visitor Center, Lynchburg, TN

I earned a Bachelor of Science in service management. This is a wonderful degree to have, especially for those wanting to enter the service industry with relevance. Whether it is via a hotel, a major retailer, or a convention and visitors bureau, the BS in service management degree is the best route to take. The degree is offered through two majors: hotel, restaurant, and tourism management and retail and consumer sciences. Personally, HRT is the elite program of study, having a built-in business administration minor. The curriculum contains meaningful, innovative courses, such as Strategic Planning in the Hospitality Industry and Revenue Management, which thoroughly prepared me for the kind of environment and activities in which I am operating and performing. I graduated in the summer of 2013 and am currently a chargeback and inquiry specialist for Accenture Hospitality Services. I started this position before the completion of the HRT program. Now that I have graduated, I am pursuing positions with more significance and responsibilities concentrated around the knowledge, skills and abilities gained through my experiences in the HRT program.—Jericho Hawkins, Chargeback/Inquiry Specialist at Accenture Hospitality Services

The HRT program will guide you exactly where you should go. You can learn a lot of substantial knowledge and experience from the program. They provide you not only information but also an actual chance to have various experience. I’m 100 percent sure you all will enjoy all the satisfactions of being a student of the program.—Tae Hwang (’09),Secretary to the Mayor of Pyeongtaek City, Republic of Korea   

The education I received from the HRT program prepared me for real-world problems I experienced on the very first day of my new career. When you do not have a mountain of experience to mine, you fall back on what you have learned. I still do not know all the answers, but the HRT program at UT gave me a solid base that I could not have gotten anywhere else. Ryan King Class of 2012 Guest Services Manager, Hampton Inn-Knoxville Airport

“I graduated from the Service Management program at the University of Tennessee in 2009, and I would highly recommend the program to any student seeking a dynamic leadership role in an established, time-tested industry. Besides the stellar in-class training, the Service Management program enabled me to pursue internships with several respected hospitality companies including Wyndham Worldwide. After graduating from the Service Management program, many of my peers stepped directly into leadership positions for top hotel brands like Disney and Marriott. In a time of economic uncertainty, the service industry is an ever-expanding, time-tested industry that will continue to provide strong career opportunities. Likewise, the University of Tennessee’s Service Management program will continue to leverage its resources and industry contacts to provide first-class training and careers. I decided to pursue post-graduate education, and the HRT program’s strong focus on practical and experiential learning gave me an advantage while completing my MBA. I am now in my final semester of law school at Emory University in Atlanta, and I still draw up on the practical skills I received in the Service Management program. After law school, I intend to leverage my knowledge of the hospitality industry to serve as legal counsel for hotels and resorts. I would have never found this path had it not been for the University of Tennessee’s Service Management program.”  Daniel Moser, 3rd yr law student at Emory University School of Law

Graduating from The University of Tennessee with a degree in Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management gave me a strong base to enter the Hospitality Industry. Earning a degree is not enough though. Choose a dream job from day one and pack as many relatable experiences in as you can. Taking the lead in class projects, packing as many internships in as possible, and strategically seeking out hospitality opportunities on campus will guarantee strong post-college placement.  Nicole Rammer Program Coordinator Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc

In my four years as a student in the Hotel Restaurant & Tourism department I made some great memories, long lasting friendships, and developed a professional network with the guidance of my Professors. My Bachelors Degree has given me a step up in the Hospitality Industry and has opened many doors that would have otherwise remained closed to me. I would recommend this program to anyone seeking to better themselves and grow in the world of Hospitality. I will be ever grateful for the time, energy, and interest my professors put into myself and my classmates.  Terry Williams, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Kodak, M Gibson Hotels

“Every college student looks for an opportunity to find themselves and make themselves feel as though they are apart of something. I was lucky to have found the HRT program after my first year at UT and to this day can call the department my home.  I strongly believe that I owe much of my success to the relationships I developed with my professors in the HRT program. The Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA) event, the Appalachian Springs Fundraising Dinner, the UT’s Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism professors’ relationships with other departments at UT and the collaboration with organizations in the Knoxville area pay dividends to the programs students.

During my time in the HRT program, I had the opportunity to debut the Little Vol Walk during homecoming 2010 by working with the UT Alumni Department.  The relationship between, UT, WalMart and Coca Cola offered me a chance to be a member of the planning committee for a nonprofit fundraiser for Holly Warwick’s, “Champions for a Cause” foundation.  TN4PINK debuted in April 2011 as a motorcycle charity event where participants rode from Memphis, TN to Knoxville, TN. During this time, I presented event logistics and ideas to the regional VPs of Walmart and Coca Cola Corp to earn their support of the event.

Currently, I am an Event Marketing Specialist at Canon USA headquarters in Melville, New York. I oversee and coordinate all logistics for VIP events, National Trade Show booth participation and support the Northeast Sales Team in customer promotions and hospitality. I graduated from the HRT program in May 2011 and landed my job in just 8 months after graduation, thanks to my degree and the experiences afforded to me thanks to the UT HRT program.”   Brittany Zbikowski, ‘11