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An overview of some of the best classes to take as an Ashland University hospitality management major.

One of my favorite things about being a part of the Hospitality Management program at Ashland University has been the hands-on and real life applications that my classes have offered me. My classes are exciting and interesting. I don’t just go to them because my professor has an attendance policy; I go because I like the experience.

I can say that my classes and professors have given me the opportunity to live out what I’m going to do after graduation. As diverse of an industry as Hospitality can be, they’ve also helped me learn what paths I don’t want to take after graduation in a non-threatening setting.

Environmental Management

I think this is one of the most important classes for someone who is looking to go into any area of the hospitality industry. I took this Environmental Management two years ago, and I still apply the things I learned, sometimes in the most unexpected situations. It offers the training for food service operations, and teaches you how to train others.

Do you know the proper temperatures for pre-cooked food to be kept at? How long prepared food is considered safe to consume? What about how to make sure pests like mice and ants aren’t in your restaurant? Environmental Management not only teaches you how to identify such issues, but how to respond. Since I’ve taken this class, I drive my parents crazy with my analysis of restaurant operations whenever we go out to eat.

Beverage Management

This is the class that I looked forward to since entering into the hospitality program. It’s most commonly referred to as the “wine tasting class” on campus, but you learn so much more than that. Yes, we did learn about how to identify the different traits of wine. And yes, we did do that by tasting wine in class. And it was awesome. But that wasn’t the central idea for the class.

Beverage Management focused on showing me how to operate a facility that serves alcohol. I didn’t get my bartending license, which is a common misconception of this class. I can tell you about the different liabilities that could be presented in a bar or restaurant, though. I can also tell you about buyer’s habits, and how to train employees to handle and serve alcohol. And that’s just skimming the surface.

Food Production I & II

I took both of these classes as electives. Let me preface this: I cannot cook. I have no idea how to navigate a kitchen. Half of this class time is spent in the classroom, while the other half is spent in the Convo kitchen. We learned about the basics of cooking theory, which was applied in the kitchen. We also know about the purchasing and guidelines of a full-service kitchen organization.

Although it was fun to be able to eat our class projects, that wasn’t the highlight of Food Production I & II. I am now confident that if a situation were to arise I would be able to effectively assist or direct kitchen operations. Not just the slicing and dicing, but the bulk ordering and rotation of products, which is one of the most important things a kitchen needs to do. This class increased my confidence in how well-rounded my abilities are for after graduation.

Final project for Food Productions I

Final project for Food Productions I

Certifications

Some of the Hospitality Management classes are tailored to offer certifications alongside of the course. It’s nice to not have to take more classes outside of the university and to be able to go more in depth to obtain these certifications. The certifications that I have received from the national organization ServSafe are:

  • Alcohol Training and Certification
  • Human Resource Management & Supervisor Certification
  • Food Production Manager Certification

There are also more classes available than those I mentioned. There’s a Casino Management class, which teaches you the ins and outs of operations within a casino, as well as an Event Planning class, which teaches all of the steps that go into event implementation. The hospitality industry is so diverse, and the class offerings at Ashland University definitely reflect that.

There’s no way to cover all of the classes I have taken or the experiences I have gained from them in one blog post. What I have learned during my time at AU is invaluable. I love being able to take what I’ve done in my classes and use it at my internship and work experiences.

I know that my professors have done everything that they can to share with us their experiences in their profession so that we can take use it to move forward in our own careers. Within our program, what’s important is not always the description of the class that you are taking, but the experience you are going to have within the classroom.

Gina Tornabene is a double major in Hospitality Management and Marketing at Ashland University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi and currently works in the Student Life Office as the Greek Life intern.

 

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