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Destination: San Francisco, then successful careers.

February 08, 2019 - Hospitality, Travel

For the 18th year, PTC's Hospitality Management students took a Familiarization (FAM) trip, a common practice among hospitality professionals who need to experience, first hand, different destinations so that they can give informed recommendations to their clients.

In previous years, PTC FAM trip destinations included San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando, San Antonio, Toronto, and Charleston, SC. In 2018, 24 School of Hospitality students traveled to San Francisco.

Before their journey began, there was work to do:

1. Fundraise
2. Select a city, and it has be one that you can get around easily by walking, is culturally diverse, and is known as a leisure and corporate travel destination
3. Create an itinerary
4. Negotiate with vendors
5. Create and finalize contracts
6. Travel and experience the five-day trip
7. Plan for a Travel Show to present their experiences

Once our students arrived in San Francisco (some of whom had never been on a plane before), they explored different modes of transportation, accommodations, entertainment, excursions, and neighborhoods. They were also exposed to industry personnel and met with guest speakers—general managers of hotels, visitors’ bureau, conventions, and restaurant managers. This not only enabled them to network, but helped them to hone in on their career interests. Scavenger hunts got them out and about in the city and encouraged team building.

After their trip, they began preparing for a Travel Show and invited over 200 people including family, friends, industry professionals, prospective employers, faculty, and staff to join them for their presentations of their trip—in a way "selling" their experiences to those attendees.

Their presentations focused on different aspects of traveling to San Francisco, including:

Excursions: Muir Woods National Forest and Sausalito
Attractions: Alcatraz, Twin Peaks, Ferry Building, and the Golden Gate Bridge
Entertainment: Different points of interest such as the Dungeon
Accommodations: Fairmont Hotel (4 diamond, luxury brand)
Transportation: United Airlines, charter bus, subway, cable cars, scooters, and community passport
Neighborhoods: Castro District, Chinatown, Haight/Ashbury, North Beach, and Fisherman's Wharf
Restaurants: Diverse dining such as Super Duper Burger, Forest Gump/Bubba Gump, and the Wipe Out Bar & Grill

It’s this kind of well-rounded, hands-on experience that prepares our students for a range of hospitality careers—one that takes them out of the comfort of the classroom and into the world they’ll soon be exploring as a professional.



Offering career-focused education since 1946, Pittsburgh Technical College (formerly Pittsburgh Technical Institute (PTI)) offers degree and certificate programs in more than 30 areas. Its 180-acre campus is home to the American Academy of Culinary Arts, the Energy Technology Center, the Nursing Simulation Center, and many hands-on specialty labs. PTC students can take advantage of online course offerings, on-campus residence halls, student activities, intramural programs and community service programs. PTC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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Pittsburgh Technical College
1111 McKee Road, Oakdale PA 15071
(412) 809-5338

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